Michael Madison

Professor of Law and John E. Murray Faculty Scholar


Professor Madison writes and teaches about intellectual property law and policy and about institutional governance of knowledge and innovation. He is the author of more than 40 journal articles and book chapters, the co-author of The Law of Intellectual Property (Wolters Kluwer, 5th edition 2017) and the co-editor of Governing Knowledge Commons (Oxford University Press 2014) and Governing Medical Knowledge Commons (Cambridge University Press 2017). He is the co-founder of the global research network titled the Workshop on Governing Knowledge Commons. His research and scholarship address the emerging discipline of knowledge commons, governance of innovation institutions, and knowledge as a subject of legal regulation. Classroom subjects include various disciplines of intellectual property law, contracts and commercial law, and property law.

Professor Madison is Senior Scholar with the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security and Faculty Director of Pitt Law’s Innovation Practice Institute. He is a John E. Murray Faculty Scholar at Pitt Law. In 2016, he was elected to membership in the American Law Institute.

Professor Madison joined the Pitt Law faculty in 1998.  Before becoming a law professor, he practiced law in San Francisco and Silicon Valley for nine years. He received his JD from Stanford University and his BA from Yale.

Key/Recent Publications

Books and Book Chapters (selected)

  • Governing Medical Knowledge Commons (Cambridge University Press 2017)
  • Governing Knowledge Commons (with Brett M. Frischmann and Katherine J. Strandburg) (Oxford University Press 2014)
  • The Law of Intellectual Property, 3rd edition, (with Craig Nard and Mark McKenna), includes Teachers' Manual and website (Wolters Kluwer 2013)

Articles and Essays (selected)

  • Constructing Commons in the Cultural Environment, 95 CORNELL L. REV. 657-709 (2010) (with Brett M. Frischmann & Katherine J. Strandburg).  On SSRN.
  • The Complexity of Commons, 95 CORNELL L. REV. 839-850 (2010) (with Brett M. Frischmann & Katherine J. Strandburg). On SSRN.
  • Beyond Creativity, Copyright as Knowledge Law, 12 VANDERBILT J. ENT. & TECH. L. 817-851 (2010). On SSRN. 
  • Some Optimism About Fair Use and Copyright Law, 57 J. COPYRIGHT SOC'Y U.S.A. 351-370 (2010).  On SSRN
  • Of Coase and Comics, or the Comedy of Copyright, 95 VA. L. REV. IN BRIEF 27- 42 (2009). On SSRN.
  • Notes on a Geography of Knowledge, 77 FORDHAM L. REV. 2038-2085 (2009). On SSRN.
  • The University as Constructed Cultural Commons, 30 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY J.L. & POL’Y 365-406 (2009) (with Brett M. Frischmann & Katherine J. Strandburg). On SSRN.


Faculty Director, Innovation Practice Institute (2011-present)

Associate Dean for Research (2005-2010)

Faculty Director, Intellectual Property and Technology Law Certificate Program (2002-2005; 2014-present)

Faculty Director, Innovation and Intellectual Property Law Concentration (2014-present)

Programs & Courses