Margo A. Bagley

  • Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law

Margo A. Bagley's teaching and writing focus on U.S., international and comparative patent law issues, particularly relating to biotechnology and pharmaceutical protection.

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering in 1986 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bagley worked in products research and development with the Procter & Gamble Company, where she was named Food Product Development Excellence "Rookie of the Year" and was co-inventor on a U.S. patent for improved peanut butter. Later, she worked as a senior research analyst for the Coca-Cola Company. Through her corporate experience, Bagley developed an interest in the law of intellectual property. 

Bagley received her J.D. in 1996 from Emory, where she was a Robert W. Woodruff Fellow, an editor of the Emory Law Journal and was elected to Order of the Coif. She is a member of the Georgia bar and is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bagley worked as an associate with Smith, Gambrell & Russell and Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner before becoming an assistant professor of law at Emory University in 1999. She was a visiting professor of law at Washington & Lee University School of Law in fall 2001 and at the University of Virginia School of Law in fall 2005. She has also taught international patent law and policy courses in Germany, China, Israel and Singapore. She joined the University of Virginia faculty in 2006.

Bagley is a member of the board of directors of the Public Patent Foundation and also served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on University Management of Intellectual Property: Lessons from a Generation of Experience, Research, and Dialogue. She also was a member of the Scientific Committee of the 2013 European Policy on Intellectual Property Conference in Paris, France, and recently co-authored a report on the Nagoya Protocol and Synthetic Biology commissioned by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

In 2013, Bagley co-authored "International Patent Law and Policy," the first stand-alone casebook focusing on international patent law in more than a decade. (More)

Bagley also has provided expert assistance to the government of Mozambique in the World Intellectual Property Organization Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland. (More)

Video: Digital DNA: The Nagoya Protocol, Intellectual Property Treaties, and Synthetic Biology (December 2015)

"Digital DNA" PDF

Article: Professor Margo Bagley Helps Protect Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights on International Stage (October 2015)

Video: Margo Bagley in Seminar on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Related Topics (Geneva, Switzerland; June 2015)
Click "video on demand" and select "WIPO/IPTK/GE/2/15 Seminar on Intellectual Property, and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expressions..." The presentation begins at 55:17.

Video: Interview with Margo Bagley (June 2015)
"Key Speeches, Interviews with Selected Speakers," beginning at 1:38.

Scholarship Profile: Engineering Solutions to Patent Puzzles(Virginia Journal 2008)

Faculty Q&A: Bagley Focuses on Law Behind Keeping Drug Patents Profitable (October 2011)

Article: Virginia Law Students Get Rare Front-Row Seat to Federal Appellate Process (September 2011)


  • J.D.
    Emory University School of Law
  • B.S.
    University of Wisconsin-Madison


Digital DNA: The Nagoya Protocol, Intellectual Property Treaties, and Synthetic Biology(Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2015). (a link to the program description, a webcast, and the report, released that day, is available here.)

The Nagoya Protocol and Synthetic Biology Research: A Look at the Potential Impacts (with Arti K. Rai) (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2013). (a link to the program description, a webcast, and the report, released that day, is available here.)


Patent Law in Global Perspective (editor with Ruth L. Okediji) (Oxford University Press, 2014).

International Patent Law and Policy (with Ruth L. Okediji and Jay A. Erstling) (West, 2013).

Book Chapters:

"'Grant Me Justice Against My Adversary': What Parables Can Teach Us About AMP v. Myriad Genetics and Organic Seed Growers & Trade Assoc. v. Monsanto," in Irene Calboli & Srividyha Ragavan, eds., Reconciling Diverse Identities and Intellectual Property (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

“Patent Barbarians at the Gate: The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of US Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Disputes,” in Ruth L. Okediji & Margo A. Bagley, eds.,Patent Law in Global Perspective 149 (Oxford University Press, 2014).

“Patent Term Restoration and Non-Patent Exclusivity in the US,” in Josef Drexl & Nari Lee, eds., Pharmaceutical Innovation, Competition and Patent Law: A Trilateral Perspective 111 (Edward Elgar, 2013).

“Patents and Technological Innovation; Issues and Opportunities,” in Gary Libecap ed., Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Economic GrowthVol. 18: The Innovation Process: A Multidisciplinary Approach, (Elsevier Science & Technology Books 2007).

“A Global Controversy: The Role of Morality in Biotechnology Patent Law,” in Peter Yu ed., Intellectual Property and Information Wealth (Praeger Press 2007).


“On Being Human,” 11 J. Intell. Prop. L. & Prac. 217 (2016) (reviewing Dylan Mohan Gray, dir., Fire in the Blood (2013)).

"Of Disclosure 'Straws' and IP Systems 'Camels': Patents, Innovation, and the Disclosure of Origin Requirement"

“The Wheat and the (GM) Tares: Lessons for Plant Patent Litigation from the Parables of Christ,” 10 U. St. Thomas L.J. 683 (2014).

“On Shaky Ground?” review of “Knowledge as Property: Issues in the Moral Grounding of Intellectual Property Rights” by Rajshree Chandra , J. Intell. Prop. L. & Pract. (2013).
Link | PDF

Review of Peter Drahos, The Global Governance of Knowledge: Patent Offices and Their Clients (2010) 2 IP L. Book Rev. 15 (2011).

"The New Invention Creation Activity Boundary in Patent Law," 51 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 577 (2009).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"The Need for Speed (and Grace): Issues in a First-Inventor-to-File World," 23 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1035 (2008).
SSRN HeinOnline (PDF)

“Academic Discourse and Proprietary Rights: Putting Patents in Their Proper Place,” 47 B.C.L. Rev. 217 (2006).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

“Stem Cells, Cloning and Patents: What’s Morality Got to Do With It?” 39 New Eng. L. Rev. 501 (2005) (symposium issue).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Patents and Morality: A Role for Congress," Nat'l L.J., May 3, 2004.

"Patent First, Ask Questions Later: Morality and Biotechnology in Patent Law," 45 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 469 (2003).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Legal Movements in IP: TRIPS, Bilateral Agreements, and Access to Essential Medicines," 17 Emory Int’l L. Rev. 781 (2003) (symposium issue).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Still Patently Unconstitutional: A Reply to Professor Nard," 88 Minn. L. Rev. 239 (2003).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Patently Unconstitutional: Geographical Limitations on Prior Art in a Small World," 87 Minn. L. Rev. 679 (2003).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Internet Business Model Patents: Obvious By Analogy," 7 Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev. 253 (2001) (symposium issue).
HeinOnline (PDF)

Comment, "Using Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 to Block Materially Different Gray Market Goods in the Common Control Context: Are Reports of Its Death Greatly Exaggerated?" 44 Emory L.J. 1541 (1995).
HeinOnline (PDF)

Current Courses

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All Courses

International Intellectual Property
Trademark Law
Currenty Issues in U.S. and International Patent Law
Survey of Patent, Copyright, Trademark