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GW LAW BRIEFS: Intellectual Property Update

A Tradition of Excellence

IP speaker series brings national, international experts to campus

Professor C. Scott Hemphill of Columbia Law School spoke about the balance between innovation and competition.

Chris Flynn

For the past several years, the Intellectual Property Program has provided educational and inspiring lectures and networking opportunities for students, alumni, faculty, and the larger IP community through its IP speaker series. This fall was no exception, as notable practitioners and experts shared timely and insightful remarks on a variety of industry topics.

The fall series kicked off with a presentation on "Copyright Law Enforcement: The Scenario in India" by Professor Alka Chawla of the University of Delhi. She is an internationally known expert in areas including IP innovation.

Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, a graduate of Yale Law School and a clerk for the Federal Circuit, continued the series on Sept. 13, presenting "Do Patents Disclose Useful Information?" Her research focuses on the relationship between patents and innovation, and she has written about the effects of university patents on climate change, access to biomedical materials, and pharmaceuticals.

The research and teaching of Professor C. Scott Hemphill of Columbia Law School examine the balance between innovation and competition in antitrust law, intellectual property, and additional forms of regulation. His Nov. 1 lecture at the Law School inspired a lively question-and-answer session.

The fall series concluded on Nov. 10 with a discussion titled "The Presumption of Patentability" by Sean Seymore, associate professor of law and associate professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Professor Seymore's research focuses on the evolution of patent law in response to advances in science, and their role in the formation of public policy.

For information about upcoming events, including the spring IP speaker series, visit

Yale Law School's Lisa Larrimore Ouellette addressed whether patents disclose useful information.

William Atkins

Sean Seymore from Vanderbilt University concluded the fall series with a lecture on the presumption of patentability.

William Atkins

The inaugural speaker of the fall series, Professor Alka Chawla of the University of Delhi, is an internationally known expert in IP innovation.

Claire Duggan

Exploring the Google Books Settlement

Associate Dean Alan Morrison (center left) and Professor Robert Brauneis (center right) moderated the roundtable discussion.

Claire Duggan

The Google books settlement took center stage in June at a roundtable discussion at GW Law. The event, cutting across many areas of legal expertise, examined various settlement options and considered which, if any, might overcome the court's principal objections while providing the contemplated benefits to the parties and the public.

Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law Alan Morrison provided a background summary of the case, the issues involved, and the district court decision rejecting the proposed settlement agreement. Associate Dean Morrison and Professor Robert Brauneis then co-moderated a multi-hour discussion covering related issues.

The panel included experts in various areas of law, including copyright, class action, and antitrust. In addition, several of the parties involved in the case were represented on the panel. Panelists included law professors, former government officials, leading attorneys, and industry representatives. GW Law was pleased to welcome the Hon. Marybeth Peters, JD '71, former U.S. register of copyrights, to the discussion.

The Changing Federal Circuit

A. Sidney Katz Lecture Features Judge Alan D. Lourie

Chris Flynn

On Oct. 19, the Hon. Alan D. Lourie of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit delivered the Fall 2011 A. Sidney Katz Lecture at the Law School.

Judge Lourie's remarks on "The Changing Federal Circuit" gave students, faculty, and audience members a glimpse into his unique perspective as a long time member of the bench, appointed to the court in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, and as an IP law expert. He previously served as vice president for corporate patents and trademarks and associate general counsel of SmithKline Beecham Corp.

The A. Sidney Katz Lecture, held twice a year at GW Law, is made possible through the generous support of the A. Sidney Katz Intellectual Property Lecture Fund.

In June at the Dolley Madison House in Washington, D.C., GW Law hosted the first of two recent events focusing on innovation and China.

Innovation and China

GW's IP program hosted two recent events bringing together thought leaders to discuss a wide range of topics focused on innovation and China. Since many government entities, corporations, and law firms are working on China IP issues individually, the goal of these meetings was to bring together a representative group from these organizations to discuss the issues collectively.

The December event, co-sponsored by Fordham Law School, centered on practical strategies for engaging China and featured keynote and principal addresses by David Kappos, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USTPO, and Randall R. Rader, JD '78, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In June, the group hosted a roundtable discussion at the Dolley Madison House, adjacent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Chief Judge Rader chaired the event, and IP Advisory Board Associate Dean for Intellectual Property Studies John Whealan served as a moderator.