Former U.S. Patent Office director to deliver keynote at 2024 IP Symposium


Andrei Lancu

Andrei Lancu, former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Andrei Iancu, former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will be the luncheon keynote speaker at The University of Akron’s 26th annual Symposium on Intellectual Property (IP) Law and Policy on Mon., March 25. The in-person event will include full-day Continuing Legal Education (CLE) panels on a range of current topics. The event will take place on the University campus at the Taber Student Union, 303 Carroll St. from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Iancu was confirmed unanimously by the Senate as director of the USPTO and undersecretary of commerce in February 2018, and he served until January 2021. He is currently a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Intellectual Property & Technology Litigation Group. He has decades of experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in IP matters across the technical and scientific spectra, including medical devices, genetic testing, therapeutics, the internet, telephony, TV broadcasting, video game systems and computer peripherals. He represents clients in litigation and trials before the district courts, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the USPTO, the Federal Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, and he also counsels clients on obtaining, licensing, enforcing and defending against IP rights globally.

“We are delighted to have Andrei Iancu as our keynote speaker at this year’s symposium,” said Mark F. Schultz, Goodyear chair in intellectual property law and director of the University’s Center for Intellectual Property Law & Technology. “He is one of the leading voices in intellectual property law and innovation policy. Our purpose in hosting the annual symposium is to provide a high-quality program that attracts IP law practitioners while giving our students the opportunity to learn from and network with them. Our keynote speaker should be an added attraction for practitioners and students.”

This year’s topics include:

  • Developing Guidelines for Ethical and Effective Use of AI
  • Copyright Small Claims Board Report
  • Early Results from the UPC and Considerations for Patent Strategy
  • 337 Actions in the ITC
  • Best Practices for Protecting Trade Secrets in World Where Non-Competes are Endangered
  • Litigation Finance: Pros, Cons and Pitfalls
  • Trademarks and Free Speech

See the agenda for full details.

The event sponsors include:

Emerson Thomson Bennett LLC

The J.M. Smucker Company

Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Fabricant LLP
Morrison Foerster
Plakas Mannos
Renner Otto
Sterne Kessler Goldstein and Fox
Tarolli, Sundheim, Covell & Tummino LLP

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or for other questions, contact Mark Schultz at

Registration and fees

  • General Registration: $450
  • Government employees, faculty and newer attorneys (2017-2021 grads): $250
  • Student and recent grads (2022 and 2023): $25

The registration fee covers the symposium sessions and CLE materials, hot breakfast, seated lunch with keynote and full-day CLE panels.

We have applied for 7.5 hours of Ohio CLE, including 1.5 hours of professional conduct credit covering Ethics, Professionalism, Substance Abuse, Access to Justice.

Parking will be provided, along with opportunities for discounted room rates at local hotels. Register today to receive email updates.

The University of Akron School of Law has long been recognized as one of the leading IP law programs in the country, with over 20% of the student body patent bar qualified and 40% involved in the IP program. We offer more than 30 courses in the field and five degrees: LL.M. (Master of Laws); joint J.D./LL.M.; joint J.D./MBA; and certificates for J.D. students and non- J.D. students.