Happy 2016! This post describes the IBL Center's core programming during the fall 2015 semester. 


Iowa Medical Innovation Group

The Iowa Medical Innovation Group (IMIG) is an interdisciplinary course that tasks teams of students from law, medicine, engineering, and business with designing and, if possible, prototyping a technological solution to a medical problem, as well as working out the legal and business issues surrounding that new technology.  The course is described in more depth here: http://ibl.law.uiowa.edu/fall-2015-iowa-medical-innovation-group.

During the 2015-16 academic year, eight law students are participating in IMIG, including Claire Saskowski, Peter Kline, Joel Thronson, Casey Kidwell and Mitchell Plimmer.  Their projects include amputee leg support, a method for decreasing muscle atrophy for patients with fractures, a lower limb prosthetic socket, and a device to treat intussusception.  


Visiting Speakers

This fall, the College of Law launched the inaugural series of the Innovation, Business and Law Colloquium, a scholarship-focused course that allows students to engage directly with leading scholars studying problems of corporate, intellectual property, and antitrust law.  Supported by the David M. Hellwege, JD ’73 Fund, the fall 2015 IBL Colloquium featured six scholars who presented works related to the topic of “Intangible Assets and the Firm.”  After reading the work-in-progress provided by the visiting speaker, preparing a reaction paper, and receiving background context from a College of Law faculty member who works in that subject, the students had front-row seats at bi-weekly Colloquium sessions where they engaged the scholar.  Visiting scholars repeatedly remarked on the high quality of the student questions and feedback.

The IBL Center also co-sponsored two guest speakers.  During a mid-October visit sponsored with the Federalist Society, Professor Ryan Holte spoke about his work examining the reality of the “patent troll” stereotype.  Later that month, in collaboration with the University of Iowa Museum of Art, the Center sponsored talks by Robert K. Wittman, who discussed the law of art crimes and his experiences in the FBI investigating those crimes.

In early October, the College of Law hosted the annual Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association conference, a one-day program that featured Professor Dennis Crouch from Missouri (and PatentlyO) and Dr. Christal Sheppard from the USPTO. The conference ended with a mock claim construction hearing presided over by the Hon. John Jarvey, in which Jeff Harty, JD ‘95 and Allison Kerndt, JD ‘05 contested the construction of “flutes” in Patent No. 4,441,626.


IP Advocacy

Last year’s IP Advocacy teams enjoyed substantial success, with the team of Shyam Goswami and Abby Neu advancing to the national Giles Sutherland Rich Patent Law Moot Court competition in Washington D.C.  and the IBL-sponsored team of students competing in the Kaufman Securities Moot Court Competition making it to the semi-final round of arguments before honorary guest judge U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. The Kaufman team also won the award for Best Brief. The students were Brett Holubeck, Sarah Raaii, and Raxit Shah (all 3Ls at the time).

This year, IP Advocacy teams are competing in the Saul Lefkowitz Trademark Law Moot Court competition in Dallas, the Rich Patent Law competition in Chicago, and the Kaufman Securities Law competition in New York.  Over the next few months, students will be drafting briefs for these competitions and preparing for their oral arguments. 

The success of the IP Advocacy program depends in large part on lawyer-volunteers who provide feedback on the briefs (where allowed) and bench practice oral arguments for the competitions.  If you are an attorney who is interested in participating, please contact Christina Bohannan at Christina-bohannan@uiowa.edu


Iowa Intellectual Property Law Society

The Iowa Intellectual Property Law Society is a student-run organization for students interested in intellectual property law.  The 2015-16 IPLS board consists of Alex Lodge (president), Brianna Chamberlin (vice-president), Tyler Latcham (treasurer), Sarah Dickhut (event coordinator), and Andrew Stanley (public relations).   The IBL Center provides financial support for the IPLS and collaborates on many events, including visiting speakers.  

During the past fall semester, the IPLS offered mentoring support by matching first-year law students with second and third-year students who study in areas that the first-year students are interested in pursuing.  The IPLS also held a program on summer internships in September and IP career panel on October 30 that allowed current law students to speak with alumni and other IP attorneys practicing in the area.  I’d like to thank Allison Kerdnt, JD ’05; Alex Johnson, JD ’12; Dr. Kathryn Cox, JD ‘03, Josh Heitsman, JD ‘10, and Donna Suchy for participating in the alumni panel this year, as well as Craig Cook, JD ‘89, from IBM, and Bill Mooney, ‘95, from Electronic Arts, for speaking with students about practicing law in high-tech industries. 

If you are an attorney who is interested speaking with Iowa law students about your practice, please get in touch with myself and Alex Lodge (alex-lodge@uiowa.edu).


University of Iowa Hiring an IP Attorney

The University of Iowa is currently hiring an intellectual property (patent) attorney.  The position is particularly exciting because we’ve designed it from the ground-up to support both the research and development mission of the university as well as the teaching mission of the College of Law.  The person hired for this role will primarily work with the University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) in connection with the patenting process.  In addition, he or she will supervise law students working at the UIRF, support the IMIG course, and teach one advanced intellectual property course at the College of Law each year.  The posting is available at: https://jobs.uiowa.edu/pands/view/68075 and until January 22. If you know anyone who might be interested in the position, please encourage them to apply.


Upcoming IBL Center Events

The IBL Center is excited to host the Hon. Kathleen M. O’Malley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this coming spring.  Judge O’Malley will be the jurist-in-residence at the College of Law between April 6-8.  The IBL Center is tentatively scheduling an evening event with Judge O’Malley on Thursday, April 7.  Details will be provided in February.  I hope that you’ll be able to attend if you’re near Iowa City that day.