The Washington D.C. football franchise has announced “a thorough review of the team’s name,” long criticized as a racist slur against Native Americans. In the last week, majority owner Dan Snyder has received increased pressure to change the name from corporate sponsors (including Fed Ex, Bank of America, PepsiCo and Nike) as well as the NFL commissioner and the DC Mayor. The team’s name and logos have been the subject of organized protest and litigation by Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee) and other Native advocates for decades.
Under the supervision of Prof. Victoria Phillips, the WCL IP Clinic has represented Harjo in the IP controversy surrounding the team’s disparaging trademark. Phillips noted this week, “I got involved in this issue as a trademark matter. As I learned more and worked with Suzan, I got invested in it as a civil rights cause. Sadly, most Americans don’t know a Native person so what they learn and believe about them is from the dehumanizing imagery peddled by professional, college and high school sports teams. The harmful stereotypes perpetuated by these racial slurs and imagery have a well-documented negative impact on the Native community — especially children.” Her writings on the topic include Beyond Trademark: The Washington Redskins Case and the Search for Dignity [92 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 1065 (2017)] and Missing the Point: The Real Impact of Native Mascots and Team Names on American Indian and Alaska Native Youth [Ctr. for Am. Progress (July 22, 2014)].
On the fast moving developments brought about by corporate pressure this week, she added “ any change related to the Washington team is just the beginning. Retiring the use of this slur is the powerful precedent needed to end the use of racialized names and imagery across all competitive sports. As the nation reckons with racial injustice in its systems and symbols, it looks like that time may finally arrive.”
Congratulations to Natalie Koss, an IP Clinic alum, who has been elected to the D.C. Bar Board of Governors!
The D.C. Bar is governed by the Board, composed of 20 lawyers selected by the active membership and three members of the public appointed by the Board itself as nonvoting members. Koss has been a member of the D.C. Bar for over 15 years and is managing partner of Potomac Legal Group PLLC – a small firm that represents employees in public and private sector employment matters
For the seventeenth year, IP Clinic students faced off before clinic founder, Judge Peter Jaszi, to represent their clients in the annual two-day simulated trademark jury trial of Navajo Nation v Yazzie.
Plaintiff & Plaintiff’s Counsel
Defendant & Defendant’s Counsel
Glushko-Samuelson IP Clinic Students presented the 4th annual IP Tips and Tricks program for startups on March 5th, 2020 at the AU Center for Innovation (AUCI) Incubator at American University’s Kogod School of Business. The AUCI entrepreneurs are in the either at the initial stages of their startup ventures or in the process of building their businesses. At the session they received key IP “tips and tricks” for their startups.
IP Clinic students Francesca Gross, Courtney Krawice, Kiara Ortiz, Maggie Strouse, and Eli Sulkin addressed copyright, trademark, patent, trade secrets, privacy and other issues important to technology startup ventures.
On November 15th, Professor Kleiman met with a group of students in an event run by the AU Internet Governance Lab. She showed her documentary, The Computers: The Remarkable Story of the ENIAC Programmers, answered questions and joined a panel of pioneers to talk about the opportunities and challenges of being early participants in Internet Governance. The Panel, moderated by Professor Nanette Levinson, featured fascinating talks by Fiona Alexander and Professor Derrick Cogburn in addition to Professor Kleiman.
Intellectual Property Clinic student attorneys provide IP counseling on Kikim Media’s new film Look Who’s Driving set to air on PBS on October 23rd.
Autonomous vehicles are now being tested on public roads around the world. As ambitious innovators race to develop what they see as the next big thing, some experts warn there are still daunting challenges ahead, including how to train artificial intelligence to be even better than humans at making life-and-death decisions.
How do self-driving cars work? How close are we to large-scale deployment of them? And will we ever be able to trust AI with our lives?
Tune in to PBS on Wednesday, October 23 at 9pm (8pm Central) to catch Look Who’s Driving on PBS’s flagship science series, NOVA. The clinic’s work on this film is part of its long-standing effort helping documentary filmmakers follow best fair use practices.
OCTOBER 10, 2019 | 6:00 PM | ROOM NT01
RECEPTION TO FOLLOW
RUTH L. OKEDIJI
Harvard Law School
Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center
A renowned scholar in international intellectual property (IP) law and a foremost authority on the role of intellectual property in social and economic development, Professor Okediji has advised inter-governmental organizations, regional economic communities, and national governments on a range of matters related to technology, innovation policy, and development. Her widely cited scholarship on IP and development has influenced government policies in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America. Her ideas have helped shape national strategies for the implementation of the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). She works closely with several United Nations agencies, research centers, and international organizations on the human development effects of international IP policy, including access to knowledge, access to essential medicines and issues related to indigenous innovation systems.
Professor Okediji was a member of the United States National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology and Policy Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era. She served as the Chief Technical Expert and Lead Negotiator for the Delegation of Nigeria to the 2013 WIPO Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities (Marrakesh VIP Treaty). Okediji was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the 2015 – 2016 High Level Panel on Access to Medicines.
Professor Okediji is a recipient of numerous awards for excellence in teaching, research and mentoring. She is an editor of the Journal of World Intellectual Property Law and an elected member of the American Law Institute. Her most recent book, Copyright Law in an Age of Limitations and Exceptions, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.
Professor Okediji is a graduate of the University of Jos and Harvard Law School.
To support the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, click here.
On September 20th Professors Peter Jaszi and Vicki Phillips Joined the National Museum of the American Indian for a symposium celebrating clinic client, friend and mentor Suzan Shown Harjo. Her game-changing advocacy, achievements and continuing struggle for Native justice are an inspiration to all of us.
Professor Vicki Phillips presented a poster describing her co-authored article surveying the growing landscape of IP and technology clinics at the 2019 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education on May 4, 2019 in San Francisco, CA. Technology has been vilified for its role in creating a polarized country. At the same time, technology has tremendous power to inform, mobilize and unite. IP and technology clinics have been on the rise for the past decade, but the rich opportunities they present for helping students consider the role of technology in society and developing critical subject matter expertise has never been more important than now.
Phillips and co-author Prof. Cynthia Dahl of Penn Law collected and analyzed survey data from 72 live client IP and technology legal clinics in the United States and Canada. Beyond purely mapping the clinical community, the survey results frame and address questions about what law school clinics are teaching students, the clients they serve, and how IP and technology clinical models are a natural extension of the clinical tradition to further the public interest and access to justice.
Victoria Phillips & Cynthia L. Dahl, Innovation and Tradition: A Survey of Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinics, 25 Clinical L. Rev. 95 (Fall 2018) https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3184486
Click Here to access a pdf version of the poster!