Steven Wilf

Anthony J. Smits Professor of Global Commerce

Education/Professional Certification

JD, Yale Law School
Ph.D., Yale University


Copyright, Trademark, Intellectual Property, Legal History


A scholar whose research focuses on intellectual property law and legal history, Steven Wilf is the author of The Law Before the Law, Law’s Imagined Republic: Popular Politics and Criminal Justice in Revolutionary America, and Patent Cultures: Diversity and Harmonization in Historical Perspective(with Graeme Gooday). He founded the Law School’s Intellectual Property Program and from 2010 to 2013 served as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development.

Professor Wilf teaches Criminal Law, Development of the Regulatory State, Intellectual Property Law, Copyright, and a variety of seminars on the regulation of knowledge. He received his JD and Ph.D. in history from Yale University. Prior to joining the faculty, he clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In the area of intellectual property law, Professor Wilf held the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Fellowship for the Study of Invention and Innovation as well as the Microsoft Fellowship in Law, Property, and the Economic Organization of Society at Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs. He has been a visiting professor at Hebrew University, Berlin’s Freie Universität as the DAAD guest scholar, and Yale Law School. Professor Wilf was an Elizabeth S. and Richard M. Cashin Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Working in the area of intellectual property policy, he has served as the Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence at the United States Copyright Office and as the Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Scholar at the Centre d’Etudes Internationales de la Propriété Intellectuelle in Strasbourg, where he conducted research on global trade secrets. He is currently completing a history of intellectual property law for Cambridge University Press.

Steven Wilf
Contact Information
Phone(860) 570-5381
Office LocationHosmer 133