Tim Holbrook

Tim Holbrook

Provost's Professor; Robert B. Yegge Endowed Distinguished Professor in Law

Professor of Law


Patent Law, Trademark Law, Intellectual Property, International Intellectual Property, Property Law

Professional Biography

Timothy (Tim) R. Holbrook (he/his/him) is an internationally recognized patent law and intellectual property scholar.  He has authored over fifty publications and has given over two hundred presentations around the world. His recent work has explored the impact of 3D printing on patent law, the extraterritorial reach of US patent and trademark laws, and the function of patent disclosures. He frequently comments on issues of intellectual property law in various media, including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Scientific American, and Science. Holbrook's work has been cited in briefs before the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the court that hears all appeals in the US arising under the patent laws), and various district courts. The Federal Circuit and district courts have cited his work favorably. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI) and a Sustaining Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Holbrook has also been an advocate for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer plus (LGBTQ+) community. His commentary and op-eds have appeared in various outlets, including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, and Huffington Post. He previously served on the boards of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia. He was co-counsel for former National Football League players on briefs before the US Supreme Court advocating for marriage equality.

Holbrook's work appears in a variety of journals, most recently including Vanderbilt Law ReviewNotre Dame Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Emory Law Journal, William & Mary Law Review, and Minnesota Law Review. He is the co-author of Patent Litigation and Strategy (5th ed.) with Chief Judge Kimberly A. Moore of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and Judge John Murphy of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Holbrook graduated summa cum laude and as valedictorian from North Carolina State University, earning a BS in chemical engineering with a life sciences concentration. He received his JD from Yale Law School, where he served as a lead editor and publications director of the Yale Journal on Regulation. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Glenn L. Archer Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Following his clerkship, Holbrook worked in Budapest, Hungary, with the Hungarian patent law firm Danubia. Upon his return to the United States, he associated with the Washington, DC, law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding (now Wiley Rein), where his practice focused on patent and appellate litigation.

Having served as a visiting professor in 2009, Holbrook joined the Sturm College of Law faculty permanently in August 2023.  Prior to his appointment at DU, Holbrook was Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law, where he served as Emory Law's associate dean of faculty from 2012 until 2015. Holbrook also served as the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs for Emory University from 2018-2022. In that position he oversaw activities that supported faculty recruitment, retention, and success at the university level. During his service as vice provost, he developed various mechanisms to support faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Holbrook started his academic career at the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology, were he earned tenure at the associate professor level. He served as Edwin A. Heafey Jr. Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and has taught as a visiting professor at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He was a scholar-in-residence at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at the Central European University (CEU) (Budapest, Hungary) and served as a visiting professor in CEU's Legal Studies Department. 

While in Chicago, Holbrook was a founder and the program chair for the Richard Linn Inn of Court. In Atlanta, he helped found the Atlanta Intellectual Property Inn of Court and served as its first president. For his work with the Inns of Court, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal from the Linn Inn Alliance of Intellectual Property American Inns of Court. He also has served as an expert or consultant in a variety of patent litigation cases in the United States and abroad.

Holbrook has been awarded numerous awards for his teaching and work on inclusion, including the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, the Chesnut LGBT Person of the Year Award at Emory University, the Outstanding Service to the Community Award by the Stonewall Bar Association, the Friends in the Faculty Award from the Division of Campus Life at Emory, and the Professor of the Year by Emory's Black Law Students Association.

View CV


JD, Yale Law School
BS, Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University (summa cum laude)

Featured Publications



PATENT LITIGATION AND STRATEGY (5th ed., West, 2017) (with Kimberly A. Moore and John F. Murphy); (4th ed., West, 2013) (with Kimberly A. Moore and John F. Murphy); (3d ed., Thomson-West, 2008) (with Kimberly A. Moore and Paul R. Michel).

Intellectual Property, in RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON EXTRATERRITORIALITY IN INTERNATIONAL LAW (Parrish, A. and Ryngaert, C., eds.) (Edward Elgar, 2023).

Extraterritoriality and Digital Patent Infringement, in RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES 338-62 (Aplin, T. ed.) (Edward Elgar, 2020).

Remedies for Digital Patent Infringement: A Perspective from USA, in 3D PRINTING AND BEYOND: THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND LEGAL IMPLICATIONS SURROUNDING 3D PRINTING AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES 217-33 (Mendis, D., Lemley, M., Rimmer, M., eds.) (Edward Elgar, 2019).

RECENT ARTICLES AND ESSAYS (* denotes work co-authored with students)

Relative and Absolute Patentability, 59 WAKE FOREST L. REV. --- (forthcoming 2024) (with Mark D. Janis).

Confusion Over Trademark Extraterritoriality…and Beyond, 73 AM. U. L. REV. --- (forthcoming 2024) (with Anshu Garg).*

Remembering Dr. Dmitry Karshtedt as a Scholar and Friend, 21 NW. J. OF TECH. & INTELL. PROP. 319 (2024) (with J. Jonas Anderson and Sean B. Seymore).

How the Supreme Court Ghosted the PHOSITA: Amgen and Legal Constructs in Patent Law, 109 IOWA L. REV. ONLINE 83 (2024) (invited response) (with Mark D. Janis).

Is There a New Extraterritoriality in Intellectual Property?, 44 COLUM. J.L. & ARTS 467 (2021).

The Importance of Communication to Possession in IP, 100 B.U. L. REV. ONLINE 18 (2020) (invited essay response to Dotan Oliar & James Y. Stern, Right on Time: First Possession in Property and Intellectual Property, 99 B.U. L. REV. 395 (2019)).

What Counts as Extraterritorial in Patent Law?, 25 B.U. J. SCI. & TECH. L. 291 (2019) (symposium).

Extraterritoriality and Proximate Cause after WesternGeco, 21 YALE J.L. & TECH. 189 (2019).


Abitron Eliminates Circuit Tests but Causes More Confusion, TRANSNATIONAL LITIGATION BLOG, July 25, 2023 (with Anshu Garg).* 

Supreme Court leaves door open to widespread discrimination, CNN OPINION, June 30, 2023.

Territoriality v. Extraterritoriality in Intellectual Property, TRANSNATIONAL LITIGATION BLOG, Oct. 6, 2022 (with Gianna Mercandetti and Eva Rian).* 

Justices Must Correct Federal Circuit’s Overreach on Patents, LAW360, July 28, 2022 (with Mark D. Janis). 

Marriage equality laws and Roe’s reversal, ATLANTA-JOURNAL CONSTITUTION, July 8, 2022 (with Michael J. Broyde).

LGBTQ rights may be safe at the Supreme Court – for now, CNN OPINION, Nov. 6, 2020.

Don’t reward intellectual property theft, THE FORUM: INSIDERADVANTAGE: FORUM, Oct. 26, 2020. 

Same-sex marriage at risk as Supreme Court gets more conservative, CNN OPINION, Oct. 6, 2020.

Whose Law Controls On Sale Prior Art in Foreign Countries, PATENTLYO, Feb. 4, 2020.