PIIPA-PIJIP Conference on Pro Bono Intellectual Property Services: Past, Present and Future

On Saturday April 25th, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Eastern Time, Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors (PIIPA) and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) of the American University Washington College of Law (WCL) hosted a conference at WCL on the past, current, and future needs for pro bono intellectual property services. PIIPA was established in 2002 to create an international pro bono intellectual property referral network to help developing country clients. See www.piipa.org. The conference focused on the need for assistance in developing countries, and the opportunities for law firms, law school clinics, and other legal service providers to engage in pro bono work in the intellectual property law and policy space.

The goal of the Conference was to assess the future of public interest intellectual property law and how pro bono effort can be matched to demand in difficult economic times. Conference speakers discussed the broader mission and history that led to the formation of PIIPA and other public interest intellectual property providers, and summarized some of the many matters and projects that the PIIPA network has handled during its six years of existence. The current state of demand for pro bono legal services, the available supply of pro bono providers of intellectual property work, and the drop-off of funding in this sector leading to the dissolution of several pro bono organizations were also considered.

Speakers included:

  • Michael Gollin, PIIPA Founder and partner at Venable LLP;
  • Josh Sarnoff, Associate Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic;
  • Charles McManis, Intellectual Property and Technology Law Program, Washington University
  • Ashyln Lembree, Franklin Pierce Law Center
  • Fred Provorny, Center for New Technology Enterprises
  • Dr. Joan Jackson, Southern New England School of Law
  • Ben Prickril, National Cancer Institute Office of International Affairs
  • Dr. Rita Khanna, Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation
  • June Blalock, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Rick Reidy, International Intellectual Property Institute
  • Michael Ryan, Director, Creative and Innovative Economy Center, George Washington University
  • Samuel Saraphel, Beta Bahil

The conference can be viewed by webcast or you can download and listen to a podcast recording.

The Venable Foundation, WCL, and GWU supported this event. To become a sponsor of the conference, or a sponsor of PIIPA, or to volunteer for the conference or as a participant in the PIIPA pro bono referral network, please contact info@piipa.org, or Michael Gollin at magollin@venable.com, 202-344-4072. For additional information about pro-bono clinical work, please contact Prof. Josh Sarnoff at jsarnoff@wcl.american.edu,202-274-4165.