End of Year Summary

The program in Intellectual Property Law led by UBC’s proposed Institute for Intellectual Property Studies (IIPS) has had a highly successful Inaugural Year 2007-08. We look forward to an exciting new academic program this Fall, and invite faculty, students, and interested members of the IP community in Vancouver to join us for an exciting series of events.

Last year’s highlights include UBC’s participation in the Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot, generously supported by Vancouver IP law firm Oyen Wiggs. UBC students represented Canada at the moot; they were the only Canadian team invited to participate, and progressed to the quarterfinal round of the competition. The student moot team: Una Radoja and Luke Johnson (Mooters), Matthew Canzer (Critic), Tom Horacek (Researcher).

A new Intellectual Property Seminar Series was inaugurated and hosted by Dr Mira Sundara Rajan, Canada Research Chair in IP Law at UBC. The Series presented a series of well-attended talks by distinguished speakers on a broad range of topics in the area of IP law.

Music Downloads

music-download-picture

The first presentation, entitled “Grokster, Music Downloading, and Secondary Liability,” was given by Professor Dan Laster, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law and former Associate General Counsel for Microsoft. At Microsoft, Professor Laster was responsible for the team that registered the Windows trademark and helped formulate the company’s policies on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty.

The program in Intellectual Property Law led by UBC’s proposed Institute for Intellectual Property Studies (IIPS) has had a highly successful Inaugural Year 2007-08. We look forward to an exciting new academic program this Fall, and invite faculty, students, and interested members of the IP community in Vancouver to join us for an exciting series of events.

Copyright Board of Canada

In the second talk, Mr. Mario Bouchard, General Counsel to the Copyright Board of Canada, took us behind the scenes at the Copyright Board of Canada in a presentation entitled “Copyright Board of Canada: Powers, Practices, and Problems.” Mr. Bouchard was formerly counsel to the federal Department of Justice, research coordinator of the Administrative Law Project of the Law Reform Commission of Canada, and head of legal services at the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Traditional Knowledge

In the third presentation, two speakers addressed the topic of IP and traditional knowledge. Entitled “Bioprospecting and Traditional Medicines: Legal and Quasi-legal Mechanisms for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge,” the presentation explored such issues as the effect of bioprospecting on the ownership of traditional knowledge, the role of university research in appropriating traditional knowledge, legal and quasi-legal mechanisms to protect traditional knowledge, and whether intellectual property law can be applied to protect First Nations’ traditional knowledge. The speakers were Dr. Kelly Bannister, Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and Adjunct Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria; and Mr. Thomas W. Bailey, a partner in the IP boutique firm Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia.

IP and Wine

ip-and-wine-picture

The year concluded with a special event on Geographical Indications, a relatively new area of IP law dealing with fine products combining craftsmanship and environmental factors, such as wines and spirits, foods, and textiles. The presentation, entitled “Wine: A New Flavour of Intellectual Property,” featured a presentation on geographical indications in wine by Hungarian expert, Dr. Agnes Kokai-Kuun, followed by a wine-tasting of wines from Hungary presented to the Law School by Dr Kokai-Kuun. Dr. Kokai-Kunn is the former Head of Secretariat of the Hungarian Council for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights at the Hungarian Patent Office.

IP Careers

The IP Program also hosted a panel discussion on careers in intellectual property law, organized by law student Vincent Yip, providing information on such topics as the daily practice of IP law and the process of becoming a patent or trade-mark agent. The speakers were Aiyaz Alibhai, Managing Partner and Chair of Litigation Department of the Vancouver office of MBM Intellectual Property Law; Brian Lee, a partner in the Patent Prosecution and Technology Group at Gowling Lafleur Henderson; Andris Macins, an associate with the Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical Patent Prosecution group at Smart & Biggar; and David Takagawa, an associate with both the patent and trade-mark Prosecution Practice at Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala.