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Sapna  Kumar




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Sapna Kumar

Professor of Law
John Mixon Chair in Law
Co-Director, Institute for Intellectual Property & Information Law

B.S., B.A., University of Texas at Austin
J.D., University of Chicago

Sapna Kumar writes about international law and administrative law issues relating to patent rights. Her most recent research focuses on how patent rights can hinder access to medicine during pandemics. Her article Contractual Solutions to Overcome Drug Scarcity During Pandemics and Epidemics (with Ana Santos Rutschman) was published in Nature Biotechnology in March 2022, and her book chapter Planning for Pandemic and Epidemic-Related Drug Scarcity (with Ana Santos Rutschman), will be published in Intellectual Property, COVID-19, and the Next Pandemic: Diagnosing Problems, Developing Cures (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press 2023).

Professor Kumar is a 2018–2019 Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Grant recipient, which enabled her to research at the Center for International Intellectual Property Studies in Strasbourg and at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich. She has also been a visiting researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law. She has been invited to present her research around the world, including at Hokkaido University (Japan), Tilburg University (Netherlands), and the Ludwig Maximilian University (Germany).

Professor Kumar is also passionate about teaching. She is the 2020–2021 UHLC Order of Barons Professor of the Year, and has previously received the University of Houston Teaching Excellence award and the Student Bar Association’s Faculty of the Year award.

Professor Kumar received her J.D. at the University of Chicago, where she served as a staff member of the University of Chicago Law Review. From 2003 to 2006, she practiced intellectual property litigation in Chicago at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and at Pattishall McAuliffe. She then spent two years at Duke University Law School, where she was a Faculty Fellow and part of the Center for Genome Ethics Law & Policy. After completing her fellowship, Professor Kumar clerked for Judge Kenneth F. Ripple on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

International Intellectual Property Law
Patent Law
Federal Courts
Administrative Law