Innovation Policy Colloquium

This colloquium will be offered in Spring 2016. Check back in prior to the Spring semester for the updated schedule.

Professors Jeanne Fromer and Christopher Sprigman

Spring 2015
Wednesdays, 2:00-3:50 pm and Thursdays, 4:00-5:50 pm
Wednesday: Furman Hall, Room 310
Thursday: Vanderbilt Hall, Room 202 

3 credits

The Innovation Policy Colloquium focuses each year on different aspects of the law’s role in promoting creativity and invention.

This year, we will examine the topic of design in intellectual property law. Starting with theories of intellectual property law, we will go on to study the legal regimes that allow and/or restrain protection of aspects of design (copyright and its useful-articles doctrine; utility patent; design patent; trademark, trade dress, and their functionality doctrine; and sui generis protections); industries in which design is important (such as fashion, industrial design, and marketing generally); the value of design in society and legal and non-legal incentives to produce valuable designs; and the role of norms in design. We will draw on legal sources as well as related work in economics, sociology, history, and disciplines in which design is particularly important, such as engineering, fashion, home furnishings, and marketing.

The Colloquium has two components. In one, leading thinkers are invited to present recent work. In the other, we read background materials relevant to each speaker's presentation. The Colloquium also provides each student with the opportunity to write and present an independent research paper.

Spring 2015 Schedule of Presenters

Thursday, January 29

Michael Bierut, Partner, Pentagram
Allan Chochinov, Chair, MFA Products of Design, School of Visual Arts; Partner, Core77
Steven Heller, Co-Chair, MFA Design Department, School of Visual Arts
Frank Martinez, Trademark lawyer, The Martinez Group; MFA Design Faculty, School of Visual Arts
Thoughts on Design from Designers

Design Cases

thursday, February 5

Frederic Godart, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD
Popularity and Embeddedness of Cultural Elements: The Case of Global High-Fashion

Email Nicole at if you are interested in getting a copy of the paper.

Thursday, February 12

Karl Ulrich, CIBC Endowed Professor, Professor of Operations and Information Management, Vice Dean of Innovation, University of Pennsylvania The Wharton School
The Importance of the Raw Idea in Innovation: Testing the Sow’s Ear Hypothesis

Related Reading: Edmund W. Kitch, The Nature and Function of the Patent System

Thursday, February 19

Sarah Burstein, Associate Professor of Law, The University of Oklahoma College of Law
The Beauty of Product-Specific Design Protection

Email Nicole at if you are interested in getting a copy of the paper.

Thursday, February 26

Carliss Baldwin, William L. White Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Modularity and Intellectual Property Protection

Thursday, March 5

Tanuka Ghoshal, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Indian School of Business
When Does Aesthetics of Ambient Product Cues like Container Packaging Influence Product Evaluations?

Email Nicole at if you are interested in getting a copy of the paper.

Related Reading: Mark P. McKenna, A Consumer Decision-Making Theory of Trademark Law

Thursday, March 12

Jason Du Mont, Microsoft Intellectual Property Fellow, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Creativity in Design

Email Nicole at if you are interested in getting a copy of the paper.

Thursday, March 26

Mark McKenna, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development, Professor of Law, Notre Dame Presidential Fellow, University of Notre Dame The Law School

2 New York CLE credits in the Area of Professional Practice is approved for both experienced and newly attorneys (those admitted to the New York Bar for less than two years) and is presented in traditional (in person) format.

Questions about the Colloquium should be addressed to Nicole Arzt at or (212) 998-6013.