Conference Speaker
Meto Leach, biologist, member of Maori
communities at the Biodiversity, Biotechnology,
and Traditional Knowledge Conference.

Every year Washington University School of Law hosts exciting IP conferences; the following are examples:

  • The United Nations Industrial Development Organization;
  • Einstein Institute for Science, Health, and the Courts;
  • Washington University School of Law; and the Missouri Botanical Garden together hosted a preparatory workshop for the Global Biotechnology Forum: Working Party on Conflict Resolution Initiatives for Biotechnology Disputes and Controversies in Fall 2003.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)’s Global Biotechnology Forum (GBF) convened in Concepción, Chile, March 2-5, 2004. The October 12-14, 2003 workshop was held in preparation for the GBF. The missions of the Working Party on Biotechnology Conflict Resolution meeting were to design and carry out several GBF workshops and resulting initiatives, including:

  • Orienting prominent judges with respect to the scientific foundation of biodiversity, biosafety, and related biotechnology;
  • Orienting prominent scientists with respect to conflict resolution mechanisms and their impending roles in dispute resolution;
  • Previewing workshops to be conducted at the GBF in March 2004; and
  • Previewing an International Science and Technology Reference Forum that will be implemented over the course of the next year.

The Conference on Biodiversity, Biotechnology, and the Protection of Traditional Knowledge was held in Spring 2003. This cutting-edge conference gathered leading biological scientists, social scientists, legal scholars, and other academics; national and international governmental officials; and representatives of nongovernmental organizations and indigenous communities, as well as representatives from private law practice and the private business sector to discuss:

  • The protection of biodiversity and the problem of worldwide biodiversity loss;
  • The protection and regulation of agricultural and plant biotechnology and the impact of agricultural and plant biotechnology on biodiversity loss; and
  • The international intellectual property implications of both of the foregoing, particularly as they relate to the protection of traditional medicinal and agricultural knowledge and the development of intellectual property and related legal mechanisms of interest and relevance to the developing world.

The School of Law hosted a Typeface Panel discussion in connection with the opening of the exhibit,"Typographically Speaking: The Art of Matthew Carter." focused on the status of typeface design protection in the United States and elsewhere. Carter recently redesigned the typeface for the New York Times.

The 2001 Patenting Genetic Products Colloquium was held in conjunction with the Washington University School of Law and School of Medicine’s yearlong series of events on the Human Genome Project: Expanding the Conversation. The series brought together international jurists, scientists, political and social theorists, attorneys, professors, historians, and philosophers to discuss legal, ethical, social, and regulatory issues stemming from genetics research. The colloquium focused on patents for genetic products, including research tools and processes widely used in academia and industry.

On October 7-8 the law schools at Washington University and Saint Louis University co-hosted the Works-in-Progress Intellectual Property Colloquium 2005.

"The colloquium offers an opportunity for intellectual property scholars to present their works-in-progress and get early feedback from their colleagues," says Associate Professor Scott Kieff, who co-organized the conference with Mark McKenna, an assistant professor at Saint Louis University.

The Commercializing Innovation Conference held November 4-5, 2005, brought together leading thinkers in diverse fields to develop modern tools and strategies for improving the complex process of innovation commercialization, with a focus on both domestic and international implications. While each of the general topics of transaction costs, agency costs, and coordination problems has spawned large bodies of literature, little attention has been paid to their combined impact on the process of bringing the fruits of new ideas to market. One group of project contributors looked at the ways a large business or university can provide incentives for its creative employees to bring new ideas to the attention of organizational leaders. Another group focused on the ways outside development and marketing entities can reach across the so-called "valley of death" to team with those on the creative side. A third group addressed the financing and corporate control problems facing innovation commercialization. The overall theme of this project was that law, contracts, and organizations can complement each other to overcome barriers that otherwise prevent innovation from coming to market. At its most general level, the project considered the tradeoffs among different legal and nonlegal institutions as means for ensuring that innovation is commercialized.


"I believe that the IP/TL LL.M. at Washington University School of Law was instrumental in obtaining my dream job. It allowed me to hone my legal skills by providing a wide range of IP-related practical skills courses and exposing me to a wide range of experienced practicing attorneys." Adam Brown interned with the University’s Office of Technology Management and now works at Thompson Coburn, LLP.  Adam Brown, IP/TL LL.M.’04, U.S.A.


"I was looking for an IP LL.M. program with a strong reputation and Washington University’s customized curriculum let me pursue a wide variety of subjects and interests. My goal is to work for an international IP firm, so I prepared for that by taking courses such as copyrights, patents, and entertainment law. I was able to turn these newly acquired skills into three practical experiences. I did a summer internship with a law firm, Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin, where I worked with great American lawyers and improved my research skills in the copyright field. I also took part in the Judicial Observation Program where I gained insight into how the federal judicial system works. In the Fall, I worked with the Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, an organization that provides free legal and accounting assistance to nonprofit arts groups. This was exactly the practical work I was looking for in the entertainment law field."  Celine Bondard, IP/TL LL.M.’04, France

"Because of my background in music and broadcasting, I knew that I wanted to practice Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. I also knew that I wanted to go to a top-notch law school in the Midwest. I knew from the moment I visited Washington University that it was the place for me. I felt that I would be studying in a challenging, but not cutthroat, environment. I could not have made a better decision. The core IP classes are taught by enthusiastic professors who are involved in creating national and international IP policy. The University provides opportunities outside of the classroom as well, such as IP moot court competitions and hosting national conferences that focus on new IP developments. Now I am an Intellectual Property and Entertainment attorney. I advise entrepreneurs and artists about their IP issues. I know that my experiences with Washington University’s IP program gave me a distinct advantage over other schools’ graduates entering the workforce." 
Danica Mathes, J.D.’01 Blumenfeld, Kaplan & Sandweiss, PC.

For more information about upcoming conferences, contact David Deal, Administrative Director, Intellectual Property & Nonprofit Organizations Clinic, 314.935.7960 or email