The most enriching environment for students is one that enables them to learn from both excellent academic faculty and highly experienced practitioners. Boyd students benefit even more when the practitioners are from Nevada and share their observations about practicing law from a Nevada viewpoint. This semester Boyd students benefited from two events that brought an outstanding group of intellectual property (“IP”) law practitioners to Boyd.
The first event, a panel discussion on October 7, 2014, featured three attorneys who practice in Las Vegas; they discussed career options available in the practice of IP law. W. West Allen, a partner at Lewis Rocca Rothgerber, spoke about his role in litigation and his role as adviser to companies on a wide variety of IP matters. Seaton J. Curran, an attorney with Howard & Howard, explained his role in prosecuting patents before the USPTO and foreign patent offices and advising inventors and companies on patent filing issues. Abiola Shobola, Intellectual Property Counsel at Aristocrat Technologies, Inc., discussed her experience as in-house counsel at a large corporation and her dealings with IP issues, including trademark licensing and Internet domain name matters.
The second event, a panel discussion on November 4, 2014, featured two attorneys practicing in Nevada who discussed the impact of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the general practice of IP law, and IP law practice in Nevada in particular. Robert C. Ryan, a partner at the Holland & Hart Reno office, shared his story of personal involvement in the seminal U.S. Supreme Court case of Parker v. Flook, which he worked on while he was a law student, and discussed in detail the Court’s June 2014 decision in Alice v. CLS Bank, which has had a profound effect on patent applicants seeking to protect their computer-implemented inventions. John Brown, Of Counsel at Holland & Hart’s Las Vegas office, offered his view as an attorney who advises companies throughout their business cycles on a variety of issues that often include IP or intersect with IP matters. Students learned how the uncertainty about the effects of recent U.S. Supreme Court IP decisions affects startups, established businesses, and investors who might consider investing in IP-focused ventures.
The two events were co-organized by Associate Professor Marketa Trimble, an IP faculty member at Boyd, and the Boyd Career Development Office.