CPIP Roundup – November 29, 2019


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Greetings from CPIP Executive Director Sean O’Connor

As we wind down the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., the CPIP team is grateful for many things, most especially your support. If you are spending time with family—or enjoying a “Friendsgiving”—we hope it has been restful.

As part of CPIP’s enhanced focus on international engagement, I gave a series of lectures in South Korea earlier this month at Mason’s own Korea campus in Incheon and at Seoul National University. First up was “AI and IP: Who Owns What Non-Humans Create” at Mason Korea in Incheon. Next were two lectures at Seoul National University: “IP and Ethics in AI-Based Biomedical Research” at the medical school and “Complex Nature of Music Compositions for Copyright Litigation” at the law school. Finally, I presented “The New Music Economy: Data + Experiences” to an audience of copyright professionals. I very much appreciated SNU’s Professor Sang Jo Jong for providing me with his son’s guitar for performance demonstrations at the two music lectures.

Back in Arlington, we continued our international activities by hosting the Japan IP Association (JIPA) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) for their annual programs with DC-area IP professionals. As part of this, CPIP Deputy Director Kevin Madigan and I gave a joint talk to the JIPA delegation and I gave an overview of our new Innovation Law Clinic to the JETRO participants. Judge Randall Rader (ret.) and I also performed a musical set for the JIPA farewell dinner. Next month, I will be teaching at Tsinghua University School of Law in Beijing together with Judge Rader and John Whealan, Associate Dean for IP Studies at George Washington University School of Law.

In other important developments here at CPIP, we are excited to welcome CPIP Senior Scholar and Torrey H. Webb Professor of Law at USC Gould School of Law Jonathan Barnett as our non-resident Senior Fellow for Innovation Policy to direct our activities in that space. The kickoff event for the build-out of our current campus into the Arlington Innovation District—celebrating 40 years here already—was a great success with media coverage for the impressive vision set out by the Interim President, Anne Holton, and other senior administrators. We congratulate non-resident Senior Fellow for Life Sciences Erika Lietzan for her well-deserved promotion to full professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia! Finally, the remaining videos from this October’s Fall Conference have been uploaded to the CPIP website.

Enjoy those Thanksgiving leftovers, and we hope to see you at a CPIP event soon!


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Spotlight on Scholarship

Paul J. Heald & Ted M. Sichelman, Ranking the Academic Impact of 100 American Law Schools, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019)

In this paper that will be published in the Jurimetrics Journal, CPIP Senior Scholar Ted Sichelman and Paul Heald of Illinois Law analyze the limitations with measuring faculty impact at U.S. law schools using the methods of U.S. News & World Report and scholarly rankings that fail to capture the influence on the broader legal community. They overcome these shortcomings by offering citation-based rankings that utilize a more comprehensive database and impact rankings based on download counts, as well as a combination of the two metrics. Based on the data, Professors Sichelman and Heald explain why they support U.S. News’s plan to rank schools on the basis of citation counts and they recommend that U.S. News adopt a quantitative-based metric as a faculty reputation component of its overall rankings.

Patricia J. Zettler & Erika Lietzan, A Special Exception for CBD in Foods and Supplements?, ___ Drug Discov. Today ___ (2019)

In this article that will be published at Drug Discovery Today, CPIP Senior Fellow for Life Sciences Erika Lietzan and Patricia Zettler of Moritz College of Law look at the recent explosion of the cannabidiol (CBD) market, where CBD-containing oils, lotions, gummies, tea, coffee, water, popcorn, and cereal are widely available on store shelves and online. They explain how these sales violate the “drug exclusion rules” in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), yet the FDA has neglected to enforce those rules for the most part. As lawmakers and the FDA consider the path forward, Professors Lietzan and Zettler argue that the decision to give CBD special treatment should be made thoughtfully and with public participation, accounting for possible gains in consumer access and choice, as well as the lost opportunity to learn, and harness, CBD’s full therapeutic potential.