13 July 2022

New visitor at CeBIL - Sapna Kumar

5 September - 30 November 2022.

Sapna Kumar holds the John Mixon Chair in Law at the University of Houston Law Center. She has written extensively about administrative law and international law issues relating to patents. She is a 2018–2019 Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Grant recipient and researched the use of technically-trained patent judges at the University of Strasbourg’s Center for International Intellectual Property Studies in France and at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Germany. She has won several teaching awards, including the 2021-2022 University of Houston Law Center Order of the Barons Professor of the Year.

Professor Kumar’s most recent research relates to how high-income countries can improve access to medicine. In her current work-in-progress Centralizing Patent Innovation, she argues that high-income countries should address market failures in developing needed drugs, such as antibiotics, through a centralized, government-directed development strategy. In Contractual Solutions to Overcome Drug Scarcity During Pandemics and Epidemics, 40 Nature Biotech. 301 (2022), she and Ana Santos Rutschman argue that countries funding medical research should include contractual language to require sharing know-how to facilitate out-licensing during pandemic- and epidemic-driven drug shortages. She calls for the United States to use compulsory licensing to avoid shortages of small-molecule drugs during pandemics, and makes suggestions for how the U.S. government can facilitate the third-party licensing of drugs to alleviate drug scarcity, in Compulsory Licensing of Patents During Pandemics, 54 Conn. L. Rev. 57 (2022),

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 Ripple on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.