21st Annual Symposium on IP Law and Policy

A Midwestern IP conference leader for over 20 years

Monday March 4, 2019

Location | The University of Akron

Keynote Speaker | The Honorable Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Media | The event was covered by local, national and international media, including:

Law360, March 5: “Alice didn’t go as far as some may think, Iancu says” This article was the lead story in the Law360 intellectual property morning e-newsletter on March 6.
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Intellectual Asset Management (IAM), March 8: “Iancu issues another warning about the dangers of over-reading 101 precedent”
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IP Watchdog, March 8: “Director Iancu at Akron Law Symposium: Alice doesn’t invalidate all computer inventions”

The Akron Legal News, March 18: “Artificial intelligence at IP at Akron Law”

Agenparl, March 8: Director of U.S. Patent Office has positive words for Akron Law and ‘patent eligibility’ reform at annual IP Symposium”. Agenparl is an Italian news agency.


Description | The University of Akron School of Law hosted its 21st Annual Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy for all IP students, faculty, and hundreds of local and national IP attorneys. Speakers from across the country and world participated in the presentations. Panelists spoke about design protection for the 21st century, the recent Supreme Court decision of Helsinn v. Teva’s effect on patent prior art, the opportunities and challenges of protecting artificial intelligence, strategies for combatting grey market goods, the evolution of law firm duty and professionalism after Goldfarb, international filing strategies for U.S. applicants, and copyright trolls.

The highlight of the Symposium was the keynote address from the Honorable Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, who discussed the reform initiatives being adopted by the USPTO in efforts to secure protection of technologies of the future, including computer-based software, automation, and medical diagnostic methods. Director Iancu outlined the new guidelines released by the USPTO on Section 101, stressing that many technologies do not contradict the Supreme Court’s Alice ruling on patent eligibility. Of special note to Akron Law, Director. Iancu described the school as having ”One of the top IP programs in the nation, with half-a-dozen full-time IP professors and a dozen, nearly two dozen IP courses. The program you have here is amazing,” he said.

The IP Symposium had record attendance of over 250. Participants were not only able to receive a full-day of CLE credit but given the opportunity to network with IP professionals from Northeast Ohio and elsewhere.

2019 Symposium Photo Album