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Ken Turchi
IU Maurer

Last modified: Thursday, February 23, 2012

IU Maurer School of Law center to lead conference at Oxford on international design protection law

Sponsorship by Microsoft Corp. is milestone for Maurer IP research center

Feb. 23, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Center for Intellectual Property Research at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law announced today that it will present an international conference on the future of design protection law.

The conference, which will take place at Oxford University in England in the fall of 2012 in coordination with Oxford's Intellectual Property Research Centre, will bring together the world's leading scholars, practitioners, industry representatives and government officials involved in all aspects of design protection law, including scholars from the U.S., Europe and China. Microsoft Corp. will sponsor the conference.

Mark D. Janis, Robert A. Lucas Chair of Law and director of the Center for Intellectual Property Research, explained that the intellectual property laws have protected the visual appearance of industrial products for some 200 years. The challenge is to see how those laws are adapting to design innovation in new virtual environments.

"Think of smartphone icons or other sorts of touch-screen user interfaces," Janis said. "Design law needs to be nimble enough to deal with these cutting-edge design activities. We are looking forward to convening some of the most recognized experts in this area."

Proceedings of the Oxford conference will be published in IP Theory, the Center for Intellectual Property Research's online, peer-edited scholarly journal.

Janis credited the law school's administration, headed by Interim Dean Hannah Buxbaum, for fostering a climate at the school that encourages public/private partnerships such as the one with Microsoft. "We're blessed with outstanding leadership here," he said. The Center for Intellectual Property Research also has a major partnership with Cook Medical Group in the area of strategic management of intellectual property.