UNH School of Law Opens Franklin Pierce Center for IP

While to many Franklin Pierce Law Center is not a household name, in the intellectual property world Franklin Pierce is indeed a brand name that has achieved lofty distinction as a result of the great successes of its alumni. However, Franklin Pierce Law Center is no more.  The small, independent law school located in Concord, New Hampshire, has affiliated with the University of New Hampshire, and well on its way to what will inevitably become a complete merger with UNH.  Already, the former FPLC is now the University of New Hampshire School of Law, but the unique spirit of Franklin Pierce has not been lost, and neither will the name be lost either.  The University of New Hampshire School of Law will formally open its new Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property on September 30 and October 1 with an academic conference, panel discussions and a formal event attended by judges and legal scholars from across the country. 

Indeed, the new Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property at the University of New Hampshire School of Law will formally open with a bang!  Chief Judge Randall Rader of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will deliver remarks at a dinner hosted by UNH Law on Friday, September 30, 2011, and will participate in a Judge’s panel on Saturday, October 1, 2011.  Rounding out the Judges’ panel will be Judge Pauline Newman and Judge Arthur Gajarsa, both also of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Three Federal Circuit Judges at the opening event for the new IP Center is a great way to start.

For those who are noticing a particular enthusiasm in my remarks, I plead guilty.  I am a proud alumnus of Franklin Pierce Law Center, having obtained my J.D. in 1995 and then later my LL.M. in Intellectual Property in 1998.  I was a member of the first LL.M. graduating class, and several of my fellow members of that LL.M. class, including Professor Llew Gibbons (University of Toledo College of Law), Professor Lars Smith (University of Louisville’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law) and John Kheit (a partner in Chadbourne & Park), will be in attendance at the festivities this weekend.  I am definitely looking forward to again being in New Hampshire, and again walking the halls of a place I really love.

The Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property is a 12,700 square-foot addition to the UNH School of Law, and houses one of the largest intellectual property faculties of any law school in the country.  The UNH School of Law is also one of the top-ranked intellectual property programs in the country, which is a tradition that carries over from the long held high rankings of the former Franklin Pierce Law Center.

The mission of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property will be advanced with significant national and international conferences and symposia, as well as the creation of new strategic alliances with leading organizations throughout the world. 

The first of these events is the opening event of the weekend festivities, which is an academic conference scheduled for Friday, September 30.  The center’s inaugural conference, IP & The Innovation System, will feature legal scholars from Columbia, Cornell, Boston College and other schools around the country. They will discuss current issues in patents, trademarks, and copyright, as well as property theories and security interests.

At approximately 5:30pm on Friday, September 30, a distinguished keynote lecture, titled From Information to Knowledge to Wisdom, will be given by Judge Donald J. Horowitz, who has devoted much of his career to issues surrounding equal access to justice for all.  Judge Horowitz has become know particularly for his lectures and positions associated with how new inventions and technological developments can be harnessed to ensure equal and fair access to justice.

Immediately following the keynote speech by Judge Horowitz will be a formal dinner, which will be held at the UNH School of Law.  The dinner will feature guest speaker Chief Judge Randall R. Rader of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The following day, guests will have the opportunity to hear two panels. The first, a judges panel, will feature Chief Judge Rader, Judge Pauline Newman, and Judge Arthur Gajarsa, all of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The second, a policy-makers panel, will feature former US Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters, and former Under-Secretary of Commerce for IP Jonathan Dudas, who is currently president of FIRST (an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 to develop ways to inspire students in engineering and technology fields). 

According to Professor Mary Wong, director of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, “All of these events underscore our commitment to bringing together the leaders of the IP community, including scholars, judges, and our own faculty and alumni, to address current issues facing intellectual property and the innovation system.”

The Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property is dedicated to global innovation. Working closely with academics, professionals, and government officials throughout the world, the IP Center aims to facilitate innovation by engaging in applied research and educating the next generation of intellectual property professionals.


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