Eric Johnson, at the University of North Dakota, has launched a project that bears watching: an online Museum of Intellectual Property.
The aim of the museum is to serve as a resource for teachers, students, and scholars of IP law, and to preserve an important facet of legal history.
The museum’s collection currently includes some 100 physical artifacts that embody the patents, copyrights, and trademarks fought over in scores of lawsuits. Among the items: a Qualitex green-gold press pad cover, a Stiffel pole lamp, a Festo magnetic rodless cylinder, a Motorola SportsTrax pager, a theatre program for Abie’s Irish Rose, Gary Saderup’s print of the Three Stooges. In addition to the physical objects, there will also be audio specimens and digital images from still more cases.
Today, I am putting the museum online. I’ll roll out one exhibit at a time, debuting each as a post on this blog. The premiere exhibit page shows a dual-spring road sign from TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc., 532 U.S. 23 (2001). The sign was a generous gift from TrafFix — for which I am very grateful.