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Sessions Summary: Digital Pressures in Intellectual Property

Summary provided by Keith Robinson, Southern Methodist Dedman School of Law

Discussions Group: Digital Pressures in Intellectual Property

The discussion group on Digital Pressures in Intellectual Property Law met on Friday afternoon from 3:30 – 6:30 pm.  Approximately twenty IP scholars participated in a wide-ranging discussion.  Lucas Osborn organized the group and presided over the session.

During the discussion’s first phase, each participant presented for five minutes.  Participants discussed the legal implications of many technologies including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3D printing, the internet of things, and video games.  For example, both Timothy Holbrook and Lucas Osborn discussed patent extraterritoriality and copyright issues concerning 3D printing.  Saurabh Vishnubhakat posed interesting questions about administrative agencies using automated processes such as artificial intelligence to make decisions.

The discussion also touched on various areas of IP including patent, copyright, trademark law and the right of publicity.  For example, Jessica Kiser discussed current trends in branding that encourage consumers to use trademarks.  Stacey Lantagne shared her thoughts about the collaborative authorship of Internet memes.  Megan La Belle talked about recent developments on patent litigation and venue.

The second phase of the program consisted of a discussion between the participants.  The participants shared their feedback and raised broader questions about intellectual property policy.  The second half also provided some participants the opportunity to expand on their initial comments.  For example, Jon Garon elaborated on how new technologies will put more pressure on the right of publicity law.  Jasmine Abdel-khalik talked more about her project on cybersquatting.  Also, Paul Gugliuzza shared more of his thoughts on his project about how courts handle patent eligibility determinations.

The discussion group was interesting and informative.  After the formal program concluded, many participants lingered behind and engaged in further discussion.

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