The American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA/IPL) has named OU Law Professor Sarah Burstein chair of its Design Committee. While she does not officially assume the role until September 1st, she is already getting down to business. She has spearheaded the effort to change the committee’s name from the Industrial Design Committee to the Design Committee.
“The basic goal was to change the name to "better reflect the products and processes that are the key subjects of design protection in the 21st century,” said Professor Burstein.
The term “industrial design” suggests a focus on the products and processes of 20th-century mass production. And while this remains an important area of great interest to the committee, individuals and companies now seek intellectual property protection for subject matter that does not neatly fit into the “industrial design” box—things like computer interface design and user experience design. At the same time, formerly discrete areas of design are converging. For example, Google just hired a fashion designer to head up its Google Glass division and Apple has hired fashion-industry executives to head its retail division and to work on special projects.
All of these changes present significant challenges and opportunities with respect to intellectual property law. Indeed, despite its formal name and description, the committee has been interested in a broader swath of “design” for years; for example, the committee’s CLE presentation at the 24th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference included a discussion of fashion law.
Professor Burstein would also like to get the committee and students more involved with the ABA/IPL. She said many students are not award of the fact they can join the ABA for a nominal fee. If you are interested in finding out more about the student membership of ABA, click here (opens in new window). If you are interested in learning more about design law, a course description is included below.
6100 - Design Law
(3 hours). This course focuses on intellectual property protection for designs. Specific areas of coverage will include design patents, copyright in useful articles, trade dress, and sui generis design laws, including recent attempts to expand sui generis protection to fashion designs. Although this course will mainly focus on U.S. law, it will also cover the European design protection system and the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. No technical background is required.
More News & Media
Assoc. Dean Shaner Published in ‘The Best of The Business Lawyer: 75 Years of Corporate Law’
OU Law Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship Megan Shaner’s article, “Restoring the Balance of Power in Corporate Management: Enforcing an Officer’s Duty of Obedience,” was recently re-published in The Best of The Business Lawyer: 75 Years of Corporate Law .
Rebeka Morales, Event and Communications Coordinator
OU Law Conversations: Judge Ralph Thompson
What lead you to OU Law? As was permitted at the time, my first year at OU Law in 1956 was as an undergraduate senior at OU. I never questioned where I would go to law school. I was our family’s second generation to go to OU law school. We are now a five-generation family to do so. My dad and his identical twin brother, Ralph, were OU Law graduates, class of 1927. My grandfather, Dr. William Bennett Bizzell, was OU’s 5 th president. OU was a second home to me.
University of Oklahoma College of Law Now Accepting GRE for Admission
NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law will now accept GRE scores from applicants in lieu of LSAT scores when applying for law school admission. This decision, which has been approved by the OU Board of Regents, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and OU College of Law faculty, provides applicants with greater flexibility when considering a legal education.