IP News - Fall 2017

Chicago-Kent IP News

Chicago-Kent Launches New Center for Design, Law & Technology (c∆)

Professors Graeme Dinwoodie and Edward Lee
Professors Edward Lee and Graeme Dinwoodie co-founded Chicago-Kent’s new Center for Design, Law & Technology (c∆).

Professors Graeme Dinwoodie and Edward Lee have teamed up to co-found an innovative new center at Chicago-Kent that focuses on design. The Center for Design, Law & Technology (cDELTA or c∆ for short) brings together the strengths of Chicago-Kent, its parent university, Illinois Institute of Technology, and the city of Chicago. Professors Dinwoodie and Lee are each, respectively, a co-author of the only two design law casebooks in the United States.

Chicago-Kent has one of the top intellectual property programs in the country (ranked the No. 1 IP Program in the U.S. by Law Street Media in 2017), and the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design is one of the top design schools in the world (ranked No. 22 in the world by Business Insider). And Chicago is home to leading design firms and companies in the United States.

“I couldn’t be more excited about launching a center focused on design,” Professor Lee remarked. “I love design. And now, given the importance of design protection to businesses, starting a center to study design, including the costs and benefits of design protection, makes total sense. Chicago is the perfect city, and Chicago-Kent the perfect law school, for a design center.”

In conjunction with the Chicago-Kent Center for Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property (CESIP), c∆ will offer grants to fund research related to design, innovation and creativity.

Researchers from other institutions can participate in the center’s programs and apply for research grants as research affiliates. Current research affiliates include:

  • Dunstan Barnes, Ph.D., Associate, McAndrews Held & Malloy Ltd.
  • Professor Sarah Burstein, University of Oklahoma
  • Christopher Carani, Partner, McAndrews Held & Malloy Ltd.
  • Professor Dr. Gordian N. Hasselblatt, Partner, CMS Hasche Sigle (Cologne office)
  • Professor Mark Janis, Robert A. Lucas Chair of Law; Director, Center for Intellectual Property Research, Indiana University Bloomington Maurer School of Law
  • Professor Mark McKenna, Notre Dame Presidential Fellow, Notre Dame Law School
  • Professor David L. Schwartz, Stanford Clinton Sr. and Zylpha Kilbride Clinton Research Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

This fall, the center will host a book talk on Design Rights: Functionality and Scope of Protection by Christopher Carani, a research affiliate of c∆ who is widely recognized as a leading authority in the practice of design law. In the spring, the center will host a public lecture on “Copyright Protection for Designs” by Professor Dinwoodie, a leading expert in comparative design law who has taught design law in both the United States and United Kingdom.


Former Solicitor General Seth Waxman Headlines 2017 SCIPR Conference

Former U.S. Solicitor General Seth Waxman
Former U.S. Solicitor General Seth Waxman gave a talk titled "May You Live in Interesting Times: Patent Law in the Supreme Court" at the 2017 Supreme Court IP Review.

The Supreme Court IP Review (SCIPR) is an annual conference that reviews IP cases from the U.S. Supreme Court’s previous Term and previews IP cases and cert. petitions on the docket for the upcoming Term.

Seth Waxman, the former Solicitor General of the United States and current partner at Wilmer Hale, headlined this year’s SCIPR conference on September 28 with a keynote address on “May You Live In Interesting Times: Patent Law in the Supreme Court.” (Watch the Facebook Live stream of the address.)

The Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property plans to publish the address, along with responses from invited professors, in a symposium issue. This year’s SCIPR conference was followed by a special acoustic performance by The Slants, the Asian-American band founded by Simon Tam that prevailed in a First Amendment challenge to the Lanham Act’s bar against registering trademarks that “may disparage” people. Tam discussed his case on a panel during the SCIPR conference and then performed with his band in a special, post-conference concert at the law school. (Watch the Facebook Live stream of the concert.)

Chicago-Kent Professor Edward Lee submitted an amicus brief in support of Tam, arguing that the Lanham Act provision in question violated the First Amendment.

Other SCIPR participants included:

The Slants gave a special acoustic performance at Chicago-Kent following the 2017 Supreme Court IP Review.
The Slants gave a special acoustic performance at Chicago-Kent following the 2017 Supreme Court IP Review.
  • Professor Margo Bagley, Emory University School of Law
  • Professor Sarah Burstein, University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • Ronald Coleman (counsel for Tam), Archer & Greiner PC
  • John Connell (counsel for Tam), Archer & Greiner PC
  • James Dabney (counsel for TC Heartland), Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
  • Professor Graeme Dinwoodie, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Robert Hochman (counsel for Life Tech. and Lexmark), Sidley Austin LLP
  • William Jay (counsel for Varsity Brands and Kraft Foods), Goodwin Procter LLP
  • Professor Raymond Ku, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Professor Edward Lee, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Professor Erika Lietzan, University of Missouri School of Law
  • Deanne Maynard (counsel for Sandoz), Morrison Foerster LLP
  • Professor Greg Reilly, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Professor Amelia Rhinehart, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
  • Professor Christopher Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Professor Jacob Sherkow, New York Law School
  • Professor Cathay Smith, University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law

This year’s conference was sponsored by the law firms McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, Polsinelli, McAndrews, Held & Malloy Ltd, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Nelson Bumgardner PC, and Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and by Chicago-Kent’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States and the Center for Empirical Studies in Intellectual Property.


Professor Dinwoodie Leaves Oxford for Chicago-Kent

Professor Graeme B. Dinwoodie
Professor Graeme B. Dinwoodie will return full-time to Chicago-Kent as a Global Professor in Intellectual Property Law.

International IP scholar Graeme B. Dinwoodie, the professor of intellectual property law and information technology law at the University of Oxford, will move full-time to Chicago-Kent College of Law as a Global Professor in Intellectual Property Law. Professor Dinwoodie, who currently holds the IP Chair at Oxford, is a leading international authority in trademark law, design law and international intellectual property law.

Professor Dinwoodie’s decision to re-join Chicago-Kent full-time reflects his enthusiasm for the law school’s Program in Intellectual Property Law, which he directed from 2001to 2009, helping to build the program’s international reputation before he departed to take up the IP Chair at Oxford. While at Oxford, he has also been Director of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre and a Professorial Fellow at St. Peter’s College.

He noted that Chicago-Kent’s IP Program had reinvented itself to stay ahead of the curve.

“The unique international and comparative dimension to the IP program has over the last decade been superbly augmented by new ongoing initiatives exploring the enhanced involvement of the US Supreme Court in the field, encouraging the use of empirical research to develop or critique current law, and cultivating a growing partnership with the practicing bar and PTO in the pro bono Patent Hub,” he said.

In addition, Professor Dinwoodie is looking forward to being co-founder and co-director of the newly announced Chicago-Kent Center for Design, Law & Technology, and to participating again in the Chicago IP Colloquium, the LLM in International Intellectual Property Law, and the innovative Strategies in IP capstone course, all of which were founded during his time as director of the program.


Chicago-Kent Offers Upper-Level Patent Law to 1Ls in First Semester

Professor Greg Reily
Professor Greg Reilly teaches Patent Law to a class that includes first-year and upper-level students.

In fall 2017, qualified first-year Chicago-Kent students were for the first time able to enroll in upper-level elective courses in Patent Law or Copyright Law in their first semester of law school.

The pilot program is an expansion of the school’s highly successful 1L Your Way program, which gives first-year students the option to take, in their second semester, an upper-level elective with second- and third-year students. The 1L Your Way program, popular among first-year students, better prepares them for their summer jobs by allowing them to study a course in an area of law they might specialize in.

“By all indications, Chicago-Kent’s 1L Your Way program has been a huge success, particularly with intellectual property electives,” said Professor Edward Lee, director of the IP Program. “The results show that first-year students are more motivated and engaged in classes they choose, which has translated into better performance. Chicago-Kent has always aspired to be at the vanguard of intellectual property instruction.”

Dean Harold Krent said, “Chicago-Kent has long been a leader in education related to law, technology and intellectual property. This bold move to offer IP courses to 1Ls in the first semester of law school is in keeping with the law school’s history—and mission.”


Center for Empirical Studies Hosts Conference on New PTAB Power

PTAB pull quote imageChicago-Kent’s Center for Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property will host a conference on “The Power of PTAB: The New Authority in Patent Law” on October 20, 2017. The conference examines the rise of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which is on pace in 2017 to set a record of deciding more than 2,000 inter partes reviews (IPR) initiated by parties challenging the validity of existing patents.

The conference convenes leading patent academics, attorneys from law firms, in-house counsel, and PTAB judges to examine various facets of the PTAB’s expanded powers under the America Invents Act. The day after the conference, Chicago-Kent will host a roundtable scholars’ discussion among leading patent law professors.

Professor Greg Reilly is spearheading conference planning with the help of an advisory board of practicing patent attorneys and members of the PTAB Bar Association. Professor Reilly’s recent scholarship focuses on important PTAB issues, including the constitutionality of PTAB review and cancellation of issued patents, as well as the justifications for claim amendments in PTAB post-issuance proceedings.

The conference will celebrate the Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property’s new relationship with the national PTAB Bar Association as its official publication.

“The Power of PTAB conference couldn’t come at a better time,” said Professor Reilly. “With inter partes review and other proceedings before the PTAB, this institution is changing the landscape of patent law. We’ve assembled an impressive array of speakers for the October conference to take stock of the changes.”

The Power of PTAB speakers include:

  • Alison Baldwin, Partner, McDonnell Hulbert & Berghoff LLP
  • Professor Greg Dolin, University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Christen Dubois, Director and Associate General Counsel, IP Litigation, Facebook
  • Professor John Golden, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  • Administrative Patent Judge Christopher Kaiser (Chicago-Kent ’05), USPTO
  • Professor Dmitry Karshtedt, George Washington University Law School
  • David Killough, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft
  • Jay Knobloch, Director of IP Licensing and Litigation, Trading Technologies
  • Professor Megan La Belle, The Catholic University of America
  • Scott McKeown, Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Professor Andrew Moshirnia, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Professor Kristen Osenga, University of Richmond School of Law
  • Professor Jason Rantanen, University of Iowa College of Law
  • Professor Daniel Ravicher, University of Miami School of Law
  • Professor Greg Reilly, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Lead Administrative Patent Judge William Saindon, USPTO
  • Professor Karen Sandrik, Willamette University College of Law
  • Professor David Schwartz, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Mark Stewart, Sr. Director – Assistant General Patent Counsel, Eli Lilly
  • Jonathan Stroud, Chief Patent Counsel, Unified Patents
  • Eric Sutton, Senior Patent Counsel, Oracle
  • Professor Melissa Wasserman, University of Texas at Austin School of Law

For more information and to register, visit www.kentlaw.iit.edu/ptab2017.


Patent Hub Celebrates First Patents Granted for Low-Income Inventors in Illinois

Patent Hub
The Air-Supporting Batting Tee, invented by Bob Kauffman, supports a ball via an upward stream of air from a blower.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted two patents in August 2017 that resulted from pro bono assistance of volunteer attorneys associated with the Chicago-Kent Patent Hub. The Chicago-Kent Patent Hub matches low-income inventors with the pro bono legal assistance of licensed, volunteer patent attorneys under a national program initiated by the USPTO pursuant to the America Invents Act.

Erin Fox of Quarles & Brady, who chairs the Patent Hub Advisory Board, provided legal assistance to inventors Robert Kauffman and Phillip Owens with help from Chicago-Kent students Micah Hensley ’16 and Kwanwoo Lee ’17.

Bob Kauffman’s invention is an Air-Supporting Batting Tee that supports a ball via an upward stream of air from a blower. The blower uses four tubes to blow air at different angles, allowing the user to control the height of a floating ball by adjusting a pneumatic air source.

Phillip Owens’ invention is a rubber case for smartphones and smart pads that allow for attachment of various interfaces (USB,VGA, DVI) and that allow such uses as mobile presentation from a smartphone, connecting to a mobile power station, watching movies from a TV monitor as a wireless device, connecting a second monitor while traveling, and transferring information from different devices.

“Many of the inventors have poured their hearts and souls into developing their inventions, so it’s gratifying for me to be able to help them seek legal protection for something so important to them,” said attorney Erin Fox. “Another wonderful aspect for me is the chance to mentor and supervise patent students from Chicago-Kent, who are able to get real-world experience in filing applications.”

In two years, the Patent Hub has successfully placed 64 low-income inventors with patent attorneys willing to work pro bono.

Patent Hub Numbers through June 2017
Number of Applicants 342
Number of Interviews Conducted 212
Number of Applicants Placed with Attorney/Agent 64
Number of Provisional Applications Filed 15
Number of Non-Provisional Patent Applications Filed 37
Number of Design Patent Applications Filed 3
Number of Patents Issued 2
Chicago-Kent Students Assisting with Patents 4


Chicago-Kent Co-Hosts Intellectual Property Awareness Summit

IPAS concept imageThe Center for Intellectual Property Understanding and Chicago-Kent College of Law will co-host the Intellectual Property Awareness Summit on November 6. The invitation-only conference will explore “Enhancing Value through Understanding.”

Thought leaders from business, academia and government will explore what various organizations need to know about patents, copyrights and trade secrets, consider what determines acceptable behaviors on the part of IP holders and users, and address the rapid rise in Internet IP theft and “efficient” patent infringement.

Professor Mickie Piatt contributed to the planning of this innovative new conference.

For more information, visit dpsdesignz.wixsite.com/ipas2017.



Chicago IP Colloquium Announces Lineup of Speakers for Spring 2018

Chicago IP Colloquium
Students engaged with IP thought leaders as Chicago IP Colloquium Fellows.

For the past 16 years, Chicago-Kent College of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law have jointly sponsored and hosted the Chicago Intellectual Property Colloquium, which promotes discussion of a range of issues in intellectual property. Each year, during the spring academic semester, six nationally renowned IP scholars are invited to Chicago to present and discuss their current research projects before selected Chicago-Kent and Loyola students—known as Chicago IP Colloquium Fellows.

This year’s speakers are:

January 23, 2018
Professor Paul Gugliuzza, Boston University School of Law
“The Procedure of Patent Eligibility”

February 6, 2018
Professor Matthew Kugler, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
“Trade Secret Privacy Expectations”

February 20, 2018
Professor Lydia Loren, Lewis & Clark Law School
“Law, Money and Art”

March 20, 2018
Professor Peter Yu, Texas A&M University School of Law
“A Critique of Intellectual Property Law and Policy”

April 3, 2018
Professor Alexandra Roberts, University of New Hampshire School of Law
“Trademark Failure to Function”

April 17, 2018
Professor Kali Murray, Marquette University Law School