Sean B. Seymore

Sean B. Seymore

John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law
Co-Director, Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law

Office: 1117 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-5864
Staff Assistant: Kristina Kusisto
CV: View
SSRN: View

Professor Sean B. Seymore’s research focuses on how patent law should evolve in response to scientific advances and how the intersection of law and science should influence the formulation of public policy. He joined Notre Dame Law School in 2021, having previously taught at Vanderbilt Law School from 2010-2021, where he was the New York Alumni Chancellor's Professor; and Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he was an assistant professor of law from 2008-2010 and earned the designations of Alumni Faculty Fellow and Huss Faculty Fellow for his scholarship and teaching. He was a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Law in 2007-08. Before law school, Seymore held academic appointments in chemistry at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Rowan University and was a visiting scientist at Indiana University-Bloomington. After earning his law degree, he practiced patent law with Foley Hoag in Boston. As an active member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), he served on the executive committee for the Division of Chemistry and the Law from 2009-2012, on the Committee on Patents and Related Matters from 2006-07 and on the Younger Chemists Committee from 2002-06. In spring 2012, Seymore was appointed to the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Associate Professor.

Seymore earned his B.S. in chemistry at the University of Tennessee as a Tennessee Scholar, an M.S.Chem. (with thesis) from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame with an Arthur J. Schmitt Presidential Fellowship, and a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School with an Allen Endowment Fellowship. 

Seymore is the faculty co-director of Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law.  He is also an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Courses Taught

LAW 60901, Torts

LAW 70201, Evidence

LAW 70909, Patent Law


Books and Collected Works:

Fundamentals of United States Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, Patent, Trademark (with Sheldon W. Halpern and Kenneth L. Port) (4th ed. 2012) (5th ed. 2015)

United States of America, in International Encyclopedia of Laws for Intellectual Property (with Sheldon W. Halpern and Kenneth L. Port)  (Hendrik Vanhees ed.) (2012 rev. ed.) (2014 rev. ed.)

Selected Law Review Articles and Essays:

Patent Forfeiture, 72 Duke Law Journal __ (2023)

Unclean Patents, 102 Boston University Law Review __ (2022)

The Death of the Genus Claim,  35 Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 1 (2021) (with Dmitry Karshtedt and Mark A. Lemley)

The Research Patent, 74 Vanderbilt Law Review 143 (2021)

Patenting New Uses for Old Inventions, 73 Vanderbilt Law Review 479 (2020)

Patenting the Unexplained, 96 Washington University Law Review 707 (2019)

Patenting Around Failure, 166 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1139 (2018)

Uninformative Patents, 55 Houston Law Review 377 (2017) (invited symposium article)

When Patents Claim Preexisting Knowledge, 50 U.C. Davis Law Review 1965 (2017)

Reinvention, 92 Notre Dame Law Review 1031 (2017)

Patent Asymmetries, 49 U.C. Davis Law Review 963 (2016)

Foresight Bias in Patent Law, 90 Notre Dame Law Review  1105 (2015)

Making Patents Useful, 98 Minnesota Law Review 1046 (2014)

The Presumption of Patentability, 97 Minnesota Law Review 990 (2013)

The Null Patent, 53 William & Mary Law Review 2041 (2012)

Patently Impossible, 64 Vanderbilt Law Review 1491 (2011)

Atypical Inventions, 86 Notre Dame Law Review 2057 (2011) (invited symposium article)

Rethinking Novelty in Patent Law, 60 Duke Law Journal 919 (2011)

The Teaching Function of Patents, 85 Notre Dame Law Review 621 (2010)

Serendipity, 88 North Carolina Law Review 185 (2009)

Heightened Enablement in the Unpredictable Arts, 56 UCLA Law Review 127 (2008)

The Enablement Pendulum Swings Back, 6 Northwestern Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property 278 (2008) (invited symposium article)

The “Printed Publication” Bar After Klopfenstein: Has the Federal Circuit Changed the Way Professors Should Talk About Science? 40 Akron Law Review 493 (2007)

The Competency of State Courts to Adjudicate Patent-Based Malpractice Claims, 34 AIPLA Quarterly Journal 443 (2006)

My Patent, Your Patent, or Our Patent: Inventorship Disputes Within Academic Research Groups, 16 Albany Law Journal of Science & Technology 125 (2006)

Areas of Expertise

  • Patent Law
  • Law and Science