The Center for Innovation Policy

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The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law is a forum for independent analysis and balanced discussion of policies for promoting technological innovation that enhances long-term social welfare.

Conversations on Innovation: New Thinking and New Approaches with Robert Atkinson, James Lewis, and Arti RaiConversations on Innovation:
New Thinking and New Approaches
with Robert Atkinson, James Lewis, and Arti Rai

Monday, April 26, 2021

Our 2021 seminar series, “Conversations on Innovation: New Thinking and New Approaches,” seeks to shed light on innovation policy issues that are on the horizon. We will host a broad range of speakers with deep experience working within the innovation ecosystem in the U.S.A. and abroad.

To kick off the series, we were thrilled to have two knowledgeable experts sit down with Duke Law School Professor Arti Rai to exchange ideas about the evolving strengths and weaknesses of the American R&D system: Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), and James Lewis, Director of the Technology Program at The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. They discussed whether the U.S. should reconsider its approach to industrial policy and technology strategy in view of the vast number of internal and external challenges facing the country. For example, what innovation strategy in responding to new and newish competitors (e.g., China) would maximize social welfare? What realistic near-term developments might affect that analysis?


  • Robert Atkinson
  • James Lewis


  • Arti Rai
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What China’s S&T Modernization Means for the U.S.: A Strategic Perspective

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Impressive rise in China’s capabilities in science, technology and innovation (STI) raises important questions for the United States and other countries. Chinese progress is rightly seen as providing it with material and intellectual resources to challenge US economic and national security interests. But, after more than four decades of close US-China cooperation in science and technology, it also presents the US with a mixed set of opportunities as well as challenges. This talk will attempt to inventory the state of US-China S&T relations and suggest a menu of initiatives for the US to adopt in order to secure its strengths as an STI power.



  • Dr. Richard P. Suttmeier, Professor of Political Science (Emeritus), University of Oregon


  • Dr. Denis Simon, Senior Adviser to the President for China Affairs and Executive Director, The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law
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Constitutional Principals: Administrative Adjudication and Arthrex

Constitutional Principals: Administrative Adjudication and Arthrex

Friday, February 12, 2021

On March 1, 2021, the Supreme Court heard argument in United States v. Arthrex, Inc. The issue before the Supreme Court is the application of the Appointments Clause to judges of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), a tribunal established by Congress in 2012 within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In the decision, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the administrative patent judges of the PTAB, currently appointed by the Commerce Secretary, were principal officers who had to be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Federal Circuit then determined that it could cure the Appointments Clause defect by prospectively severing the application of statutory removal protections to the judges. The Supreme Court will hear argument on both the principal officer question and the issue of proper remedy. Arthrex is the sixth Supreme Court case on the PTAB, and the second constitutional challenge. Persistent controversies surrounding the tribunal raise important questions for patents and innovation policy. And as a matter of administrative and constitutional law, the Arthrex case brings into sharp focus not only the proper construction of the Appointments Clause but more broadly the proper role of administrative adjudication.

To examine the issues involved, The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law and the Duke Law Program in Public Law co-sponsored two panel discussions on February 12, from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. The distinguished commentators on these panels included a Federal Circuit judge and renowned academics whose scholarship has focused on the key patent, administrative, and constitutional issues.

PANEL I: IP and Innovation Policy

  • The Honorable Timothy Dyk
  • Prof. John Duffy
  • Prof. Melissa Wasserman
  • Prof. Arti K. Rai, Moderator

PANEL II: Administrative and Constitutional Law

  • Prof. Michael Asimow
  • Prof. Jennifer Mascott
  • Prof. Nina Mendelson
  • Prof. Christopher Walker
  • Prof. Stuart Benjamin, Moderator
Journal of Law & Biosciences November 2020

Accountability, Secrecy, and Innovation in AI-Enabled Clinical Decision Software

Arti K. Rai, Isha Sharma, & Christina Silcox
Journal of Law and the Biosciences
14 November 2020

This article employs analytical and empirical tools to dissect the complex relationship between secrecy, accountability, and innovation incentives in clinical decision software enabled by machine learning (ML-CD). The authors provide specific suggestions for how FDA regulation, patent law, and tort liability could be tweaked to improve information flow without sacrificing innovation incentives.

Trust but verify September 2020

Trust, but Verify: Informational Challenges Surrounding AI-Enabled Clinical Decision Software

Christina Silcox, Arti K. Rai, & Isha Sharma
18 September 2020

The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy white paper, funded by the Greenwall Foundation, discusses ways to incentivize innovation in AI-enabled medical products while effectively communicating how and when to use them.

Righting the Research Imbalance March 2018

Righting the Research Imbalance

Stephen A. Merrill
March 2018

Research in the physical sciences and engineering yields results important to technological innovation, national security, and economic growth. But since the end of the Cold War, public funding of work in these fields has lagged in relation to the size of the economy, expenditures by governments of other countries, and our own government’s support of the biological and medical sciences. This white paper documents the extent of the deficit, explains how it came about and why attempts to correct it have failed, shows that non-federal government sources of funding have not stepped up to compensate, and discusses needed next steps.

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Stuart Benjamin, Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director, The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law 

Arti K. Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director, The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law

Denis Simon, Executive Director, The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law