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Akron Law symposium explores AI’s impact on IP

Legal News Reporter

Published: March 15, 2024

The rapid rise of Artificial Intelligence is transforming industries worldwide, and the legal profession is no exception.
On March 25, The University of Akron School of Law will host its 26th annual Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy, bringing together top experts to tackle cutting-edge issues, including the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and intellectual property (IP) law.
The daylong event kicks off at 8 a.m. at the university’s Taber Student Union. Topics will touch on issues such as the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence by IP lawyers.
Attendees will also gain insight into the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s new policy on AI-assisted inventions and learn best practices for developing corporate guidelines around AI adoption.
“AI is poised to reshape the legal landscape and it’s crucial that lawyers stay ahead of the curve,” said Mark F. Schultz, director of Akron Law’s Center for Intellectual Property Law & Technology. “This year’s symposium provides a chance for practitioners and students to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by this disruptive technology.”
Headlining the event is former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu, who will deliver the keynote address, focusing on the role of intellectual property in maintaining American economic leadership and fostering cutting-edge innovation.
“At Akron Law, we recognize that the future of legal practice lies in striking a balance between traditional methods and the judicious use of AI to enhance efficiency,” said Dean Emily Janoski-Haehlen. “That’s why we are integrating the ethical use of AI into our classrooms and curriculum.”
The symposium will also delve into timely topics such as protecting business information in a world without noncompete agreements; the launch of the Unified Patent Court, which is comprised of judges from all participating member states of the European Union and the complex interplay between First Amendment rights and trademark law.
Richard Thurston, former general counsel of TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), will also speak.
“Thurston’s IP management programs transformed the Taiwanese chip foundry into one of the world’s most important companies,” said Schultz. “He will discuss opportunities and challenges created by the CHIPS and Science Act and also appear on the non-compete panel to explain how companies can better protect and exploit their trade secrets.”
Other notable speakers include judges from the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the International Trade Commission, the Copyright Claims Board and the Unified Patent Court.
The day concludes with a judges panel featuring jurists from IP-focused and local federal courts, who will discuss effectively litigating intellectual property cases.
Lawyers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, New Jersey and California can earn up to 7.5 hours of CLE credit, including 1.5 hours of professional conduct credit.
Registration is open through March 18 and costs $450, with major discounts available to government employees, faculty, newer attorneys, recent graduates and students.
The fee includes the symposium sessions, CLE materials, hot breakfast, seated lunch with keynote and full-day CLE panels.
For more information or to register go to