IP Scholars Forum at Akron

You are cordially invited to the Seventh Annual IP Scholars Forum, sponsored by the University of Akron School of Law’s Center for Intellectual Property & Technology.

The Forum will be held at the law school on Friday, October 25, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Its purpose is to bring together a small group of prominent scholars for intensive, high-level discussions on cutting-edge issues of common interest.

This year’s field of discussion will be “Food and Intellectual Property.” Professor Jay Dratler, Jr., although retired, will return again to moderate the Forum.

We expect the discussion to be broad, as was the case last year in the field of IP and public health. Possible topics in this year’s broad field of discussion include: the patentability of food, the effects of patents on hunger and human rights, the exhaustion of self-replicating technologies under the Supreme Court’s decision in Monsanto v. Bowman, conflict between IP and culinary cultures, and alternatives to IP for promoting and protecting innovation in food. Less politically freighted topics include: copyright protection for recipes, copyright and trade dress protection for food presentation (such as the “foaming” techniques now in vogue in upscale restaurants), geographic indications for food and wine, and flavors as trademarks.

As usual, the only admission price is a short paper (10-15 pages, with minimal footnotes) on some Forum topic. If you attend, you should distribute your paper by e-mail about a month prior to the Forum. Papers will not be formally presented at the Forum. Instead, we will engage in free-flowing discussion based on the Forum topic and the papers submitted. For those who would like to do so, we will arrange for papers to be published in symposium format in our Akron IP Journal.

Last year’s white paper on IP and public health, in which Prof. Vacca summarized the Forum discussion, turned out to be a success. So we will produce another white paper this year. We will publish a summary of our discussion, both online and in print, in the Akron IP Journal.

We are unable to pay travel expenses. However, we will provide a reception and dinner on the evening before the Forum and a light breakfast and lunch on the day of the Forum.

If you wish, we can arrange recreational activities in the area, with such attractions as the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cleveland Orchestra, or the Football or Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Although Northeast Ohio never provides a guarantee, we often have crisp, clear and bracing fall weather at that time of year.

Attendance will be limited to permit intimate discussion, so please respond soon. You may RSVP to Shannon Aupperle, at sfauppe@uakron.edu.


Jeffrey M. Samuels
David L. Brennan Professor of Law
and Director, Center of Intellectual
Property Law and Technology

Jay Dratler, Jr.
Goodyear Professor Intellectual Property, Emeritus

Katharine Van Tassel
Professor of Law

A. Samuel Oddi
Giles Sutherland Rich Professor
in Intellectual Property

Ryan Vacca
Associate Professor of Law

Robert C. Kahrl
Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence