Earlier this month, four Texas A&M intellectual property law professors presented papers on cutting-edge topics at the Intellectual Property Scholars Conference at DePaul University College of Law. Featuring about 170 intellectual property professors, this annual conference is jointly organized by DePaul, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, U.C. Berkeley School of Law and Stanford Law School.
The conference commemorated its 15th anniversary with a lively opening plenary session, which explored the sweeping changes to intellectual property research since the conference's founding in August 2001. Appearing in this session was Professor Peter Yu, who co-founded the conference and recently joined Texas A&M University School of Law.
Other panelists were Professor Roberta Kwall of DePaul University College of Law, the conference's originator and co-founder; Professor Mark Lemley of Stanford Law School; and Professor Graeme Dinwoodie of the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford. All four professors were among the nine presenters in the inaugural conference in August 2001.
"The Intellectual Property Scholars Conference was created at a time when intellectual property research began to grow exponentially," said Yu, the co-director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) at Texas A&M University School of Law. "This conference model has since inspired other work-in-progress events, including our forthcoming Intellectual Property Scholars Roundtable."
This fall, CLIP will host its inaugural Intellectual Property Scholars Roundtable, bringing to the Texas A&M Law campus leading intellectual property and technology law scholars. Held on October 9-10, the event will provide students with the rare opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with scholars whose works they study in the classroom or review during moot court preparations.
In addition to Yu, the commemorative conference at DePaul featured presentations from Professor Megan Carpenter, CLIP's founding director, and two new members of the CLIP faculty, Professors Glynn Lunney (from the Aggie class of '84) and Saurabh Vishnubhakat.
Carpenter presented a paper entitled "Contextual Healing: Morality and Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act." This paper marks the third in a series of projects focusing on the bar on registration of scandalous and immoral trademarks. The paper is particularly timely in light of the recent court decision to cancel the Washington Redskins trademark and the ongoing appeal of the rejection of the trademark of the Asian-American band "The Slants."
Lunney recently returned to his alma mater to teach at Texas A&M Law and to help facilitate collaboration between the Law School and the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. One of the two registered patent agents at CLIP and a leading expert in law and economics, he presented a paper titled "Abstract Ideas 2.0." This paper uses economics to explain why certain inventions or discoveries should be ineligible for patent protection.
Vishnubhakat also joined Texas A&M Law School this fall, following a faculty fellowship at Duke Law School and serving as an advisor to two chief economists at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He presented a paper entitled "The Field of Invention," which describes how the field of invention is determined across patent law. The paper also evaluates this descriptive account against principles of classification and discusses the benefits and costs of potential rules of decision to guide the taxonomic inquiry.