Intellectual Property Law
ETH/NYU Transatlantic Innovation Scholarship Conference: Design Protection → Design Innovation?
June 10-12, 2015
Engelberg Center Executive Director Anne Hassett moderated a panel discussion among industry representatives, including the pharmaceutical and high tech industries, on whether innovation is better supported by having the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) apply in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings the same legal standards that U.S. District Courts apply in patent litigation or the standards which the USPTO applies in patent prosecution. Panelists included: Matthew Levy, Computer and Communications Industry Association; Hans Sauer, Biotechnology Industry Organization; Jaime A. Siegel, ACACIA Research Group LLC; Marian Underweiser, IP Policy & Strategy, IBM; Jane Wasman, Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
Panel Discussion on Patent Reform: Will Fee Shifting Help or Hinder Patent Enforcement?
March 2, 2015
Professor Jason Schultz moderated a discussion on whether fee shifting as proposed in Congress is needed in view of the relaxed standard for exceptional case recovery since the SCOTUS decisions in Octane and Highmark. Panelists included: Eric Cohen, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; John Desmarais, Desmarais LLP; Professor Rochelle Dreyfuss, NYU Law; Theresa Gillis, Mayer Brown LLP; David Kappos, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; John Pegram, Fish & Richardson.
Fifth Annual Tri-State Region IP Workshop
January 9, 2015
The Annual Tri-State Region IP Workshop brought together intellectual property scholars (including professors, fellows, visitors, graduate students, and practitioners) from the tri-state region to present their works in progress for commentary in a workshop environment. The papers examined issues concerning patent litigation, patentability, downstream market effects of intellectual property, intellectual property in the high-tech sector, and copyright law.
2014 IP Institute
December 4, 2014
This conference, presented jointly by the Engelberg Center and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, assembled thought leaders in the field of IP for a day of discussion focused on cutting-edge issues affecting innovation, intellectual property law and practice, and competition in the domestic and international arenas. The keynote speaker was The Rt. Hon. Professor Sir Robin Jacob, University College London, who presented a European perspective on the U.S. IP system. The various panels examined the issues from the perspectives of industry, the judiciary, academia, and federal and state agencies. Together with the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg (U.S. D.N.J.) and Micky Minhas, Microsoft Corporation, Professor Dreyfuss participated in a panel discussion on “What Litigators Need to Know About U.S. PTO Post-Grant Processes.” Professor Dreyfuss and David J. Kappos were co-organizers of the IP Institute.
Post-mortem Panel on Authors Guild v. Google Hearing
December 3, 2014
The Authors Guild lawsuits against Google and its library partners (brought separately as Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust) have set much of the stage for how U.S. copyright law impacts efforts to mass digitize book collections. On December 3, 2014 at 2 p.m., the Second Circuit heard argument in the appeal of Authors Guild v. Google, where Judge Denny Chin granted judgment in favor of Google, finding that its book digitizing activities were fair use under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act. This panel focused on the contents of the appeal, including the questions presented, the briefing, the argument, and the implications for any certiorari petition to the Supreme Court. Featured speakers included: Greg Cram, Associate Director of Copyright and Information Policy, New York Public Library; Jeremy Goldman, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz PC, Counsel for the Authors Guild; Joseph Gratz, Durie Tangri LLP (Counsel for Google); Corynne McSherry, Intellectual Property Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Professor Jason Schultz, Director, Technology Law & Policy Clinic and Co-Director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy; and Fred von Lohmann, Legal Director for Copyright, Google. Co-sponsored by the New York Public Library.
IPNY: Google on U.S. Patent Quality
November 20, 2014
Laura Sheridan, Patent Counsel at Google, discussed ideas for improving the quality of U.S. patents, focusing both on institutional reforms that could make the PTO better at turning away low-quality patent applications, and changes in the patent law that could also help us reach that goal. The Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy faculty also shared their insights.
Warrant Canary Workshop
November 3, 2014
Discussion of the political, legal, and technological questions raised by the increasing use of “warrant canaries” by technology companies to inform the public about government surveillance.
Empirical IP Research Conference
October 24-25, 2014
This conference launched the Engelberg Center's Empirical Initiative for empirical research related to intellectual property law and other legal rules that affect innovation. The goal for the Initiative is to provide a foundation for data-driven consideration of whether, and how, to reform these areas of law. The conference brought together leaders in the empirical study of intellectual property and innovation, as well as scholars and researchers in related areas, to discuss existing research on intellectual property, assess where progress has been made toward producing policy-relevant evidence, identify key policy-relevant questions that are in need of further study, and consider the directions and methods for future research. Colleen V. Chien (Senior Advisor to the CTO, Intellectual Property and Innovation White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) delivered the keynote address. Each of the three plenary panels (Copyright, Patent, and Trademark) discussed a specific empirical question of importance to IP policy. Professors Jeanne Fromer, Christopher Sprigman, and Katherine Strandburg organized the conference.
Copyright vs. Creativity: Is Intellectual Property Reserved for the 1%?
September 23, 2014
Coinciding with the US launch of the graphic novel, Ricky Rouse Has a Gun, this panel asked whether copyright has lost one of its principle functions: to protect authors and original ideas. In the digital age, does copyright have a purpose beyond protecting corporations from illegal copying and file sharing? Panelists include Jörg Tittel, Author, Ricky Rouse Has a Gun; Charles Brownstein, Executive Director, Comic Book Legal Defence Fund; Professors Christopher Sprigman and Barton Beebe, NYU School of Law.
This interdisciplinary conference, co-sponsored with the International Association for the Study of the Commons, convened an international group of researchers studying cooperative arrangements for sharing intellectual resources, or “knowledge commons.” Focusing on the fields of medicine and the environment, presenters considered how knowledge commons work, what contributes to their durability and effectiveness, and what undermines them. Professor Katherine Strandburg was co-chair of the conference.
Engelberg Center 20th Anniversary Celebration
La Pietra, Florence, Italy
July 7-11, 2014
In honor of the Engelberg Center’s 20th anniversary, faculty co-directors Barton Beebe, Rochelle Dreyfuss, Jeanne Fromer, Jason Schultz, Christopher Sprigman, and Katherine Strandburg joined benefactor and trustee Alfred Engelberg ’65, Dean Trevor Morrison, and others for a celebration at NYU’s La Pietra campus near Florence, Italy. The participants discussed a diverse range of topics, including IP’s role in fashion, patents in the life sciences, software development’s uneasy relationship to IP, and privacy in the age of “big data.”
Workshop on Medical User Innovation and Medical Commons
May 15-16-17, 2014
This focused interdisciplinary workshop brought together researchers studying medical and health innovation from the user innovation and knowledge commons governance approaches; explored potential synergies between these two groups of researchers, who brought different backgrounds, methodologies, and expertise to these issues; and interrogated and critiqued the role of intellectual property in medical research and innovation in light of the potential for user innovation and knowledge commons approaches.
IPNY: The Role of Geographical Indications
April 17, 2014
The inaugural IPNY event; a new series of public lectures from experts on contemporary issues of IP and innovation law and policy. For the first installment of IPNY, Richard Mendelson and Professor Sprigman had a lively debate on the role of geographical indications.
50 Years Later: The New York Times v. Sullivan
April 2, 2014
March 9, 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision on the freedom of the press in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. In the decision, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protects reports about public officials -- even false ones -- unless they have been made with actual malice (with knowledge that they are false or in reckless disregard of their truth or falsity). This case allowed much of the press reports on civil rights in the South to move forward. Fifty years later, we convened to consider the implications and lasting significance of the Supreme Court's decision.
Innovation Law & Policy Edit-a-Thon
March 8, 2014
The inaugural Innovation Law & Policy Edit-a-thon, co-sponsored by the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy and the Wikimedia Foundation, brought together a coalition of experienced editors, as well as law professors, activists, and other professionals, to create and improve Wikipedia articles at the intersection of law and policy.
Fourth Annual Tri-State Region IP Workshop
January 10, 2014
The Annual Tri-State Region IP Workshop brought together intellectual property scholars (including professors, fellows, visitors, graduate students, and practitioners) from the tri-state region to present their works in progress for commentary in a workshop environment.
Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference
October 11-13, 2013
The Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference was a multidisciplinary conference about UAVs and drones—with a special emphasis on civilian applications. DARC broadens the public conversation beyond the privacy and targeted killing debates. We delved deep into the impact of unmanned systems on society and advance knowledge in legal and practical domains.
Rob Reid Year Zero Book Talk
April 30, 2013
The entire cosmos has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything-and the aliens are not amused. Join author and entrepreneur Rob Reid for a unique look at the institution of copyright law, followed by a conversation with David Pashman (General Counsel, Meetup) and a Year Zero book signing.
The Relationship between the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court in the Development of Patent Law
March 13, 2013
An informal discussion between Judges Timothy Dyk and Pauline Newman. The interchange was lively as both are judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit with very different ideas about intellectual property policy and theories of adjudication.
Defensive Patent License Project
February 1, 2013
The Defensive Patent License (DPL) is a new legal mechanism to protect innovators by networking patents into powerful, mutually-beneficial legal shields that are 100% committed to defending innovation – no bullies, trolls, or other leeches allowed. It is designed to address the most broken parts of the patent system. The DPL also helps prevent adversaries from patenting open technologies and pulling them out of the public domain. It is an open source-style patent license that seeks to promote the use of patents to encourage freedom to innovate & to operate instead of using them to shut down competition, for rent-seeking, or to inhibit access to knowledge. This approach offers several potential benefits, especially to open innovation communities and/or start-ups: 1) A way to legally bind companies/patents to exclusive defensive use; 2) A way to allow those who are skeptical/critical of the patent system to participate without worry that their innovations will be offensively weaponized; 3) A way to improve prior art by filing defense-oriented patent applications that will preempt future offensive applications; 4) A way to prevent patent trolls from exploiting patents by preemptively committing them to defensive-only use; and 5) A way to provide access to a clear collection of patents that anyone can use for free as long as they are also committed to defensive uses.
Third Annual Tri-State Region IP Workshop
January 11, 2013
Professors, fellows, visitors, graduate students, and practitioners from the tri-state region presented their works in progress for commentary in a workshop environment. Topics were related to intellectual property or information law. The format involved a series of plenary sessions chaired by a senior commentator. This annual workshop will make it possible for IP and information law scholars located in the tri-state region to get together on a more regular basis to share and discuss each other’s work.
Life as a New IP Associate
October 4, 2012
A panel discussion on how to transition from law school to private practice.
The purpose of this workshop was to gather scholars from a variety of disciplines who share interests in the study of commons as governance regimes in information, knowledge, and other cultural contexts. The focus was on institutional analysis of commons, common pool resources, and related institutions for governance of knowledge and information and rights in knowledge and information. Relevant disciplines included law, political science, economics, sociology, organizational science, information science, Science and Technology Studies (STS), and the history of science and technology, among others.
Cultural Protocols Workshop
August 19, 2011
This workshop brought together a small group of legal and cultural scholars to explore the concept and the utility of cultural protocols in relation to Indigenous and local knowledge management issues. The focus of the workshop was predominately legal – and this is quite deliberate. In thinking about the possibilities of protocols and how they can be used as a useful strategy as well as a tool of leverage for Native American communities in the United States, as well as elsewhere, it is critical that there is an inter-linked and robust legal framework that can work in support of the further development of cultural protocols. This will not only contribute to the ability for communities to make informed decisions about how cultural protocols can be effectively utilized, but also provide significant background work in the instances where specific cultural protocols are undermined or delegitimized by third parties.
Balancing Wealth and Health: Access to Medicines in Latin America as a Case Study of the Global Administration of Intellectual Property Law
May 25-26, 2011
This Workshop considered the draft report of a project undertaken as part of NYU’s Global Administrative Law (GAL) Network, sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada and jointly coordinated by the University of the Andes (Colombia) and NYU. The project was aimed at examining, through a series of case studies, the processes and administrative mechanisms that states use internally to negotiate the balance between intellectual property rights and other policy and human rights considerations.
User and Open Innovation: How Should Intellectual Property Law Respond?
May 28-29, 2010
The NYU’s Engelberg Center and the UC Berkeley Center for Law & Technology co-sponsored a workshop to consider the implications of user and open innovation for intellectual property doctrine. The importance of these creative paradigms relative to centralized innovation by manufacturers and mass media producers is increasingly recognized in the business community, yet has not been systematically addressed by intellectual property law. The workshop brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars of law, management, and economics to consider whether and in what specific ways intellectual property law should be modified to accommodate the increasing importance of innovation by users for their own use and of collaborative and open processes of innovation.
The Engelberg Center at NYU School of Law and the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law [MPI] held a two-day workshop to consider whether Enough is Enough: whether it is time to consider limits on the expansion of intellectual property rights within the international framework. The intent is to talk about existing limits within, and outside, intellectual property law (including human rights and competition law). Also considered were existing proposals for mandatory limits imposed through international intellectual property law.
Workshop on Trade Secrecy
February 20-21, 2009
A workshop for the authors of the Trade Secrecy book in the hope of making the final volume better integrated and giving the authors the opportunity to benefit from one another’s feedback.
Digital Convergence and Copyright
April 7, 2008
The Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society of NYU School of Law hosted a symposium on digital convergence and copyright. The Symposium was held under the aegis of Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy. The Symposium addressed copyright issues associated with emerging media services, from both a business as well as legal perspective, discussing digital distribution of entertainment and phenomenon that blurs the boundaries between different media and copyrightable subject matters.
In June, 1998, The Engelberg Center convened a conference at La Pietra to examine the expanding boundaries of intellectual property protection. Various proposals were made for cabining the trend. Subsequent experience has demonstrated, however, that cabining is politically unfeasible and administratively difficult. In the face of increasing concern that strong rights could hinder innovation and slow dynamic competitiveness, this conference was organized to investigate approaches to working within the expanding intellectual property paradigm.
This workshop explored the case for expanding trademark protection beyond its traditional realm, examined its implementation in practice, and considered countervailing considerations.
Privacy Research Group Talks
2012-2013; 2013-2014; 2014-2015 Academic Years
The Privacy Research Group is a weekly meeting of students, professors, and industry professionals who are passionate about exploring, protecting, and understanding privacy in the digital age.
Talk by FTC Commissioner Julie Brill
June 11, 2015
The Information Law Institute will host an informal meeting with FTC Commissioner Julie Brill to discuss consumer privacy and other topics of mutual interest.
Symposium on Government Access to Data in the Cloud
May 26-27, 2015
This Symposium, hosted by the Information Law Institute and the Center on Law and Security, presented cutting-edge research on domestic, international and transnational legal approaches to regulating government access to data stored in the cloud. The Symposium brought legal scholars together with participants who bring law enforcement, industry, privacy advocacy and human rights perspectives to bear on the important and often contentious debate about this rapidly evolving issue.
Privacy in the Modern Age The Search for Solutions Book Talk
April 29, 2015
The threats to privacy are well known: the NSA tracks our phone calls, Google records where we go online, companies constantly lose our personal information, and our children are fingerprinted and their test scores saved for posterity. Professors Helen Nissenbaum, Frank Pasquale, and Katherine Strandburg; policy experts Sheila Kaplan and Faiza Patel; and contributing editor, Jeramie Scott celebrated the publication of Privacy in the Modern Age The Search for Solutions. The discussion was moderated by contributing editor, Professor Katherine Strandburg. Opening remarks by contributing editor, Jeramie Scott. Sponsored by NYU Information Law Institute and Electronic Privacy Information Center.
Cloud Data Access: A Transnational Perspective
March 13, 2015
More than ever before, people today rely on cloud computing services for email, online storage and backup, social media, video services, and gaming. However, the laws governing data privacy obligations were written long before anyone dreamed up the cloud. This makes regulatory issues very complicated at the purely domestic level, but even more so when cross-jurisdictional issues come into play as users, their data, and technology providers can all reside in different physical locations. In fact, government and industry are grappling with these issues on many fronts – in diplomatic discussions between the U.S. and Europe, in legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate, and, most recently, in a legal case brought by Microsoft Corp. challenging a US government search warrant for customer communications stored in a company datacenter in Dublin, Ireland. This talk explored the specific legal questions raised by these jurisdictional issues, the laws involved, and arguments on how these issues should be resolved. Panelists included Ira Rubinstein, Senior Fellow, Information Law Institute, Zachary Goldman, Executive Director, Center on Law and Security, and Katherine Strandburg, Alfred B. Engelberg Professor of Law.
Algorithms and Accountability Conference
February 28, 2015
Scholars, stakeholders, and policymakers question the adequacy of existing mechanisms governing algorithmic decision-making and grapple with new challenges presented by the rise of algorithmic power in terms of transparency, fairness, and equal treatment. Algorithms increasingly shape our news, economic options, and educational trajectories. The centrality and concerns about algorithmic decision making have only increased since we hosted the Governing Algorithms conference in May 2013. This event built upon that conversation to address legal, policy and ethical challenges related to algorithmic power in three specific contexts: media production and consumption, commerce, and education. Organized by the Information Law Institute, NYU School of Law and cosponsored by NYU Steinhardt Department of Media, Culture and Communications, the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing and Microsoft.
NYU Law Roundtable on Government Access to Cloud Data
December 10, 2014
The roundtable, hosted by the Information Law Institute and the Center on Law and Security, addressed legal and policy issues related to government cloud access spurred by the Microsoft search warrant case. It was a closed door/off-the-record session conducted according to Chatham House Rules.
NYU Security Research Seminar
Fall 2014 & Spring 2015
The Security Research Seminar at New York University, launched in January 2014, is a weekly meeting of students, faculty, policy makers and industry professionals interested in analyzing the ways in which advanced technologies are putting pressure on legal regimes and concepts of security. The seminar addresses a variety of perspectives on security in a digital age, including security of information and software, computer networks, cyber-physical systems and infrastructure and will include discussions about national as well as international cyber-security law and policy.
February 15, 2014
The Symposium on Obfuscation brought together experts from a variety of backgrounds who study, script and design technologies that either simulate, detect, or are susceptible to obfuscation. By obfuscation we mean the production of misleading, ambiguous and plausible but confusing information as an act of concealment or evasion. In the course of the day, we explored and assessed the use of obfuscation as a strategy for individuals, groups or communities to hide; to protect themselves; to protest or enact civil disobedience, especially in the context of monitoring, aggregated analysis, and profiling in (digital) space.
Governing Algorithms Conference
May 16-17, 2013
Algorithms are increasingly invoked as powerful entities that control, govern, sort, regulate, and shape everything from financial trades to news media. Nevertheless, the nature and implications of such orderings are far from clear. What exactly is it that algorithms “do”? What is the role attributed to “algorithms” in these arguments? How can we turn the “problem of algorithms” into an object of productive inquiry? This conference set out to explore the recent rise of algorithms as an object of interest in scholarship, policy, and practice.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has defined the PHR as an “electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be drawn from multiple sources while being managed, shared, and controlled by the individual” (2008:19). Introducing the term “portfolio,” we sought to broaden the initial conceptualization and explored parallels with similar initiatives in other social contexts.
Conference on Mobile and Location Privacy: A Technology and Policy Dialog
April 13, 2012
The age of ubiquitous computing is here. People routinely carry smartphones and other devices capable of recording and transmitting immense quantities of personal information and tracking their every move. Privacy has suffered in this new environment, with new reports every week of vulnerabilities and unintended disclosures of private information. The conference aimed to bring together the policy and technology communities to discuss the substantial privacy issues arising from the growth of mobile and location technologies.
Platforms and Power Roundtable
May 6, 2011
The Roundtable brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars of privacy, intellectual property, and the digital society to debate and discuss issues revolving around the relationships between technological platforms and their users, with an eye toward the role that law might play in mediating or structuring these relationships. Roundtable Sessions approached the topic from a variety of angles: Platforms as Fiduciaries (should platform technologies have any duties toward their users?); Platforms as Co-Creators (the role of platforms in the creative activities of their users); Platforms as Regulators (the extent to which platforms should be instruments of regulation of user conduct, either at the behest of government or independently; Platforms as Social Spaces (the effects of technological platforms on social relationships).
Online Hate Speech and Cyber-Harassment Summit
April 12, 2010
Ann Bartow, Professor of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law - "Actual Misogyny in Virtual Space"; Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, The University of Maryland School of Law - "Law's Expressive Value in Combating Cyber Gender Harassment"; Respondent: Jeremy Waldron, University Professor, NYU School of Law
A Workshop on Federal Privacy Legislation
October 2, 2009
Experts from academia, industry, government, and public interest advocacy organizations examined comprehensive federal privacy legislation under consideration by Congress. Panelists began the day by reviewing current bills and offering an informed analysis and debate concerning the more controversial issues such as preemption, remedies, access and choice, and safe harbors. The morning then continued with a discussion of whether fair information practices (FIPs) should remain the foundation of privacy legislation or need to be modified or abandoned. The afternoon panels then examined emerging issues such as social networking, collective privacy and behavioral advertising and assess how well any proposed bills address these new concerns. There was also keynote speeches by top FTC officials and participation in panels by key Congressional staffers. Our aim was to achieve meaningful progress toward a well-rounded understanding of pending legislation and perhaps even to resolve some outstanding issues.
Search Privacy Strategy Roundtable
November 8, 2007
This roundtable considered the important goals served by logging and storing search query data, such as improving and personalizing services, maximizing advertising effectiveness, improving general search performance and addressing click fraud and security threats. How can this be reconciled with privacy? To consider the growing importance of effective web search for users and related dependence on, and appreciation of, search service providers. At the same time consider potential vulnerabilities and anxieties about these vulnerabilities as user become increasingly aware of the insights third parties gain into their lives based on search. How can consumer trust be maintained, and what effects might self-protective actions by consumers have on the search space? To consider the general environment created by relevant external actors, such as government, on the one hand asserting claims on search information and on the other seeking to protect consumer privacy. To consider ways technical design of web search engines and their business models afford both logging and obfuscating user’s search activities. What design variables may come into play to help alleviate concerns over search privacy?
Identity and Identification in a Networked World: A Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Symposium
September 29-30, 2006
Increasingly, who we are is represented by key bits of information scattered throughout the data-intensive, networked world. Online and off, these core identifiers mediate our sense of self, social interactions, movements through space, and access to goods and services. There is much at stake in designing systems of identification and identity management, deciding who or what will be in control of them, and building in adequate protection for our bits of identity permeating the network. This symposium examined critical and controversial issues surrounding socio-technical systems of identity, identifiability and identification. It showcased emerging scholarship of graduate students at the cutting edge of humanities, social sciences, artists, systems design & engineering, philosophy, law, and policy to work towards a clearer understanding of these complex problems, and build foundations for future collaborative work. In addition to graduate student panels, a keynote talk was delivered by Professor Ian Kerr, University of Ottawa.
A Spyware Workshop
March 16-17, 2006
A workshop co-sponsored by the Information Law Institute, NYU and Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University where experts from academia, industry, government, and public interest advocacy organizations examined spyware in the broader context of computer security, governance of the information infrastructure, and the rights of individual computer-users in relation to public and commercial institutions with which they interact online.
Colloquium on Information Technology and Society
Spring 2002-Spring 2011