In the Spotlight


WIPO-CPIP Summer School
on Intellectual Property

June 3-14, 2019

Antonin Scalia Law School
George Mason University
Arlington, Virginia

The Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, has partnered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to host the second iteration of the WIPO-CPIP Summer School on Intellectual Property.

This exclusive, two-week summer course will be held in Arlington, Virginia—just minutes from Washington, D.C., one of the world’s key centers of IP law and policymaking. The course provides a unique opportunity for students, professionals, and government officials to work with leading experts to gain a deeper knowledge of IP to advance their careers.

The course consists of lectures, case studies, simulation exercises, and group discussions on selected IP topics, with an orientation towards the interface between IP and other disciplines. A certificate of participation is awarded to participants who successfully complete the course requirements.

To visit our program website, please click here.


Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project Issue Paper on Regulatory Overreach at the FTC

On December 10, 2018, the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project published an issue paper entitled Will Overzealous Regulators Make Your Smartphone Stupid? The paper was written by CPIP Senior Scholars Adam Mossoff and Kristen Osenga, among others.

The issue paper addresses the FTC’s regulatory overreach in its investigations, policy statements, and enforcement actions on standard essential patents (SEPs) specifically and patent licensing more generally. It criticizes the FTC for basing its actions on unproven academic theories and threatening real-world innovation and the innovation economy.

To read the issue paper, please click here.


Videos: Panel Presentations from the CPIP 2018 Fall Conference

On October 11-12, 2018, CPIP hosted its Sixth Annual Fall Conference, IP for the Next Generation of Technology, at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, in Arlington, Virginia.

After the breakthrough technology that gave us the mobile technology revolution of the past fifteen years, another leap forward in technology is about to break out into consumer products and services. Our panelists addressed how IP rights and institutions can foster and support this technological advance and considered how IP helps creators, inventors, the creative industries, and the innovation industries move forward.

We are grateful for the panelists, moderators, and audience members who made our Sixth Annual Fall Conference such a huge success, and we hope you will enjoy the videos!

To watch the panel presentations, please click here.


Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic Students File Amicus Brief in Brammer v. Violent Hues

On October 29, 2018, students from the Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic at Antonin Scalia Law School filed an amicus brief in the Brammer v. Violent Hues case that is on appeal in the Fourth Circuit. The Clinic is run by CPIP Director of Copyright Research and Policy Sandra Aistars, and two of the Clinic students wrote a blog post about the brief that you can read here.

At issue in the case is the extent of the fair use doctrine in the digital age. The plaintiff took a time-lapse photograph of a skyline and posted it online. The defendant found the photograph, cropped it, and used it to promote a film festival. The district court held that the copying was fair use since the photograph was factual in nature while the defendant’s use was promotional and expressive. The case is now on appeal to the Fourth Circuit, where the Clinic students ask the appellate court to reverse the district court’s erroneous application of the fair use doctrine.

To read the amicus brief, please click here.


Video: Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs Delivers Keynote Address at CPIP 2018 Fall Conference

On October 11-12, 2018, CPIP hosted its Sixth Annual Fall Conference, IP for the Next Generation of Technology, at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, in Arlington, Virginia.

Without doubt, the highlight of our conference was the keynote address by Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs—the inventor of the digital transmission technology for cell phones that gave birth to the smartphone revolution and the founder of Qualcomm. Dr. Jacobs has been a luminary in the telecommunications industry for many years, and he delighted conference attendees with endearing stories and wonderful insights from his inventive and commercial activities over the years.

We hope you will enjoy Dr. Jacobs’ keynote address as much as we do!

The video is available here, and it is embedded below:


Supreme Court to Address Constitutional Protection of Patents in Return Mail v. United States Postal Service

On October 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Return Mail Inc. v. United States Postal Service, a case that turns on whether the government is a “person” who may petition to institute a covered business method (CBM) review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011.

Earlier this year, CPIP Senior Scholars Adam Mossoff and Kristen Osenga joined an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to hear the case in order to address the constitutional protection of patents when taken by government officials. The brief, written on behalf of 15 law professors by Professor Adam MacLeod, is a tour de force on the nature of patent infringement as a legal wrong (and thus as a legal cause of action) as distinguished from the nature of a government “taking.”

To read the amicus brief, please click here.


CPIP Hosts Sixth Annual Fall Conference at Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington, Virginia

On October 11-12, 2018, CPIP hosted its Sixth Annual Fall Conference, IP for the Next Generation of Technology, at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, in Arlington, Virginia.

After the breakthrough technology that gave us the mobile technology revolution of the past fifteen years, another leap forward in technology is about to break out into consumer products and services. Our conference addressed how IP rights and institutions can foster and support this technological advance, whether it is in the development of the Internet of Things (IOT), the use of Big Data, the deployment of 3D printing, continued advances in streaming media, or in the myriad new business models that will arise from these technological and commercial innovations.

All of this will be fostered by and will benefit from stable and effective property rights in innovative technologies and creative arts. Contrary to the tread-worn claims that new technological developments make IP rights unnecessary, this conference considered how IP helps creators, inventors, the creative industries, and the innovation industries move forward.

To visit our conference website, please click here.


CPIP Scholars to Federal Circuit: Misapplication of Section 101 Undermines the Innovation Industries

On July 6, 2018, CPIP Founder Adam Mossoff and CPIP John F. Witherspoon Legal Fellow David Lund filed an amicus brief on behalf of 12 patent law scholars in American Axle v. Neapco Holdings, a case currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The brief was joined by CPIP Senior Scholars Chris Holman, Kristen Osenga, and Ted Sichelman.

The invention at issue in the case is a method of manufacturing engine components, which the district court found to be a “law of nature” and thus patent-ineligible subject matter. The amici argue that the district court improperly applied the Mayo-Alice test under Section 101 of the Patent Act in reaching this conclusion.

In particular, the amici note that claims assessed under Section 101 must be analyzed “as a whole” to ensure that the individual claim terms are not construed in isolation, as the district court did in this case. They point out how this case perfectly represents the problem of over-restrictiveness in patent-eligibility doctrine being created by the courts today that has resulted in legal uncertainty and undermined the innovation industries relying on reliable and effective patent rights.

To read the amicus brief, please click here.


CPIP Scholars Join Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court to Take Patent Case Testing Limits of CBM Reviews

On June 25, 2018, CPIP Senior Scholars Adam Mossoff and Kristen Osenga joined an amicus brief written on behalf of 15 law professors by Professor Adam MacLeod, a CPIP Thomas Edison Innovation Fellow for 2017 and 2018 and a member of CPIP’s growing community of scholars.

The brief, which was filed in Return Mail Inc. v. United States Postal Service and United States, asks the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in order to correct the erroneous decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit below holding that the federal government can challenge the validity of issued patents in covered business method (CBM) reviews before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

The brief concludes:

The power to initiate a proceeding before the Board which implicates patent rights and liberties to use innovations is a significant right. Because the sovereign is immune from lawsuits and liability for infringement, it lacks the power that Congress has conferred upon infringers to contest the validity of a patent in a covered business method proceeding. The Federal Circuit wrongly conferred upon the Postal Service both the powers of a sovereign and the powers of a private right-holder who is charged with infringement, even as it excused the Postal Service from the legal disadvantages of both of those offices. We encourage the Court to grant the petition for certiorari and reverse the Federal Circuit’s decision below.

To read the amicus brief, please click here.