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Registration underway for Akron Law’s 21st annual IP symposium

Legal News Reporter

Published: February 12, 2019

With sessions and panels addressing design protection in the 21st century, worldwide filing strategies for U.S. patent applicants, artificial intelligence and recent changes to laws and policies, the 21st annual Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy covers a wide variety of topics important to IP practitioners and students interested in exploring a career in the area.

The daylong CLE takes place at The University of Akron School of Law on Monday, March 4.

“We will be providing legal updates and discussion on all areas of patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark law,” said David L. Brennan Associate Professor of Law Ryan T. Holte, director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology at The University of Akron School of Law.

“A special focus this year will be on international IP issues, which is what those in attendance last year requested more of,” said Holte. “As a result there will be a one-hour panel on international IP filings with international IP attorney speakers.”

“Akron Law has one of the nation’s top intellectual property law programs,” said Akron Law Dean Christopher J. (C.J.) Peters. “We have been hosting the annual Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy for more than 20 years. The symposium has become one of the biggest annual events on the national IP law calendar, bringing together academics, practitioners, patent holders, jurists and policymakers to discuss the latest developments in the field.

“In years past, the symposium has often been held in the Knight Center in downtown Akron. However, with the construction of the Jean Hower Taber Student Union on campus and the renovation of the McDowell Law Center, we now have state-of-the-art facilities on campus capable of hosting the event and related activities.

“Last year we held the symposium on campus and it was a huge success,” said Peters. “We look forward to hosting it at the university for many years to come.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

“I believe this is the director’s first speaking event in Ohio so for those interested in listening to what he has to say on recent changes and PTO Office concerns, this is probably their first opportunity to do so,” said Holte.

Educators have applied for a total of seven CLE credit hours, including 1.25 of professional conduct credit covering ethics, professionalism, substance abuse and access to justice.

Holte said another insight gained from last year’s event is that it’s often difficult to offer professional conduct credit that is both enjoyable and interesting, which is why he has enlisted former Jones Day managing partner Richard Pogue to speak at the symposium. Pogue currently serves as senior advisor at Jones Day.

“I knew Dick well when I used to practice at Jones Day and I think he will give an excellent and informative CLE, so it should be a special treat for everyone,” said Holte.

In addition to the upcoming event, Akron Law recently hosted the kickoff and CLE portion of the Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association’s January dinner at the C. Blake McDowell Law Center.

The reception and dinner for the Jan. 31 event took place at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, with Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner David Kappos giving the keynote address.

The former IBM vice president and assistant general counsel for IP and former Under Secretary of Commerce and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office discussed “Innovation Trends for the 21st Century.”

“He spent about 20 minutes after the talk answering questions, including some great questions about working with the Commerce Secretary and President Obama in furtherance of passing the America Invents Act in 2011,” said Holte.

“The primary focus of the CIPLA event as well as our upcoming symposium is to bring IP practitioners to the university while building the reputation of the university as a leading institution for IP education,” said Holte. “These events not only help to strengthen our program, but they bring attorneys, faculty and students together providing students with the chance to network with practitioners, which often leads to internships and even full-time career positions.”

Registration for the March 4 Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy runs through Feb. 25. It costs $380 for legal professionals, $180 for government employees and faculty and $25 for students. Anyone registering at the door will pay an additional $30.

To register for the symposium, go to (www.uakron.edu/ipsymposium).