Record Attendance at 15th Annual Richard C. Sughrue Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy


Nearly 300 people packed the John S. Knight center in downtown Akron for the 15th Annual Richard C. Sughrue Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy. The Symposium was geared towards updating IP professionals on the latest developments in intellectual property law and how those developments will impact future IP practices.

The keynote address was given by the Hon. Teresa Stanek Rea, the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).  Ms. Rea discussed the agency's implementation of  the “America Invents Act” (AIA), including those provisions that went into effect on March 16, in particular, those relating to implementation of the Act's first to file provisions.  Ms. Rea also reviewed the state of PTO operations, including the backlog of unexamined applications and appeals.

Professor Timothy Holbrook, of Emory Law, addressed recent patent law developments; Robert W. Clarida, of Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC, spoke on the latest copyright law developments; and Professor David Welkowitz, of Whittier Law School, spoke about trademark law developments. Topics included a review of the Supreme Court's patent docket, the scope of the copyright law's fair use doctrine, and the trademark law's functionality doctrine.

The program also included a presentation on ethics in a post-AIA world, and panel discussions on the first inventor-to-file system and pending IP-related Supreme Court cases.

The luncheon speaker was Jim Tressel, the University’s Vice President for Strategic Engagement, who discussed the importance of not only student success, but success as it relates to business. “Success is the peace of mind of knowing you did the best you could do for you and for your team,” said Tressel. The luncheon was sponsored by Ulmer & Berne, LLP. 

For interested individuals who were unable to attend, a copy of the full symposium materials is available for $50. Please contact Michele Novachek at or at 330-972-6363 for more details.

Akron Law live-tweeted the symposium. Follow us on Twitter at @AkronLaw or search the IP Symposium hashtag #akronlawip for more information about the symposium, as well as Akron Law news and events.

The symposium was co-sponsored by The University of Akron School of Law's Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology and the law firm of Sughrue Mion, PLLC. For more than 50 years, Sughrue Mion has served clients, both domestic and foreign, in the areas of patent, trademark, copyright, Internet, trade secret and unfair competition law. The sponsorship is in memory of founding partner Richard C. Sughrue.

The IP Center manages the Intellectual Property Law Program at Akron Law. Nationally respected, The Center administers one of the most comprehensive intellectual property programs in the country, offering over 20 courses in the field. The Center also administers the law school’s Master of Laws in Intellectual Property program and the joint J.D./LL.M. program in intellectual property law.  The latter program enables students to earn both degrees in three years of full-time study, plus at least one summer session.  In addition to the annual Symposium, the Center also invites distinguished speakers to campus and sponsors an annual IP Scholars Forum and other events. Learn more at .