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Monday, November 10, 2014

Professors LaFrance and Trimble Present at the 3rd Annual U.S.-China IP Conference

(From left) Professors Mary LaFrance and Marketa Trimble
On November 7, 2014, Professor Mary LaFrance and Associate Professor Marketa Trimble joined other IP law scholars at the 3rd Annual U.S.-China IP Conference at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. The event was organized by Berkeley Law School’s Center for Law & Technology, Loyola Law School, and Renmin University of China. This year’s conference focused on the following five topics: (1) revisions to the copyright laws of the United States and China; (2) IP issues related to the entertainment industry; (3) the role of specialized IP courts; (4) patent and trade secrets legislation and protection; and (5) challenges and strategies in cross-border IP enforcement.

The Conference brought together senior policymakers, academics, and international practitioners from both the United States and China. Among the many prominent speakers were the following IP law experts:
  • Stacey Byrnes, Senior Vice President of NBC Universal/Universal Studios
  • Colleen V. Chien of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Liu Chuntian, Dean of Renmin University IP Academy
  • Mark Cohen of the USPTO
  • Professor Terry Fischer of Harvard Law School
  • Professor Robert Merges of Berkeley Law School
  • Professor David Nimmer of UCLA School of Law
  • Liu Ping of the Music Copyright Society of China
  • Professor Zhang Ping of Peking University Law School
  • Professor Seagull Song of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • Maria Strong of the U.S. Copyright Office
  • Peter Yu of Drake Law School
Professor La France was invited to present “The Future of Performers’ Rights.” In her presentation she gave an overview of the current state of performers’ rights from the international law and comparative law perspectives. She then detailed the situation in the United States and explained how current U.S. law protects the moral and economic rights of performers. She concluded with the main features of the 1996 WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the 2012 WIPO Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, and by identifying how U.S. law might need to be amended to reflect U.S. obligations in the international treaties.

Professor Trimble was invited to participate in the panel discussion “Challenges and Strategies in Cross-Border IP Enforcement.” Her co-panelists were three practitioners from large international law firms, two Chinese academics, and a USPTO official. In the discussion Professor Trimble commented on the practical limitations of customs measures designed to stop infringing goods at country borders; she pointed out the high volume of goods coming through centralized points of entry such as the Port of Hamburg, and the limited resources of customs offices. Countries’ court proceedings should provide legal certainty and due process, and Professor Trimble emphasized the need for finality in cross-border IP enforcement, as shown in recent complex cross-border IP cases such as Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola, Inc. Professor Trimble also reported briefly on the activities of the International Law Association’s Committee on Intellectual Property and Private International Law, on which she serves.