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WVU Law - Professor Sean Tu

S. Sean Tu

WVU Law Professsor Shine Tu

Professor of Law


  • 2014-15 WVU College of Law Faculty Significant Scholarship Award


  • B.S., Chemistry, University of Florida, 1997
  • B.S., Microbiology, University of Florida, 1997
  • Ph.D., Pharmacology, Cornell University, 2003
  • J.D., University of Chicago, 2008


Dr. Tu is a Professor of Law at West Virginia University and a Scholar at Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. He holds degrees in chemistry and microbiology from the University of Florida and a J.D. from the University of Chicago, where he was a research assistant for Judge Richard Posner. Dr. Tu received his doctorate in pharmacology from Cornell University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. He is a member of the Virginia and D.C. Bars and is also a registered Patent Attorney. Dr. Tu has extensive pharmaceutical patent prosecution and litigation experience and practiced at Foley & Lardner in Washington, DC in both the Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Practice and the Life Sciences and Nanotechnology Industry teams.

Dr. Tu is a legal scholar who focuses on Patent Prosecution and Patent Examiner / Applicant behaviors as well as the intersection between FDA and patent law. He is the co-author of three textbooks including the Fundamentals of United States Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, Patent and Trademark (2021); Biotechnology, Bioethics and the Law (2015); and Patent Law: An Open-Source Casebook (2021). He has also published numerous scientific and legal works including articles in Cell, Nature Cell Biology, the Stanford Technology Law Review, Florida Law Review, and the Duke Law and Technology Review.

Publications, Research, and Intellectual Contributions

  • Tu, S. and Holman, C., Antibody Patent Evolution (submitted).
  • Tu, S. and Holman, C., Antibody Caselaw Review (IDEA, University of New Hampshire Law Review, in press).
  • Tu, S., Inter Partes Review: Orange Book and Purple Book Analysis (in manuscript).
  • Tu, S., Gugliuzza, P. and Semset, A., Overqualified and Underrepresented: Gender Inequality in Pharmaceutical Patent Prosecution and Litigation (submitted).
  • Tu, S., Cyphert, A., Perl, S., Limits of Using Artificial Intelligence and GPT-3 in Patent Prosecution (Texas Tech Law Review, in press).
  • Tu, S. and Lemley, M., What Litigators Can Teach the Patent Office About Pharmaceutical Patents (Washington University Law Review, in press).
  • Tu, S., Patent Examination and Interview Practice: An Empirical Study 49 Florida State Law Review Online 1 (2021).
  • Tu, S., Patenting Fast and Slow: Examiner Rejections and Applicant Traversals to Non-Prior Art Rejections, 2021 Michigan State Law Review 411 (2021).

  • Tu, S.,  Use of Artificial Intelligence to Determine Copyright Liability for Musical Works, 123 West Virginia Law Review 835 (2021).
  • Tu, S. and Stump, N.,  Free Speech in the Balance: Judicial Sanctions and Frivolous SLAPP Suits, 54 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 623 (2021).
  • Tu, S.,  Examiner and Applicant Use of Prior Art, 38 Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal 101 (2020).
  • Tu, S., Stump, N.  Free Speech in the Balance: Judicial Sanctions and Frivolous SLAPP Suits, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (2020 in press).
  • Tu, S.  Patenting Fast and Slow: Examiner and Applicant Use of Prior Art, Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal (2020 in press).
  • Tu, S.  Bigger and Better Patent Examiner Statistics. 59 IDEA 309 (2018).
  • Tu, S.  Three New Metrics for Patent Examiner Activity: Office Action per Grant Ratio (OGR), Office Actions per Disposal Ratio (ODR) and Grant to Examiner Ratio (GER). 100 Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society 277 (2018).
  • Invalidated Patents and Associated Examiners (vol. 18, pp. 135-165). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology. (2016).
  • Port, K., Tu, S., and Reid, A.,  International Encyclopaedia  of Laws, (2018).
  • Goodwin, M., Tu, S., Paris, J.J. Biotechnology, Bioethics, and the Law (2015) LexisNexis.
  • Tu, S. Invalidated Patents and Associated Examiners 18 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology 135 (2015).
  • Tu, S. Understanding Requests for Continued Examination Practice, 13 Duke Law and Technology Review 216 (2015).
  • Tu, S. Patent Examiners and Litigation Outcomes, 17 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. 507, June 18, 2014
  • Uneven Distribution in the RCE Backlog” March 28, 2013, Patently-O guest post.
  • Tu, S. Luck/Unluck of the Draw: An Empirical Study of Examiner Allowance Rates. 20 Stanford Technology Law Review 10 (2012). [#1 downloaded article for the Journal of IRPN: Innovation & Microeconomics]
  • “An Empirical Study of Examiner Allowance Rates” April 26, 2012, Patently-O guest post.
  • Tu, S. Funk Brothers: An Exercise in Obviousness. 80 UMKC Law Review 637 (2012).
  • Tu, S., Rosen, D., Bent, S., White, M.  “Generic Protections: A Synopsis of the Generic Approval Process in the U.S., Japan, China, and the European Union” BNA, 2011.
  • Tu, S., Wu, B., Maebius, S.  “The Road More Traveled: Common Pitfalls on the Way to a Patent” WIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology 3(1):1-4 (2011).
  • Tu, S., Dudas, J., Kiko, P., Wilson, B.  “A Perfect Storm is Brewing Against Personalized Medicine” Bloomberg Law Reports, February 2010.
  • Scher, R., Peet, R., Wright, J., Tu, S., Schorr, K., Berkowitz, B.  Amicus Brief Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics. January 11, 2010.
  • Tu, S., Maebius, S., Dudas, J  “Squeezing more patent protection from a smaller budget without compromising quality.”  Landslide, November / December 2009 2(2): 35-37.
  • Dudas, J., Frisch, J., Tu, S.  “Patent Reform Legislation in the US: Where is it Going?” Lexis-Nexis China Legal Review Volume 29, September 2009.
  • Dudas, J., Maebius, S., Tu, S.  “Let the PTO pay its own way” The National Law Journal, October 26, 2009.
  • Dudas, J., Maebius, S., Tu, S.  “Cost effective patent prosecution without compromising quality” August 2009 AIPPI Japan Newsletter.
  • Tu, S., Hakim, A., Maebius, S.  “Legal aid- ABCs of patent protection” FirstMonday. September 1, 2009.
  • Dudas, J., Maebius, S. Tu, S.  “New roads to patent allowance,” IP Law 360, 2009.
  • Maebius, S., Waltz, J.A., Rosen, D., Tu, S.  “Patenting risk evaluation & mitigation strategies for pharmaceuticals: A New Life Cycle Management Target for Patents?” Pharmaceutical Law & Industry, 7(1): 1-3, 2009.
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