BookIT talk with Christopher Carani about “Design Rights: Functionality and Scope of Protection”

Christopher Carani, a partner of the law firm McAndrews, Held & Malloy Ltd. and a Research Affiliate of c∆, spoke about the recently published book he edited, Design Rights: Functionality and Scope of Protection (Wolters Kluwer N.V. 2017), at a BookIT IP Series talk at Chicago-Kent College of Law on April 11, 2018. The book addresses the issue of functionality in the context of design rights, which has become an important aspect of intellectual property law with respect to the protection of industrial and other designs, and provides detailed country-by-country analysis and guidance on the legal issues and practical implications of functionality in 27 key jurisdictions worldwide. Learn about Chicago-Kent’s Program in Intellectual Property Law at


Prof. Sarah Burstein talk on “Whole Designs”

event: Prof. Sarah Burstein of the University of Oklahoma College of Law is this year’s first speaker in the Center’s series on “What Is Design?”  That question is central to the scope of design protection, yet the answer may differ depending on one’s view of design.  Prof. Burstein examines the question of statutory subject matter of the design patent act and how we might reimagine the concept of what is a “design.”

bio: Sarah Burstein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Her scholarship focuses on design law, with a particular focus on design patents.  She is a Research Affiliate of the Chicago-Kent Center for Design, Law & Technology.

She has participated, by invitation, in design law conferences at the University of Oxford, Stanford Law School, the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, ETH Zürich, and Waseda University in Tokyo. Prior to joining the faculty at OU, Professor Burstein worked as an intellectual property litigation associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Professor Burstein has a law degree from the University of Chicago and B.A. in Art & Design from Iowa State University.

Date: Nov. 14, 2018
Time: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Venue : Chicago-Kent College of Law

Prof. Orly Lobel BookIT talk on “You Don’t Own Me”

When Carter Bryant began designing what would become the billion-dollar line of Bratz dolls, he was taking time off from his job at Mattel, where he designed outfits for Barbie. Later, back at Mattel, he sold his concept for Bratz to rival company MGA. Law professor Orly Lobel reveals the colorful story behind the ensuing decade-long court battle.  The battle between Mattel, the makers of the iconic Barbie doll, and MGA, the company that created the Bratz dolls, was not just a war over best-selling toys, but a war over who owns ideas.

This entertaining and provocative work pits audacious MGA against behemoth Mattel, shows how an idea turns into a product, and explores the two different versions of womanhood, represented by traditional all-American Barbie and her defiant, anti-establishment rival―the only doll to come close to outselling her. In an era when workers may be asked to sign contracts granting their employers the rights to and income resulting from their ideas―whether conceived during work hours or on their own time―Lobel’s deeply researched story is a riveting and thought-provoking contribution to the contentious debate over creativity and intellectual property.

Orly Lobel is the Don Weckstein Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and received her doctoral and law degrees from Harvard University. She is a prolific speaker, commentators and scholar who travels the world with an impact on policy and industry. Her best-selling book You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side (Norton 2017) has been nationally and internationally acclaimed and received rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New Yorker, NPR, Modern Law, Times Higher Education, the Washington Blade, and more.

Official Launch: February 21, 2018

The launch of Chicago-Kent’s new Center for Design, Law & Technology occurred on February 21, 2018 with a public lecture by the center’s co-founder Graeme Dinwoodie, the Global Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Chicago-Kent, who will speak on “The Future of Design Copyright after Star Athletica?” Mark McKenna, Notre Dame Professor of Law and Presidential Fellow, who is a Research Affiliate of the Center, offered a reply.

5-6 pm – Public lecture by Prof. Dinwoodie and reply by Prof. McKenna (Approved for 1 hour of general IL MCLE and 1 hour of general PA MCLE; download CLE materials here)

6-7 pm – Reception