F. Scott Kieff


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 was 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

Analysis and Commentary

The importance of finality in patent litigation

by F. Scott Kieffvia National Law Journal
Monday, December 6, 2010

Repeated cries for multiple examinations, trials and appeals by an adjudicated infringer, such as EchoStar in the TiVo patent case, should be rejected as thinly veiled efforts to run out the clock on valid property rights...

Patent Patience

by F. Scott Kieff, Kevin Rivettevia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 9, 2009

Courts have wrought big changes in the patent system. Now Congress and the White House need to let the system settle. By F. Scott Kieff and Kevin Rivette.

Analysis and Commentary

Let The Markets Manage Search

by F. Scott Kieffvia Forbes
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo! just announced a partnership in the business for online search that some see as raising serious legal issues for antitrust regulators and serious business issues for Google...

Analysis and Commentary

Let The Markets Manage Search

by F. Scott Kieffvia Forbes
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo! just announced a partnership in the business for online search that some see as raising serious legal issues for antitrust regulators and serious business issues for Google.

book cover image

Reacting to the Spending Spree: Policy Changes We Can Afford

by Terry Anderson, Jagdish Bhagwati, Charles Calomiris, Richard A. Epstein, Stephen Haber, Kevin Hassett, James Huffman, F. Scott Kieff, Gary D. Libecap, Henry E. Smithvia Hoover Institution Press
Monday, April 27, 2009

In this nine-chapter volume, the authors examine the challenges the Obama administration faces today, and in the foreseeable future, and the administration’s planned responses.

Analysis and Commentary

Congress — Let U.S. patent law 'marinate' before taking action

by F. Scott Kieffvia Great Falls Tribune (MT)
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Every good chef knows the benefits of letting things marinate...

Windows of Opportunity

by F. Scott Kieffvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 27, 2008

The market will do a much better job of regulating Microsoft than government ever would. By F. Scott Kieff.

Analysis and Commentary

Keep patent bill tabled

by F. Scott Kieffvia National Law Journal
Monday, June 2, 2008

The Senate acted wisely in tabling the patent bill in April and should resist calls to take it back up...

Analysis and Commentary

Let The Markets Regulate Microsoft

by F. Scott Kieffvia Forbes
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Microsoft recently announced what many will see as an unprecedented change in its business model for selling software as commercial products for use by customers immediately after installation...

In the News

On Coordinating Transactions in Intellectual Property: A Response to Smith’s Delineating Entitlements in Information

by F. Scott Kieffvia Yale Law Journal
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Henry Smith’s Intellectual Property as Property: Delineating Entitlements in Information contributes to the intellectual property literature by arguing that enforcing IP with rights to exclude can mitigate the high information costs associated with information-based assets...