Kevin Emerson Collins

Professor of Law


B.A., 1990, Yale University,
M.Arch., 1995, Columbia University,
J.D., 2003, Stanford Law School

Curriculum Vitae




Andrea Donze  - (314) 935-6422

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-7857
Email: kecollins@wustl.edu  


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 582

Courses Taught

Patent Law
Advanced Patent Law
Trademark Law
Law and Architecture
Cumulative Invention and Creativity (seminar)
Survey of Intellectual Property
Copyright Law
Architecture as Intellectual Property


Professor Kevin Emerson Collins is a well known patent scholar who frequently uses an interdisciplinary lens to shed new light on patent law. For example, he has explored how the philosophy of language explains the reach of patent rights into after-arising technology; how semiotics facilitates the reconceptualization of the long-standing, yet poorly understood “printed matter doctrine” of patent law; and how the philosophy of mind offers insights into the economics of allowing newly invented human thought to be eligible for patent protection. Professor Collins speaks at intellectual property conferences, panels, and workshops across the United States and overseas, and he teaches lecture classes and seminars that span the intellectual-property spectrum. A licensed architect, Professor Collins is also interested in pioneering the field of “law and architecture”—the study of how the built environment (“architecture”) affects individual and group behavior and how, in turn, law might opt to regulate the construction of the built environment to harness its behavior-sculpting capacity—in the legal academy. Before law school, Professor Collins earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale College and a master’s degree in Architecture from Columbia University. He then worked as a lead designer and project architect for Bernard Tschumi Architects of New York City and Paris, France. After earning his law degree, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, while she served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City, and for the Hon. Raymond C. Clevenger on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.

Representative Publications

Forthcoming Scholarship

  • "The Intellectual Property of Architecture," Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2018)
  • "Architecture and Defeasible Intellectual Property," (work in progress)
  • "Patent-Ineligibility as Counteraction," Washington University Law Review (forthcoming 2017) SSRN 

Recent Articles

  • "The Williamson Revolution in Software’s Structure," Berkeley Technology Law Journal (forthcoming 2017)
  • "The Structural Implications of Disclosure," 69 Vanderbilt Law Review 1785 (2016)
  • "Drawing Lines: The Boundary of Patentability in Personalized-Medicine Diagnostics in Japan," Institute for Intellectual Property (2016)
  • "The Knowledge/Embodiment Dichotomy," 47 Davis Law Review 1279 (2014) SSRN 
  • "Patent Law’s Functionality Malfunction," 90 Washington University Law Review 1399 (2013) SSRN 
  • "Prometheus Laboratories, Mental Steps, and Printed Matter," 50 Houston Law Review 391 (2012) (symposium) SSRN 
  • "Getting into the 'Spirit' of Innovative Things: Looking to Complementary and Substitute Properties to Shape Patent Protection for Improvements," 26 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1217 (2012) SSRN 
  • "Bilski and the Ambiguity of 'An Unpatentable Abstract Idea'," 15 Lewis and Clark Law Review 37 (2011) (symposium) SSRN 
  • "Semiotics 101: Taking the Printed Matter Doctrine Seriously," 85 Indiana Law Journal 1379 (2010) SSRN 
  • "Enabling After-Arising Technology," 34 Journal of Corporation Law 1083 (2009) (symposium piece) SSRN 
  • "Claims to Information qua Information and a Structural Theory of Section 101," 4 I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society 11 (2008); reprinted in Patent Claims: Judicial Interpretation and Analysis (2009) (symposium piece) SSRN 
  • "The Reach of Literal Claim Scope into After-Arising Technology: On Thing Construction and the Meaning of Meaning," 41 Connecticut Law Review 493 (2008) SSRN 
  • "Constructive Nonvolition in Patent Law, or the Problem of InsufficientThought Control," 2007 Wisconsin Law Review 759 (2007) SSRN 
  • "Propertizing Thought," 60 Southern Methodist University Law Review 317 (2007) (selected for Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum) SSRN