• Archive for July, 2013

    Announcing Workshop on Empirical Methods in Intellectual Property

    by  • July 31, 2013 • Faculty Workshops/ Conferences • 0 Comments

    We are pleased to announce the first Workshop on Empirical Methods in Intellectual Property, jointly sponsored by Chicago-Kent’s Center for Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The workshop will take place in Chicago, IL, on October 11-12, 2013.

    The workshop is intended to give scholars engaging in empirical and experimental studies of IP a chance to receive feedback on their work at an early stage in their research. Accordingly, the workshop will be limited to a small cohort of scholars discussing projects that are still in their developmental stages. Projects that will have substantially begun data collection by the time of the workshop are inappropriate. Pilot data collection is, however, appropriate.

    The workshop will be organized around a modest number of projects. Each project presenter will be expected to circulate a description of the project of no more than 10 pages by October 1. Each project will be assigned to an expert commenter and will be allotted 45 minutes of discussion by the attendees.

    We welcome applications from scholars in the social sciences and law. Travel and lodging support for presenters will be provided by the workshop’s host institutions.

    To apply to present at the workshop, please email Christi Guerrini (cguerrin@kentlaw.iit.edu) with the following information:

      • Name
      • Institutional Affiliation
      • Title of Project
      • Description of Project (<750 words) including the issues to be addressed and the empirical methods to be employed
      • Acknowledgement that the project will not have reached data collection by the time of the workshop

    Applications are due by August 24. Decisions will be made by September 2.

    We look forward to seeing you in Chicago.


    Christopher Buccafusco, Co-Director CESIP Chicago-Kent
    Alan Marco, Acting Chief Economist USPTO
    David Schwartz, Co-Director CESIP Chicago-Kent
    Saurabh Vishnubhakat, Expert Advisor USPTO

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 7/25

    by  • July 25, 2013 • Faculty in the News • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last week.

    7/18 – Professor Nancy Marder was featured in the New York Times‘ “Room for Debate” forum, where five experts discussed the pros and cons of televised trials (“You, the Jury“). Prof. Marder’s contribution, “A Viewer’s Role Is Nothing Like a Juror’s,” argued that “televised criminal trials do more harm than good.”

    7/19 – The story of the Oyez Project’s 20 year journey—from its humble beginnings at Wrigley Field to its recent partnership with the National Science Foundation—was recounted at livescience (“Baseball Helps Humanize the Supreme Court“). Founder Jerry Goldman’s initial idea was to “take the [Supreme Court] down from its exalted status and bring it to the public” by presenting information on justices through a baseball-card-like interface. Since then, Oyez has become a comprehensive multimedia archive of Supreme Court cases which includes over 14,000 hours of audio from oral arguments the court has heard since 1955. Oyez’s current project will digitize legal materials of State Supreme and Federal Appellate Courts (see “Enhancing Public Access to Legal Data” at Government Technology for more details).

    7/21 – Professor Richard Kling was quoted in an LA Times article responding to a reader’s legal question (“Arrest from 1970 on record at airport customs but nowhere else“).

    7/23 – Dean Harold Krent was interviewed for an NBC Chicago article and video on surveillance technology being used by some retailers to track shoppers (“How Some Stores Track Shoppers’ Every Move“). Krent raised the concern that such technologies risk infringing upon the consumer’s right to privacy.

    Announcing SCIPR 2013

    by  • July 24, 2013 • Faculty Workshops/ Conferences • 0 Comments

    The Supreme Court Intellectual Property Review (SCIPR) is a Chicago-Kent-hosted conference designed to provide intellectual property practitioners, jurists, legal academics, and law students with a review of IP cases from the U.S. Supreme Court’s previous Term, a preview of cases on the docket for the upcoming Term, and a discussion of cert. petitions to watch. Information on SCIPR 2013—which will be held Thursday, September 26—can now be found here.

    The Honorable Diane Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will give this year’s keynote address, titled “Is it Time to Abolish the Federal Circuit’s Exclusive Jurisdiction in Patent Cases?” The conference will cover the six IP cases decided during the 2012 Term:

    •  Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (patentability of human DNA sequences)

    •  Bowman v. Monsanto Company (patent exhaustion in second generation of genetically modified seeds)

    •  Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (international copyright exhaustion)

    •  Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc. (impact of covenant-not-to-sue on declaratory judgment jurisdiction in trademark cases)

    •  Gunn v. Minton (Federal Circuit jurisdiction over patent malpractice claims)

    •  FTC v. Actavis, Inc. (antitrust and reverse payments to settle patent litigation)

    Additionally, Chicago-Kent’s own Carolyn Shapiro will moderate a session previewing cert. petitions to watch in the 2013 Term.

    Click here for a complete list of speakers and here for the conference agenda. Registration is $35 for the general public, $15 for outside academics and students, and free for Chicago-Kent faculty and students.

    Chicago-Kent Research Paper Series No. 5.7

    by  • July 22, 2013 • Faculty Scholarship • 0 Comments

    The Chicago-Kent Research Paper Series (RPS) is an SSRN ejournal publication, distributed monthly, that highlights new abstracts, works in progress, and recently published articles by Chicago-Kent faculty.

    The latest edition (5.7) of the RPS was distributed today. This edition includes the following articles:

    – Asia and Global Competition Law Convergence, book chapter in Asian Capitalism and the Regulation of Competition: Towards a Regulatory Geography of Global Competition Law (2013), by David Gerber

    – Does Public Employee Collective Bargaining Distort Democracy? A Perspective from the United States, 34 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol’y J. 299 (2013), by Martin Malin

    – Claiming Neutrality and Confessing Subjectivity in Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, 88 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 455 (2013), by Carolyn Shapiro

    – Protecting Property Through Politics: State Legislative Checks and Judicial Takings, 97 Minn. L. Rev. 101 (forthcoming 2013), by Stephanie Stern

    Click here to see the abstract page for the Series and to subscribe to the ejournal.

    Marder Featured in NYT Op-Ed Forum

    by  • July 19, 2013 • Faculty in the News • 0 Comments

    Professor Nancy Marder was featured yesterday in the New York Times‘ “Room for Debate” forum, where five experts discussed the pros and cons of televised trials (“You, the Jury“). The debaters covered questions like, “Does televising trials let people better understand the criminal justice system, or does that attention turn trials into circuses?” and “[W]as the coverage of the [Zimmerman] trial an important service or just a ploy for ratings?”

    Prof. Marder’s response, titled “A Viewer’s Role Is Nothing Like a Juror’s,” states that “televised criminal trials do more harm than good” and focuses on the fact that “the television viewer does not watch the entire trial with full attention, and does not view it with the protections provided to jurors.” Click here to continue reading.

    Additionally, take a look at Prof. Marder’s scholarly article The Conundrum of Cameras in the Courtroom (44 Arizona State Law Journal 1489 (2013)) for more on this topic.

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 7/18

    by  • July 18, 2013 • Faculty in the News • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last week.

    7/15 – Dean Harold Krent appeared on the CLTV television program Politics Tonight to discuss the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case. Dean Krent was also interviewed by Brian O’Keefe of WDCB Public Radio on 7/17 (“DOJ Considers Federal Civil Rights Case Against Zimmerman“).

    7/15 – Professor Richard Warner’s latest book, Unauthorized Access: The Crisis in Online Privacy and Security (co-authored with Robert Sloan, professor at UIC), was published by CRC Press. The book explores the connection between social norms, privacy, security, and technological structure, key themes in Prof. Warner’s scholarship. Read a summary of the book here.

    Missed news:

    – Distinguished Professor David Gerber was granted an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Zurich for “his path-breaking contributions to comparative law and economic law.” The degree was conferred during ceremonies held April 27 in Zurich. Read the rest of the story here, and browse Prof. Gerber’s extensive body of scholarship here.

    The Agency for International Development Case — Free Speech and Gov’t Funding

    by  • July 12, 2013 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    Nahmod_Sheldon thumbBy Sheldon Nahmod [originally posted on Nahmod Law]


    The Supreme Court handed down an important First Amendment decision on June 20, 2013, that has attracted relatively little attention thus far. The decision is Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society (PDF), 133 S. Ct. — (2013), No. 12-10 (Justice Scalia, joined by Justice Thomas, dissented; Justice Kagan recused herself).

    In order to understand it, I’d like to provide the First Amendment background.

    First Amendment Background

    It is black letter First Amendment law that, with few exceptions, government cannot directly regulate the speech of its citizens because of disagreement with the viewpoint expressed. Ideally, government should be neutral when it comes to the content of speech. See my post of January 19, 2010, where I discuss the three dominant rationales of the First Amendment.

    It is also black letter First Amendment law that government cannot compel its citizens to express political or other views. West Virginia Bd. of Education v. Barnette, 319 U. S. 624 (1943); Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U. S. 705 (1977). (more…)

    Shapiro — Claiming Neutrality and Confessing Subjectivity in SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings

    by  • July 12, 2013 • Faculty Scholarship • 0 Comments

    Professor Carolyn Shapiro has posted a new article to SSRN titled Claiming Neutrality and Confessing Subjectivity in Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, 88 Chicago-Kent Law Review 455 (2013). The article was originally presented at Chicago-Kent’s “Symposium on the Supreme Court and the American Public,” on a panel in which speakers examined the ideologies that influence the Supreme Court’s decision-making and the public’s perceptions of those decisions. The panel featured a variety of first-hand empirical data drawn from law-themed social research. Read the abstract of Professor Shapiro’s article below.

    Supreme Court confirmation hearings provide a rare opportunity for the American people to hear what (would-be) justices think about the nature of judging and the role of the Supreme Court. In recent years, nominees have been quick to talk about judging in terms of neutrality and objectivity, most famously with Chief Justice Roberts’ invocation of the “neutral umpire,” and they have emphasized their reliance on legal texts and sources as if those sources can provide answers in difficult cases. Many of the cases heard by the Supreme Court, however, do not have objectively correct answers that can be deduced from the legal materials. Instead the justices must bring judgment to bear, and that judgment inevitably incorporates subjectivity and reference to values and principles not explicit in the legal sources.

    This Article considers the extent to which nominees admit to such subjectivity and the extent to which they claim neutrality or objectivity, looking at all confirmation hearings since 1955. Through coding the nominees’ testimony, the Article identifies some of the circumstances under which these claims and admissions are most likely to be made. Among other findings, the Article reports that Democratic and Republican nominees are equally likely to claim neutrality in colloquy with any particular senator. On the other hand, Democratic nominees are about twice as likely as Republican nominees to admit to a role for subjectivity. Drawing on the insights of cultural cognition scholars, the Article then considers the implications of such findings and raises potential concerns for public perceptions of the Court, especially in light of our current highly polarized political culture.

    Download the article from SSRN here.

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 7/11

    by  • July 11, 2013 • Faculty in the News • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last week.

    7/2 – Professor Vinay Harpalani was quoted in an article on Progress Illinois about the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas (“Legal Experts: SCOTUS Decision Leaves Affirmative Action ‘Up In The Air’“). Prof. Harpalani previously wrote about the implications of the Fisher ruling on this blog (here).

    7/7 – Professor David Schwartz was quoted in a Chicago Tribune story about the Chicago-based Intellectual Property Exchange International, which is seeking to create a marketplace where patents, inventions, and other intellectual property can be traded like commodities (“New exchange is formed for trading patent rights“).

    7/8 – Professor Nancy Marder was featured on The Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC/NPR Radio) (“Why Are There Cameras in Courtrooms Anyway?“); she discussed the lack of cameras in the Supreme Court and whether the justice system benefits from televised proceedings, subjects of her recent article The Conundrum of Cameras in the Courtroom, 44 Arizona State Law Journal 1489 (2013). Listen to the interview here.

    7/9 – Professor David Schwartz appeared in a video honoring Federal Circuit Judge Richard Linn. Watch the video below.