Speaker to Examing Design Patent System's Origins

09.01.2011 | Law
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Indiana Law Professor Mark D. Janis will analyze the history of the U.S. design patent system during a special program at Keller Hall on Thursday, September 15.

As part of the Scholarly Symposia Series on Current Issues in Intellectual Property Law, Janis will discuss "Designing the Design Patent System." He will help attendees better understand the origins of the design patent system in an effort to help them grapple with the critical issues that modern practitioners face.

The program also includes a panel of IP experts: Tara M. Rosnell, associate general counsel and director of global trademarks at the Proctor and Gamble Company, and Christopher V. Carani, partner at McAndrews, Held & Malloy.

Janis will discuss will review intellectual property protection for designs, including the ornamental appearance of a useful item, like an iPod case or a car chassis.

"Design patent protection is the oldest form of U.S. intellectual property protection for designs," he said, "but no one has previously studied the history of its origins, which trace back to the 1840s. The history is important today to explain why modern doctrines used in the utility patent system (for inventions) don't adapt easily for designs."

Janis teaches and writes in the fields of patents, trademarks/unfair competition and intellectual property antitrust. He joined the faculty at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2009, where he is Robert A. Lucas Chair of Law and the director of the Center for Intellectual Property Research.

He has published numerous law review articles and is co-author of two casebooks, both with Professor Graeme Dinwoodie, Trademarks & Unfair Competition: Law and Policy and Trade Dress and Design Law. Previously, he held the H. Blair & Joan V. White Intellectual Property Law Chair at the University of Iowa.

Tara Rosnell joined Proctor & Gamble's IP division in 1991, and her practice covers all areas of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyright, designs, domain names, rights of publicity, brand protection and enforcement through negotiation, mediation and litigation. She regularly participates in IP conferences.

Christopher Carani, a partner and shareholder at the Chicago-based IP law firm McAndrews, is nationally recognized as a forerunner in design patent law. He has presented and published extensively on design patent law, litigated numerous disputes and served as a legal consultant and expert witness in many design law cases. He chaired the American Intellectual Property Association's Industrial Designs Committee and currently chairs the ABA's Design Rights Committee.

The program begins at 6 p.m. with a reception, followed by Janis' presentation at 7 p.m. It is sponsored by McAndrews, Held & Malloy and presented by the School of Law's Program in Law and Technology and the Intellectual Property Law Society.

Register online or by contacting Nan Holler-Potter at 937-229-4676 or by email.