Innovation Policy Colloquium

Professors Jeanne Fromer and Christopher Sprigman
Spring 2024
Thursdays 4:00-6:00pm Vanderbilt Hall, Room 208

3 credits

The Colloquium on Innovation Policy focuses each year on different aspects of the law’s role in promoting creativity, invention, and new technology. 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; the role of norms in design; and issues of competition as they relate to 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.

Schedule of Presenters

Thursday, JANUARY 18
Mark McKenna
, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
Design Patents Aren’t Patents (And It’s a Good Thing Too)

Thursday, JANUARY 25
Jorge Contreras, James T. Jensen Endowed Professor for Transactional Law, University of Utah College Of Law
Mrs. Aronson's Patent: Gender, Family and Everyday Innovation in Post-War America (
This paper is just a draft and parts of this paper are not entirely fleshed out.)

Thursday, FEBRUARY 8
Christine Haight Farley, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
Design Authenticity

Thursday, FEBRUARY 29
Derek Bambauer
, Irving Cypen Professor of Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law
Everything You Want: The Paradox of Customized Intellectual Property Regimes

Jeanne Fromer, Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Intellectual Property Law, NYU School of Law

Christopher Sprigman, Murray and Kathleen Bring Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
An Integrative Theory of Design and Utility Patents

Thursday, MARCH 14
Scott Hemphill
, Moses H. Grossman Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
The Coca‐Cola Bottle: A Fragile Vessel for Building a Brand (with Jacob E. Gersen)

Thursday, MARCH 28
Sarah Burstein
, Professor of Law, Suffolk Law School
The Counterfeit Sham

Thursday, APRIL 4
Madhavi Sunder
, Frank Sherry Professor of Intellectual Property, Georgetown Law School
Cultural Appropriation: From the Parthenon Marbles to AI


Questions about the Colloquium should be addressed to Nicole Arzt. Email if you plan to attend any of the talks.