Christopher J. Buccafusco

Professor of Law


B.S. 2001, Georgia Tech

J.D. 2004, University of Georgia School of Law

Areas of Expertise



Professor Buccafusco's research employs empirical social science methods to test fundamental assumptions about how the intellectual property system functions. IP law attempts to affect people's creative behavior by offering them incentives to innovate, share, and use new works and inventions, but very little is known about whether these incentives actually work. Using novel creativity experiments, Professor Buccafusco's research has shown that creators often do not behave the way that IP law assumes they will. His studies have explored how different kinds of incentives affect creativity, how creators think about borrowing from others' efforts, and how creators assign value to their innovations. The results of these studies challenge important aspects of IP law, and they suggest opportunities for improving the legal system and creative economies.



Professor Buccafusco has teamed up with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and colleagues at Northwestern University to co-host the third annual Workshop on Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property. Professor Buccafusco, David Schwartz, and the PTO's Chief Economists founded the workshop two years ago. The workshop allows researchers from around the world to present early stage empirical projects so they can receive feedback before they begin collecting data. This enables them to refine their ideas and methods and to improve the value of the resulting data. Previous workshops have included participation by researchers from Harvard, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, NYU, and MIT.


Do Bad Things Happen When Works Enter the Public Domain?: Empirical Tests of Copyright Term Extension, ___ Berkeley Technology Law Journal___ (forthcoming) (with Paul Heald).

What's a Name Worth? Valuing Attribution in Intellectual Property Law, ___Boston University Law Review ___ (forthcoming 2013) (with Christopher Sprigman & Zachary Burns).

Making Sense of Intellectual Property Law, 97 Cornell Law Review(forthcoming 2012).

The Creativity Effect, 78 University of Chicago Law Review 31 (2011) (with Christopher Sprigman).

Retribution and the Experience of Punishment, 98 California Law Review1463 (2010) (with John Bronsteen & Jonathan Masur).

Valuing Intellectual Property: An Experiment, 96 Cornell Law Review 1 (2010) (with Christopher Sprigman).

Welfare as Happiness, 98 Georgetown Law Journal 1583 (2010) (with John Bronsteen & Jonathan Masur).

Happiness and Punishment, 76 University of Chicago Law Review 1037 (2009) (with John Bronsteen and Jonathan Masur).

Hedonic Adaptation and the Settlement of Civil Lawsuits, 108 Columbia Law Review 1516 (2008) (with John Bronsteen and Jonathan Masur).