PIJIP Hosts Post-Argument Discussion of Allen v. Cooper 


Jenna Herr
November 11, 2019

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U.S. Supreme Court Building

On November 5th, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) held its second event of the "Intellectual Property at the Supreme Court" series with a post oral-argument reflection of Allen v. Cooper.  Among the panelists were counsel for petitioner, Lisa Geary, and counsel for respondent, Matthew Sawchak.  Counsel for several amici parties were also present, including Scott Keller of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Jonathan Band of American Library Association, and Chris Mohr of the Software and Information Industry Association. 

The event, moderated by Professor Peter Jaszi, was a detailed discussion of the issue in the case: Whether Congress validly abrogated state sovereign immunity via the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act in providing remedies for authors of original expression whose federal copyrights are infringed by states.  During the discussion, the panelists were in agreement that the case came down to a constitutional law debate as opposed to an intellectual property fight.  “This is the first big state sovereign immunity case the Roberts Court has had,” said Scott Keller.  The complexity of the case, according to Professor Jaszi, makes it an important one with “far-reaching implications both within and potentially beyond the domain of intellectual property.”