Michael Madison

Professor of Law and John E. Murray Faculty Scholar


Professor Madison writes about institutions and governance. Those interests span a wide range of applications: copyright and other intellectual property law; high technology; research science and data: Enlightenment arts and culture; higher education and universities; innovation policy; 21st century urbanism; and global football (soccer).  He is a co-founder of the emerging research discipline known as “knowledge commons.”

Professor Madison is the author of more than 50 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 and co-leader of a virtual think tank on the futures of the professions, globalization, and higher education, titled Future Law Works.

He is the co-host and producer of the Future Law Podcast, which explores the rapid changes to law and the legal profession produced by their intersections with contemporary technology.

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 Future Law Project. 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, 5th edition (with Craig Nard and Mark McKenna), (Wolters Kluwer 2017)

Articles and Essays (selected)

  • Knowledge Commons, in RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW (Vol. II – Analytical Methods) (Peter Menell and David Schwartz, eds.) (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019) (with Brett M. Frischmann and Katherine J. Strandburg). On SSRN.
  • Biobanks as Knowledge Institutions, in GLOBAL GENES, LOCAL CONCERNS: LEGAL, ETHICAL AND SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGES IN INTERNATIONAL BIOBANKING (Timo Minssen, Janne Rothmar Herrmann, and Jens Schovsbo, eds.) (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019). On SSRN.
  • The Football as Intellectual Property Object, in A HISTORY OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN 50 OBJECTS (Claudy Op Den Kamp and Dan Hunter, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 2019). On SSRN.
  • Knowledge Commons and the Road to Medical Commons; The Knowledge Commons Framework; and Governing Knowledge Commons: An Appraisal, in GOVERNING MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE COMMONS (Katherine J. Strandburg, Brett M. Frischmann, and Michael J. Madison, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 2017) (with Brett M. Frischmann and Katherine J. Strandburg). On SSRN.
  • IP Things as Boundary Objects: The Case of the Copyright Work, 6 LAWS 13 (2017). On SSRN.
  • Information Abundance and Knowledge Commons, in USER GENERATED LAW: RE-CONSTRUCTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW IN A KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY (Thomas Riis ed.) (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016). On SSRN.
  • Authority and Authors and Codes, 84 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 1616 (2016). On SSRN.
  • Leading New Lawyers: Leadership and Legal Education, 83 TENN. L. REV. 751-769 (2016). On SSRN.


Faculty Director, The Future Law Project

Associate Dean for Research (2005-2010)

Programs & Courses