Former FTC Chair, Fordham law professor address issues influencing IP and antitrust law

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As published by San Francisco Gate  

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Two of the world’s most respected experts in intellectual property and antitrust law discussed the most pressing issues affecting the intersection of the two fields on Nov. 13, at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Professor William Kovacic is a former Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy and director of the Competition Law Center at The George Washington University Law School. Professor Hugh Hansen is the founder and director of the Fordham Intellectual Property Law Institute. Their conversation touched on the role antitrust law will play in the ongoing battle to limit IP protection, recent developments in smartphones and pharmaceuticals, and the relevance of antitrust institutions.

The Nov. 13 discussion continued John Marshall’s tradition of leading the conversation about the future of IP law. John Marshall is ranked 17th in IP law by U.S. News & World Report and is one of just 42 law schools in the country to participate in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Law School Clinic Certification Program. It is the only law school in Illinois whose USPTO program focuses on both patent and trademark practice areas.

From 2006 to 2011, Kovacic was a member of the FTC and chaired the agency from 2008 to 2009. He was the FTC’s General Counsel from 2001 to 2004. In 2011 he received the FTC’s Miles W. Kirkpatrick Award for Lifetime Achievement. Since 2013, Professor Kovacic has served as a Non-Executive Director with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority. From 2009 to 2011, he was Vice-Chair for Outreach for the International Competition Network. He has advised many countries and international organizations on antitrust, consumer protection, government contracts, and the design of regulatory institutions.

Hansen has a background in both antitrust and IP law. He has been teaching IP law for more than 30 years and is the founder and director of both the Fordham IP Institute and the Fordham IP Conference. Hansen has also worked on antitrust cases including the Department of Justice’s monopolization case against AT&T. His article, Robinson-Patman Law: A Review and Analysis, 51 Fordham L. Rev. 1113 (1983), is still recognized as a leading work in the area and has been cited more than 80 times, in secondary sources as well as by trial and appellate courts. Managing IP Magazine named him on three occasions as “one of the 50 most influential people in IP in the world.”

With more than 50 specialized IP courses, John Marshall’s program draws students from around the U.S. and across the globe. It has partnered with IP lawyers in the People’s Republic of China for 20 years. It also conducts an ABA-approved summer program in China directed exclusively to IP issues.

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