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The Open COVID Pledge and Other IP Reactions to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Speaker(s): Mark F. Radcliffe, Prof. Jorge L. Contreras
Recorded on: Apr. 14, 2020
PLI Program #: 299933


  • J.D. 1991, Law, Harvard Law School
  • B.S.E.E. and B.A. 1988, Electrical Engineering and English, Rice University



Jorge L. Contreras teaches in the areas of intellectual property, law and science, and property law. He is the recipient of the Early Career Teaching Award at the College of Law and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Utah Genome Project.

Professor Contreras has previously served on the law faculties of American University Washington College of Law and Washington University in St. Louis, and was a partner at the international law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where he practiced transactional and intellectual property law in Boston, London and Washington DC.

Professor Contreras’s current research focuses, among other things, on the development of technical standards and the use and dissemination of data generated by large-scale scientific research projects. His published work has appeared in scientific, legal and policy journals including Science, Nature Biotechnology, Georgetown Law Journal, Arizona State Law Journal, North Carolina Law Review, Florida State Law Review, Jurimetrics, American University Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Antitrust Law Journal, Santa Clara Law Review and Utah Law Review. He recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume exploring legal issues at the intersection of biological and computational science, Bioinformatics Law: Legal Issues for Computational Biology in the Post-Genome Era(Chicago: ABA Publishing, 2013), and has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Korea Times and other national and international media outlets.

Professor Contreras serves Co-Chair of the Technical Standardization Committee of the ABA’s Section of Science & Technology Law, and a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, the Advisory Council of the National Center for the Advancement of Translational Sciences (NCATS), the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) Board at NIH and the Intellectual Property Rights Policy Committee of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  He has recently served as Co-Chair of the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Intellectual Property Management in Standard-Setting Processes and the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research at NIH. 

He is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School (JD) and Rice University (BA, BSEE) and clerked for Chief Justice Thomas R. Philips of the Texas Supreme Court.  Professor Contreras is the reciepient of theEarly Career Teaching Award from the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the Elizabeth Payne Cubberly Faculty Scholarship Award from American University Washington College of Law.

Primary Areas of Practice: IP Licensing, Open Source Software Licensing, Venture Capital, Corporate Structuring; Corporate Collaborations

School/Graduate School: Harvard Law School

Work History:

Mr. Radcliffe represents corporations in their intellectual property and finance matters. His clients include both startups and global multinationals.  He has been at the forefront of many of the major legal developments in the last three decades, including the development the first domain dispute resolution policy for Network Solutions, Inc. (which is still the basis for dispute resolution under ICANN),  the revision of the bankruptcy law to deal with the intersection between bankruptcy and intellectual property licenses, the open sourcing of the Solaris operating system for Sun Microsystems, Inc. and the development of the General Public License version 3.  He has served on the US Japan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council and was appointed by the Department of State to be the US Private Sector Co-Chair His experience covers a wide variety of industries from web to software (particularly open source) to cloud to semiconductors. His deep experience in both venture capital financing and intellectual property makes him particularly effective in assisting companies in developing and implementing innovation strategies.

In April 2009 (the first year of the award), he was recognized for his experience in assisting companies in intellectual property strategy by Intellectual Asset Management magazine as one of the World’s Leading 250 IP Strategists.  The National Law Journal in 1997 named him one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States.  He is consistently cited by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, as being in the first rank in California for IT and IT Outsourcing.  He has been listed in the “The Best Lawyers in America,” and as one of Northern California’s Top 100 intellectual property attorneys in “Super Lawyers.”  And he has been named as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in Who’s Who Legal publication.  In 1998, Harvard Law School designated him a “Distinguished Alumni”.  He has been quoted on intellectual property matters in Time Magazine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Examiner, San Jose Mercury News and the Daily Variety.  Mr. Radcliffe has published articles in such legal magazines as the National Law Journal, Trademark World, Computer Lawyer, California Law Business and Copyright World

Professional Memberships: American Bar Association, International Bar Association