OCT 7, 2009
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
In his lecture, Robert P. Merges will revisit the idea of property rights over intellectual creations. He will begin with philosophical foundations, and then looks at contemporary debates over the continuing viability and future direction of this body of law. He will emphasize how Intellectual Property rights permit people to earn a living from their creative works, and explain why this matters. He will also discuss how the law can and must square two competing ideas: the right of an individual to exercise control over his or her creative works, and the interests of third parties, broadly conceived, whose needs justify limits on and intrusions into the protected sphere of Intellectual Property rights.
Robert P. MergesWilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Professor of Law and Technology
Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology
Berkeley Law, Boalt Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Before joining the Boalt faculty in 1995, Robert Merges was a faculty member at Boston University School of Law and served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. He received his B.S. from Carnegie-Mellon University (1981), his J.D. from Yale University (1985), and an LL.M. (1988) and J.S.D. (1988) from Columbia University .
Prof. Merges has authored or coauthored three books, Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials, Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age, and Legal Protection for Computer Technology. Recent articles include "As Many as Six Impossible Patents before Breakfast: Property Rights for Business Concepts and Patent System Reform," in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal (1999); "The Control of Strategic Alliances: An Empirical Analysis of Biotechnology Collaborations," in the Journal of Industrial Economics (1998); and "Intellectual Property and Digital Content: Notes on a Scorecard," in Rivista di Diritto Industriale (1998).
In addition to teaching and research projects, Prof. Merges also serves as a special consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, and is a member of the Department's Task Force on Intellectual Property.