Copyright Law

The Role of Congress and Executive Agencies in 21st Century IP Regimes - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Sandra Aistars, John F. Duffy, David S. Olson, Arti K. Rai, Thomas B. Griffith November 19, 2015

The Constitution specifically vests power in Congress to grant authors and inventors exclusive rights in their writings and inventions. The first Congress passed laws setting forth the requirements and procedures for granting patents and copyrights. In these early days, copyrights were granted for registered works, and Thomas Jefferson himself examined patents as a member of President George Washington's cabinet. As IP laws developed, however, they gave substantial deference to both the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and the Copyright Office, on matters of reviewing, granting, limiting, and defining IP rights. These agencies have come to wield significant influence over the U.S. IP regime. Recently, and notwithstanding its delegations of power, Congress has been particularly active in passing new patent and copyright legislation. Sometimes Congress specifies how the law shall be interpreted and administered, and other times it delegates this to the relevant agencies, or to the courts. By considering specific examples, this panel will examine the role of Congress, Congressional delegation, and executive agencies in crafting and administering our modern intellectual property systems.

Intellectual Property: The Role of Congress and Executive Agencies in 21st Century IP Regimes
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
State Room

  • Prof. Sandra Aistars, Clinical Professor, George Mason School of Law and Sr. Scholar and Director, Copyright Policy & Research, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property
  • Prof. John F. Duffy, Samuel H. McCoy II Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Prof. David S. Olson, Associate Professor, Boston College Law School
  • Prof. Arti K. Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law and co-Director, Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy
  • Moderator: Hon. Thomas B. Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Current Issues in Patent Law and Policy - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Student Symposium
Phyllis Turner-Brim, A. Douglas Melamed, Michael J. Meurer, Adam Mortara, Danny J. Boggs April 17, 2015

Our patent system has historically been thought to be an engine of innovation, but it is much criticized today. Is a one-size-fits all model for patent duration appropriate in today's technological environment or does it simply incentivize unnecessary litigation? For instance, the rapid pace of technological change in some areas may obviate the need of lengthy patents in some areas. Should certain innovation—such as business processes be patentable? Should the patent office be reorganized or split up to better assess patents. What other types of incentives, including those provided by copyright or prizes, provide alternatives to patents?

  • Ms. Phyllis Turner-Brim, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Intellectual Ventures
  • Prof. Doug Melamed, Visiting Professor, Stanford Law School
  • Prof. Michael Meurer, Boston University School of Law
  • Mr. Adam Mortara, Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP
  • Moderator: Hon. Danny J. Boggs, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

This program was presented on February 21, 2015, as part of the 2015 Federalist Society National Student Symposium.

Address by Carly Fiorina - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Carly Fiorina, Dean A. Reuter November 17, 2014

Carly Fiorina delivered this address at the 2014 National Lawyers Convention on Friday, November 14, 2014. She was introduced by Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups at The Federalist Society.


  • Mrs. Carly Fiorina, Fiorina Group
  • Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Copyright Revision - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Danielle M. Aguirre, Usman Ahmed, David S. Olson, Katherine A. Oyama, Mark F. Schultz, Douglas H. Ginsburg November 14, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court has in the past several years begun to take several intellectual property cases each term, often including important copyright cases, like last term’s American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.  At the same time, the legislature has already substantially revised patent rights, seems to be ready to revisit patent rights yet again, and is poised to consider revisions to copyright.  On the table seem to be issues of the length of copyright term, fair use, and more.  Our panel of experts will discuss the past present and future of IP and copyright.

The Federalist Society's Intellectual Property Practice Group presented this panel on "Copyright Revision" on Thursday, November 13, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.


  • Ms. Danielle Aguirre, Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, National Music Publishers’ Association
  • Mr. Usman Ahmed, Policy Counsel, eBay Inc.
  • Prof. David S. Olson, Associate Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
  • Ms. Katherine A. Oyama, Senior Copyright Policy Counsel, Google, Inc.
  • Prof. Mark F. Schultz, Senior Scholar and Director of Academic Programs, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, George Mason University School of Law; Law Professor, Southern Illinois University
  • Moderator: Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit; Professor of Law, George Mason University

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Copyright Originalism - Podcast

Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
Tom W. Bell, Christopher Newman September 16, 2014

Professor Tom W. Bell, Chapman University, Fowler School of Law, participated in a Teleforum conference call on the topic, "Copyright Originalism." Professor Bell's new book, Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good, argues that copyright in the United States has mutated into something the Founders would have hardly recognized, much less approved of. He so admires their version of copyright that he convinced the Mercatus Center to publish Intellectual Privilege under what he calls the "Founders' Copyright," allowing the public to enjoy his book under terms that replicate the effect of the original Copyright Act, passed in 1790. Christopher Newman, Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law, joined to offer his comments and questions.

  • Prof. Tom W. Bell, Professor of Law, Chapman University School of Law
  • Prof. Christopher Newman, Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law