Intellectual Property and Technology Law Faculty

At WashULaw our faculty members explore intellectual property and technology issues from many perspectives.  We sat down with faculty researching and teaching in the field to learn more about what motivates them.  




Scott Baker

Intellectual Property is a crucial part of many businesses. The choice of which IP protection to select (copyright, patent, trade dress, trade secret) is both important and non-trivial. I like the interaction between providing businesses a return on innovation and maintaining access for others, especially future researchers building on the prior work. I have written in patent law; principally about disclosure races prior to the decision to patent. I think a lot about how judges make common law. IP is one area where judicial judgments play a key role (the statutes don't change that often). I am curious whether case by case adjudication is the best way to make innovation policy for the US.

Contracts | Patent Law | Survey of Intellectual Property | Game Theory & the Law | Torts

Same questions we always ask: 

Favorite law-related movie:  A Few Good Men  

 If you had more free time you would: Go biking; or learn how to make a left-handed layup.  

Favorite class in law school:  Tax  

To see Professor Baker's full profile, click here





Kevin Collins  

I’m a full-time, hard-core patent guy.  My research and teaching both focus on an in-depth examination of the details of contemporary patent law and the incentive effects of patents.  Most recently, I’ve been writing about the Supreme Court’s cases on the patentability of medical diagnostics and computer software.  I’m interested in how patent law maintains its core legal structure while, at the same time, it constantly changes to promote innovation in newer technologies, like biotechnology and software, that are undergoing rapid change. 

Patent Law | Advanced Patent Law | Trademark Law | Law and Architecture |Cumulative Invention and Creativity (seminar) | Survey of Intellectual Property

Same questions we always ask: 

Favorite law-related movie:  Flash of Genius.  It is about the patent battle of the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper.  

Favorite place you have ever visited and why: The Church of the Autostrada in Florence, Italy, which was designed by Giovanni Michelucci.  Before I became a lawyer, I spend a decade studying, practicing, and teaching architecture.  

Favorite class in law school:  No comment.  

To see Professor Collins full profile, click here





Gerrit De Geest

I am interested in IP because I am interested in economic growth. IP generally contributes to economic growth, but it may also hinder economic growth under some circumstances. The challenge for scholars is to identify which IP rules are good for growth and which ones are bad. Another reason why I am interested in IP is that it may have side-effects on income inequality. I pay attention to IP in my Law and Economics and Comparative Law courses.

Law and Economics | Contracts | Comparative Law

Same questions we always ask: 

Favorite law-related movie:  North Face, on a failed attempt to climb the Eiger. It is about the law of gravity.  

Favorite place you have ever visited and why: Lermoos, Austria. Authentic Tirol village with great ski slopes. Many memories (for instance, my oldest daughter learned to walk there).  

Favorite class in law school:  Depends on who asks this question.  

To view Professor De Geest's profile, click here





Rebecca Dresser

Health has a major impact on well-being at the personal, familial, and social levels. But efforts to improve health can cause harm, too. Law has a major role in determining what benefits and harms are produced by medical innovations. To develop good rules governing innovation, lawyers must be aware of the relevant scientific, medical, and ethical considerations. The need for interdisciplinary understanding drives my teaching and writing on issues in bioethics and drug regulation.

Bioethics and Law | Regulation of Drugs and Medical Technology | Genetics Ethics, Law and Policy

Same questions we always ask: 

Favorite law-related movie:  I like Lorenzo’s Oil, which painfully exposes the tension between hope for a cure and the limits of research. Research regulations have to balance those conflicting realities.  

Favorite place you have ever visited and why: Picking one favorite is too hard! I love visiting Paris, London, Tokyo, and New York, for the music, drama, food, and other delights.  

Favorite class in law school:  Law and Psychiatry and other courses taught by Alan Stone, a psychiatrist willing to criticize both medicine and law.  

To view Professor Dresser's full profile, click here





Charles McManis

I teach in the fields of copyright and trademark law. My writing is primarily in the field of international intellectual property law. Over the past 20 years I have watched intellectual property law transition from an arcane legal specialty even among lawyers to a routine subject of front page news stories, which widely characterize ours as an “Information Age.” I predict that by the year 2050, the first year property courses offered by most law schools will basically be intellectual property courses. For many years I was a teacher of the first year course in Torts, and it was out that experience that my interest in intellectual property grew, as In many respects, intellectual property law—particularly the law of trademarks and unfair competition—is essentially advanced torts law.

Copyrights and Related Rights | International Intellectual Property Law | Introduction to Intellectual Property Law | Trademarks and Unfair Competition | Torts

Same questions we always ask: 

Favorite place you have ever visited and why: One fringe benefit of specializing in international aspects of intellectual property law is that I have been able to travel to many parts of the world (some 43 countries in all) to lecture, do consulting, or attend academic conferences. My favorite places to visit (so far) have been Tuscany in Italy and Bali, Indonesia.  

To view Professor McManis's full profile, click here





Neil Richards

We’re living through a period of unprecedented technological change – an information revolution. I think future generations will look back at the information revolution and see that it is every bit as significant as the industrial revolution we went through 150 years ago. The information revolution is making amazing things possible, and disrupting much of society at the same time, from journalism to entertainment, from medicine to communications. A critical part of this revolution is the collection of and trade in personal data, whether by companies monitoring our web-surfing to deliver us ads or government tracking our movements to prevent crime. Information privacy law is the study of all of these questions and more – it makes us think about personal data, how it is shaping our society, and how (if at all) it should be regulated. It’s a body of law that is in its early stages, which means it requires flexibility, imagination, and a love of the unknown. And it’s a body of law that is throwing up stories that appear every day in every media publication, from Edward Snowden to Google Glass. Privacy is where the action is. It’s going to require good lawyers to figure out its problems and nuances, and I’m excited to have the privilege of working with and training those lawyers. I’ve always been interested in history, since my grandfather would push me around in my pram in England and tell me stories about his experiences as a soldier and prisoner of war in World War II. I’ve also always been interested in technology – when my parents moved to America in 1983, I was placated by the purchase of a Commodore 64 computer. Privacy law is about history and technology. It’s about how we preserve our enduring constitutional and human values in a world that is changing at a bewildering pace. I teach and write about how we can preserve these values (like freedom of speech and equality) at a time when we are quite literally rewiring our societies around the world.

Speech, Press & the Constitution | Information Privacy Law | First Amendment Theory | Individual Rights and the Constitution | Property

Same questions we always ask: 

Favorite law-related movie:  The Lives of Others  

If you had more free time you would: Train as a professional chef. Not to work or make money, but to cook better, because I love food. I love travel, but my family often complain that I build our vacations around the local meals I want to eat. I’d also spend more time cycling, to burn all the calories from the eating and to get outdoors. Law is usually an inside activity!  

Favorite class in law school:  First Amendment  

To view Professor Richards full profile, click here.

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