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  • The Twenty-Sixth Annual Fall Lecture

The Twenty-Sixth Annual Fall Lecture

  • November 07, 2019
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • The Houston Club, 910 Louisiana, Houston, TX 77002


The Twenty-Sixth Annual Fall Lecture


Sarah Burstein

Sarah Burstein

Professor of Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law

Click here for Professor Burstein's faculty listing

Toward a Normative Theory of Design Patents

The United States has granted patents for ornamental designs since 1842 but there are still few explanations for—let alone any clear consensus about—why, exactly, the system exists and what its goals should be. Now that high-profile cases like Apple v. Samsung have put the U.S. design patent system back in the spotlight and put millions of dollars on the line, it is more important than ever to figure out what we want this system to do, if anything. Should the goal be to deter any and all copying in the design space? To encourage the subjective expression of designers? To incentivize any and all types of design? Do we even need design patents at all?

This talk will provide a brief history of the U.S. design patent system and examine some of the various normative justifications that have been suggested in recent years. It will then present a new working theory for how we might justify the design patent system and explore some of the implications of that theory.

Thursday, November 7, 2019
5:30 pm Reception
6:15 pm Lecture

Post-lecture reception with heavy appetizers and drinks

The Houston Club
910 Louisiana
Houston, TX 77002

To RSVP, email ipil@uh.edu 
One hour of CLE credit

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