Introducing the PIJIP Update

Greetings from the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) at American University Washington College of Law. The PIJIP Update is a once-a-semester review of recent publications and activities of PIJIP faculty and staff. Based in the nation’s capital, PIJIP takes a global, policy-oriented and practical approach to the fields of intellectual property and information law. Faculty and staff collaborate to provide first class educational opportunities, through our academic program, and to serve the broader community, through our research program and public impact activities.


Academic Program

PIJIP’s academic program has grown significantly, with an expanded commitment to patent and innovation law, through the addition of new faculty, increased course offerings during the summer, and increased capacity to support student achievements.

  • New Faculty. PIJIP’s capacity in the fields of patent and innovation law grew significantly with the addition of three new full-time faculty members: Jonas Anderson, Jorge Contreras, and Clinic Practitioner in Residence Nabila Isa-Odidi.
  • Increased Course Offerings. PIJIP has added new courses in Patent Litigation, Technology Licensing Agreements, and Trade Secret to its curriculum of over 30 IP and related courses, and has added coursework at the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, to its summer session in international intellectual property law (open to degree and non-degree students).
  • IP Clinic. Students at WCL’s Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic submitted comments pursuant to the fifth anticircumventing rulemaking for the DMCA, on behalf of Peter Decherney and the American Association of University Professors and Renee Hobbs and the Media Education Lab. Glushko-Samuelson students also assisted AARP Foundation attorneys, who served as amicus counsel in Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., in preparing a brief in support of Plaintiffs’ petition for writ of certiorari.
  • Events. PIJIP brought numerous leaders in the field to the law school, recently hosting more than a dozen events, including the Seventh Annual Finnegan Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property, featuring David Kappos, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Career and Advising Resources. PIJIP updated its online resources on internships,  externships, fellowships, scholarships, and writing contests, and hosted three career planning events highlighting career paths and job searching strategies for WCL students and alumni.
  • Collaboration with Student Publications and Organizations. PIJIP supported numerous intellectual property focused activities of WCL’s student-run journals, briefs and organizations, including the publication of the third volume of the IP-Brief and the annual volume of the American University Law Review devoted to the jurisprudence of the Federal Circuit. It has co-hosted events with a number of student groups including the Intellectual Property Law Society and the IP-Brief.

Research and Public Impact Program

PIJIP also has grown its leading intellectual property and information law research program. Under PIJIP’s auspices, faculty, staff and students collaborate on projects focused on the public interest within domestic and international intellectual property and information law and policy. Highlights include:

  • Fair Use Best Practices Project. PIJIP’s best practices in fair use project, which works in partnership with American University’s Center for Social Media, released it latest Code of Best Practices in Fair Use – devised by and for the academic and research library community. The Code enhances the ability of librarians to rely on fair use by documenting the considered views of the library community, drawn from the actual practices and experience of the library community itself.
  • Global Public Interest Network. PIJIP hosted the inaugural Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest in the Fall, bringing together more than 200 experts, from 35 countries and 45 universities, to craft the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest. The planning of the second annual Congress is now underway, to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in mid December.
  • Global Network on Flexible Copyright Limitations and Exceptions. PIJIP worked with the Institute for Information Law (IViR) in Amsterdam, Netherlands, to host the first meeting of a global expert network on limitations and exceptions in national copyright law reform in December 2011. Upcoming work of the network will include the creation of model text and explanatory materials supporting flexibility in copyright limitations and exceptions.
  • Workshop on Research and Resource Commons. PIJIP and Creative Commons co-hosted a National Science Foundation and Sloan Foundation supported workshop on improving the legal and policy framework governing the sharing of scientific information and material resources. The workshop outcomes will be published in a report and 5-year strategic agenda.
  • Infojustice - A Public Interest Publication and Resource Library. PIJIP has greatly expanded its public policy blog,, to include contributions from more than 20 bloggers from around the world. The site attracts over 9,000 unique visitors a month, and has been quoted in hundreds of national and international news stories.
  • PIJIP Working Paper Series. PIJIP published a working paper series focused on public interest concerns in international intellectual property law (see most recent call for papers), resulting in a focus issue of the American University International Law Review on intellectual property enforcement and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Since 2010, PIJIP working papers have been downloaded 11,571 times and have been cited in over 100 academic papers.

Recent Faculty Publications

Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (2011).

Peter Jaszi, Mario Biagioli, and Martha Woodmansee, eds. Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property. (2011).

Jonas Anderson, Secret Inventions, 26 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 917 (2011).

Michael W. Carroll, Why Full Open Access Matters, 9 PLoS Biol. 11 (2011).

Michael W. Carroll, Access to Global Media in Middle and Low Income Countries: A Responsible Study, Intell. Prop. JOTWELL (Nov. 14, 2011).

Jorge Contreras et. al., Toward a Rational Framework for Sustainable Building Materials Standards, 63 Standards Engineering 1 (2011).

Sean Flynn, ACTA’s Constitutional Problem: The Treaty is Not A Treaty, 26 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 903.

Sean Flynn and Bijan Madhani, ACTA and Access to Medicines (E.U. Greens, Working Paper, 2011).

Sean Flynn et. al., Public Interest Analysis of the US TPP Proposal for an IP Chapter (Prog. On Info. Just. & Intell. Prop., Research Paper No. 28, 2011).

Victoria Phillips, Gender and Invention: Mapping the Connections, 19 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 767 (2011).


Appointments and Awards

Jorge Contreras was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Intellectual Property Management in Standard-Setting Processes.  He also won the Standards Engineering Society 2011 World Standards Day Paper Competition.

Peter Jaszi was awarded Public Knowledge's "IP3 Award" for individuals who have advanced the public interest in intellectual property.

Victoria Phillips joined the Board of Directors of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA).

Public Presentations

In September Sean Flynn taught at the WIPO Academy in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Christine Haight-Farley and Jonas Anderson lectured on U.S. patent law in Cuba as part of a series of Seminars organized by the Center for Inter-American Legal Education.

Jonas Anderson presented “Empirical Claim Construction” at the Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, held at the Depaul University College of Law.

Michael Carroll spoke on a panel about the “Creation of Innovative New Opportunities for Scholarship and Business” at the Berlin 9 Conference on Open Access, at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland, and presented at the Creative Commons Global Summit, 2011, in Warsaw, Poland.

Jorge Contreras presented a paper “An Empirical Study of Ex Ante Licensing Behavior in the Development of Voluntary Technical Standards,” at the Intellectual Property Scholars Conference; presented “Constructing Genome Commons,” at the NYU School of Law’s conference on Convening Cultural Commons; and presented his paper “Gridlock or Greased Lightning? The Future of Patents and Standards for the National Smart Grid” at the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Annual Meeting.

Christine Haight-Farley spoke on the panel “IP Hot Topics and Burning Issues,” at the International Trademark Association (INTA) Advanced Trademark Symposium and participated on a panel at the INTA conference on “Trademarks and the Internet.”

Sean Flynn presented New Directions in International Intellectual Property at the IP Section meeting of the AALS Annual conference, and addressed Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiators at the Chicago, Lima and Melbourne negotiating rounds.

Peter Jaszi gave a presentation on fair use and fair dealing in Dublin, Ireland as a part of "Innovation, Information, and the Internet: Modernizing Copyright Law," a seminar put on by the Law Society of Ireland. He presented "Rhetorics of Public Interest" at the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest.

Victoria Philips presented at the IP Breakfast event "Video Streaming on Digital Devices: Will Broadband Clash with Copyright?"

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