David O. Taylor

Headshot of David O. Taylor, faculty member at SMU Dedman School of Law.

Co-Director of the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation and Professor of Law

Full-time faculty



David O. Taylor is a Professor of Law at the SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas. He also founded and serves as the Co-Director of the school’s Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation.

Professor Taylor earned his bachelor of science, magna cum laude, in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and his juris doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Prior to law school, Professor Taylor worked as an applications engineer at National Instruments Corporation in Austin, Texas. While in law school, he served as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, as a member of both the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology and the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and as President of the law school's Texas Club.

After graduating from law school, Professor Taylor clerked for the Honorable Sharon Prost of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Professor Taylor also worked for seven years at the law firm of Baker Botts LLP in its Dallas office. While at Baker Botts, Professor Taylor engaged in patent litigation in various district courts and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. His litigation experience includes both bench and jury trials. A registered patent attorney, he also gained significant experience in the fields of intellectual property licensing and patent prosecution. During his time in practice he assisted with several advanced patent law courses at SMU Dedman School of Law, including Patent Litigation, Intellectual Property Licensing, and Patent Prosecution, and successfully represented clients in pro bono matters, including before the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals.

At SMU, Professor Taylor teaches in the areas of contracts and patent law. His scholarship focuses on patent law, patent policy, patent litigation, and civil procedure. Professor Taylor has published articles in various journals, including the Connecticut Law ReviewGeorgia Law Review, New York University Law Review, and in an assortment of intellectual property specialty journals. His publications have been cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and various district courts.

A frequent speaker, he has made academic presentations at law schools across the United States, including Boston College, California Berkeley, Cardozo, Chicago-Kent, DePaul, Houston, Kansas, San Diego, Stanford, and Texas, and internationally in Chongqing, China; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Taipei, Taiwan. He also is a regular speaker at various continuing legal education (CLE) events, including events sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association, the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association, the Center for American and International Law, and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

In addition to these activities, Professor Taylor has organized numerous symposia and conferences, helped launch SMU’s Patent and Trademark Clinics, and helped draft the proposal to secure the funding to launch the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation. He serves on several law school committees and is an advisor to both the SMU Science and Technology Law Review and The International Lawyer. Professor Taylor also serves as an advisor to the law school's chapter of the Federalist Society, which regularly hosts speakers addressing hot topics in the field of constitutional law. SMU granted Professor Taylor tenure in 2016.

Professor Taylor serves in various leadership positions. He has served as a member of the Advisory Council for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He serves on the Executive Board of the Institute for Law and Technology at the Center for American and International Law. He also is currently the Reporter for the Patentable Subject Matter Task Force of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and he serves as a member of the AIPLA's Amicus Committee. He has served as the Chair of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association (DBA), and as the Chair of the Computer Law Section of the DBA.  In addition to these leadership activities, Professor Taylor has served as an expert and consultant in various intellectual property disputes.

He has received several accolades. Professor Taylor is the recipient of a Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship from the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School. He has also been named a founding Barrister of the Honorable Barbara M.G. Lynn American Inn of Court, an Honorary Barrister of the SMU Dedman School of Law Board of Advocates, and an Outstanding Graduate of the Irving Independent School District. In addition to these awards, he has received numerous research and course development grants.

Outside of his work at the law school and the field of intellectual property law, Professor Taylor has engaged in public service with diverse groups including Advocates for Community Transformation, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.

Professor Taylor is married. Together with his wife Rachel, he enjoys spending time with his three children: Caroline, Emily, and Joshua.

Area of expertise

  • Patent Law
  • Patent Litigation
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Appellate Practice and Advocacy
  • Contract Law


B.S., magna cum laude, Texas A&M University
J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School


Patent Law
Patent Law and Institutional Choice
Selected Topics in Intellectual Property


The Federal Circuit and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, 103 Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society 395 (2023)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Justice Breyer and Patent Eligibility, 21 UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law 71 (2022)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Immoral Patents, 90 Mississippi Law Journal 271 (2021)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Patent Eligibility and Investment, 41 Cardozo Law Review 2019 (2020)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Patent Reform, Then and Now, 2019 Michigan State Law Review 431 (2019)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Final Report of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology Section 101 Workshop: Addressing Patent Eligibility Challenges, 33 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 551 (2018)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Amending Patent Eligibility, 50 U.C. Davis Law Review 2149 (2017)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Confusing Patent Eligibility, 84 Tennessee Law Review 157 (2016)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Legislative Responses to Patent Assertion Entities, 23 Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal 311 (2015)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Patent Stewardship, Choice of Law, and Weighing Competing Interests, 67 Florida Law Review Forum 13 (2015)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Using Reasonable Royalties to Value Patented Technology, 49 Georgia Law Review 79 (2014)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Formalism and Antiformalism in Patent Law Adjudication: Rules and Standards, 46 Connecticut Law Review 415 (2013)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Formalism and Antiformalism in Patent Law Adjudication: Precedent and Policy, 66 SMU Law Review 633 (2013)
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Patent Misjoinder, 88 NYU Law Review 652 (2013)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Clear But Unconvincing: The Federal Circuit’s Invalidity Standard, 21 Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 293 (2011)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Patent Fraud, 83 Temple Law Review 49 (2010)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Wasting Resources: Reinventing the Scope of Waiver Resulting from the Advice-of-Counsel Defense to a Charge of Willful Patent Infringement, 12 Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal 319 (2004) (selected for republication in Intellectual Property Law Review (2005 ed.))
SSRN | SMU Repository

Book chapters

Reasonable Royalties, in PATENT REMEDIES AND COMPLEX PRODUCTS: TOWARD A GLOBAL CONSENSUS (Cambridge University Press 2019) (with Thomas F. Cotter et al.)

Injunctive Relief, in PATENT REMEDIES AND COMPLEX PRODUCTS: TOWARD A GLOBAL CONSENSUS (Cambridge University Press 2019) (with Norman V. Siebrasse et al.)

Utility, in PATENT LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (Mark D. Janis and Ted Sichelman, eds. 2022)

Other publications

Comment: On Patents And Appropriations—And Tragedies, 79 Washington & Lee Law Review 467 (2022)
SSRN | SMU Repository

The Crisis of Patent Eligibility in America, 4 Criterion Journal on Innovation 733 (2019)
The Criterion

The Supreme Court’s revolution in patent eligibility law: alternative protections for biotechnology, Nature Biotechnology (March 2019) (peer reviewed)

Patents, Industrial Designs, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, 20 SMU Science and Technology Law Review 165 (2017) (with Aaron P. Pirouznia)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Recent Developments in Intellectual Property Law - A 2014 Retrospective,31 Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal 523 (2015) (with W. Keith Robinson)
SSRN | SMU Repository


The State of Patent Eligibility in America: Testimony of David O. Taylor before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Intellectual Property


FedCircuit Blog, Regular contributor

Patently-O BlogGuest Post on Patent Eligibility and Investment: A Survey (2019)

Patently-O BlogThe Need for Legislative Reform: The Berkeley Section 101 Workshop (2017) (with J. Lefstin and P. Menell)

IP Law 360Will High Court Change Burden of Proving Invalidity? (2008)

Cited in Tech. Licensing Corp. v. Videotek, Inc., 545 F.3d
1316 (Fed. Cir. 2008)