F. Scott Kieff

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

The Honorable F. Scott Kieff served as Commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission from October 18, 2013 through June 30, 2017, after nomination by President Barack H. Obama on Sept. 11, 2012, a confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance on Jul. 18, 2013, unanimous favorable vote of the Committee on Jul. 25, 2013, and confirmation by unanimous consent of the Senate on Aug. 1, 2013.  On July 1, 2017, he returned to his academic posts as a professor at George Washington University Law School and as a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. 

He moved to George Washington University in 2009 from Washington University in Saint Louis, where he was a Professor in the School of Law with a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurological Surgery.  He first joined Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in 2003, where he has worked on the Hoover Project on Commercializing Innovation; the Hoover Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity, or IP2; and the John and Jean De Nault Task Force on Property Rights, Freedom, and Prosperity.  He previously served as a faculty member of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center at Germany’s Max Planck Institute; a visiting professor in the law schools at Northwestern, Chicago, and Stanford; and a faculty fellow in the Olin Program on Law and Economics at Harvard.

Since entering academia in 1999, he has maintained a private practice as a mediator, arbitrator, and consultant for resolving disputes involving intangible assets and for structuring competitive and cooperative commercial interactions.  He engages a mix of problem solving, from classic litigation and regulatory work to strategic advising and neutral work including mediation and arbitration, as well as compliance and monitoring, mostly involving the fields of intellectual property, antitrust, trade, finance, and national security.  He has also been called upon through the past three Presidential Administrations to provide extensive strategic and tactical consulting to several high-level government offices in formal and informal capacities.  He previously practiced law for over six years as a trial lawyer and patent lawyer for Pennie & Edmonds in New York and Jenner & Block in Chicago and as Law Clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge Giles S. Rich.

He was recognized as one of the nation’s “Top 50 under 45” by the magazine IP Law & Business in May, 2008, and was inducted as a Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in March 2012. Before attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania, he studied molecular biology and microeconomics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and conducted research in molecular genetics at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA.

Originally from the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago, he became a lawyer in New York City and now lives with his family in Washington, DC. 

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Recent Commentary

Common Themes in Designs of Public Institutions for Fostering Innovation, Competition, and Finance

by F. Scott Kieff, Troy A. Paredesvia IP2 Working Paper Series
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

IP² Working Paper No. 14004 - The paper provides concrete examples of the themes that emerge from a review of the detailed design and implementation of particular legal systems (public institutions) intended to foster innovation, competition, and finance, such as intellectual property, 

In the News

Patently Bad Policy

by F. Scott Kieffvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Will crony capitalism triumph over entrepreneurialism? The Supreme Court will soon decide...

Patently Bad Policy

by F. Scott Kieffvia Advancing a Free Society
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fortunately, it is the rare occasion when we have, on the one hand, many good reasons to expect a bad outcome from our taking a particular set of next steps but, on the other, a great demonstrated resolve to take those steps anyway.  Unfortunately, today’s patent system r

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Patently Bad Policy

by F. Scott Kieffvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Will crony capitalism triumph over entrepreneurialism? The Supreme Court will soon decide.

Why Business Isn't Getting 'In the Game'

by Stephen Haber, F. Scott Kieffvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why businesspeople aren’t banking on Washington’s supposedly pro-business overtures. By Stephen H. Haber and F. Scott Kieff.

In the News

File First, Invent Later?

by F. Scott Kieffvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Monday, June 13, 2011

The America Invents Act turns the patent system into a lottery...

File First, Invent Later?

by F. Scott Kieffvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, June 13, 2011

Our final installment explores how the America Invents Act would inject massive uncertainty into the patent system in the name of trivial predictability.

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File First, Invent Later?

by F. Scott Kieffvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 13, 2011

The America Invents Act turns the patent system into a lottery.

Welcome to Patent Purgatory

by F. Scott Kieffvia Advancing a Free Society
Saturday, June 11, 2011

The first installment of this series explored the basic analytical framework behind debates about patent reform. The details of the patent system that are being discussed in Congress are not likely to lead to important large shifts in overall rates of invention and patenting.

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Patent Reform Goes Haywire

by F. Scott Kieffvia Defining Ideas
Friday, June 10, 2011

Pending legislation undermines property rights and international trade.

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