Dan L. Burk

Chancellor’s Professor of Law
Dan L. Burk


Intellectual property (especially cyber law and biotechnology)


Dan L. Burk is Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine, where he is a founding member of the law faculty.  An internationally prominent authority on issues related to high technology, he lectures, teaches, and writes in the areas of patent, copyright, electronic commerce, and biotechnology law.  He is consistently ranked among the leading intellectual property scholars in the American legal academy.  He has been a leading figure in debates over gene patenting, digital copyright, and computer trespass.

Professor Burk has taught intellectual property across the globe at a variety of institutions including Cornell University, the University of California at Berkeley, University of Toronto, University of Lucerne, and University of Haifa. In 2011 and in 2018 he was awarded Fulbright Scholarships, first to study German and European Union biotechnology patenting at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich, and then as a Fulbright Cybersecurity Scholar to the Oxford Internet Institute's Digital Ethics Lab in the United Kingdom. In 2015 he was selected for a Leverhulme visitorship to the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he delivered a series of Leverhulme Public Lectures on “Biotechnology and Software Patenting in the Information Society.”

Professor Burk is the author of numerous papers on the legal and societal impact of new technologies, including articles on personalized medicine, on the legal aspects of electronic sports, and on the trademark implications of search engine keywords.  He is the co-author, together with Mark A. Lemley of Stanford University, of The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It, published by University of Chicago Press.  Much of Burk’s recent scholarship has undertaken interdisciplinary collaboration to open new lines of inquiry in intellectual property law by developing insights from literary theory, critical perspectives, and transaction cost economics.

Professor Burk holds a B.S. in Microbiology (1985) from Brigham Young University, an M.S. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (1987) from Northwestern University, a J.D. (1990) from Arizona State University, and a J.S.M. (1994) from Stanford University. He has served as a legal advisor to a variety of private, governmental, and intergovernmental organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union Committee on Patent Policy and the OECD Committee on Consumer Protection.

Current Courses:

Patent Law

Prior Courses:

Intellectual Property Law, Advanced Patent Law, Patent Law, Biotechnology Law, Copyright Law, Technical Protection for Authors, Remedies, Torts, Electronic Commerce, Common Law Analysis: Public Ordering, Cross-Border Trade in IP, Common Law Analysis: Torts, Intellectual Property Survey

  • April 2017: Chancellor’s Professor of Law Dan Burk has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award in Cybersecurity to the Oxford Internet Institute in the United Kingdom during fall 2017. Prof. Burk will pursue research on “Statutory Protocols for Access to Secured Digital Content,” in which he will examine the U.K.’s administrative procedures for consumer access to encrypted information.
  • August 2015: Prof. Burk is honored with the 2015 Vanguard Award for outstanding contributions to intellectual property scholarship or public policy by the Intellectual Property Section of the California Bar Association
  • October 2014: Prof. Burk selected for the Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at London School of Economics and Political Science, awarded by the Leverhulme Trust
  • March 2013: Prof. Burk elected to the American Law Institute
  • April 5, 2011: Recipient of a Fulbright Scholar grant to pursue research during the 2010-2011 academic year on comparative biotechnology patent processes in Germany