Christopher J. Buccafusco

Professor of Law

Director, Intellectual Property & Information Law Program

Associate Dean for Faculty Development


B.S. Georgia Tech: Science, Technology & Culture

J.D. University of Georgia School of Law

M.A. University of Chicago: History of Culture

Areas of Expertise

Art Law
Economic Analysis of Law
Intellectual Property
Trademark Law


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 fifth annual Workshop on Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property. Professor Buccafusco, David Schwartz, and the PTO's Chief Economists founded the workshop four 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.


Prior to coming to Cardozo, Professor Buccafusco taught at Chicago-Kent College of Law. He won the SBA teaching award in his first year on the faculty, and he later won the university-wide teaching award. At Chicago-Kent, Professor Buccafusco co-founded the Center for Empirical Study of Intellectual Property.



Happiness and the Law (Univ. of Chicago Press 2015) (with John Bronsteen and Jonathan Masur).


Intelligent Design, 68 Duke Law Journal (forthcoming 2018) (with Mark A. Lemley and Jonathan S. Masur).

Functionality Screens, 103 Virginia Law Review 1293 (2017) (with Mark Lemley).

The Nature of Sequential Innovation, 59 William & Mary Law Review 1 (2017) (with Stefan Bechtold & Christopher Sprigman).

Fashion’s Function in Intellectual Property Law, 93 Notre Dame Law Review 51 (2017) (with Jeanne Fromer).

A Theory of Copyright Authorship, 102 Virginia Law Review 1229 (2016).

Authorship and the Boundaries of Copyright: Ideas, Expressions, and Functions in Yoga, Choreography, and Other Works, 39 Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts 421 (2016).

Testing Tarnishment in Trademark and Copyright Law: The Effect of Pornographic Versions of Protected Marks and Works, 94 Washington Univ. Law Review 341 (2017) (with Paul Heald and Wen Bu).

The Moral Psychology of Copyright Infringement, 100 Minnesota Law Review 2433 (2016) (with David Fagundes).

Innovation Heuristics: Experiments on Sequential Creativity in Intellectual Property, 91 Indiana Law Journal 1251 (2016) (with Stefan Bechtold and Christopher Sprigman).

Experimental Tests of Intellectual Property Law's Creativity Thresholds, 93 Texas Law Review 1921 (2014) (with Zachary Burns, Jeanne Fromer, and Christopher Sprigman).

Innovation and Incarceration: An Economic Analysis of Criminal Intellectual Property Law, 87 Southern California Law Review 275 (2014) (with Jonathan Masur).

Do Bad Things Happen When Works Enter the Public Domain?: Empirical Tests of Copyright Term Extension, 28 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1(2013) (with Paul Heald).

What's a Name Worth? Valuing Attribution in Intellectual Property Law, 93 Boston University Law Review 1389 (2013) (with Christopher Sprigman & Zachary Burns).

Making Sense of Intellectual Property Law, 97 Cornell Law Review 501 (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).