VANDERBILT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROGRAM (VIPP)
Intellectual property is one of the most vibrant and challenging areas of today’s legal profession. Emerging technologies transform the role that communications networks and content play in our lives; innovation is a key lever to grow the U.S. economy; and as information has become increasingly global, attorneys must be familiar with an expanding array of legal regimes. Clients need lawyers who are well prepared to help them navigate this rapidly changing environment, and VIPP is designed to prepare Vanderbilt law graduates to meet this challenge. A Broad and Varied Curriculum In addition to introductory courses in Intellectual Property, Copyright Law, Patent Law and Trademarks, Vanderbilt offers elective courses addressing topics such as intellectual trade law, international intellectual property law, comparative copyright law, licensing, music and copyright, entertainment law, sports law and science and technology law, among other topics. A Faculty of World-Class Scholars and Practitioners
Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law (JETLaw) The Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law is a student-edited journal that focuses on cutting-edge legal scholarship at the intersection of entertainment and technology law. JETLaw also offers a blog that incorporates easily accessible legal analysis about current events and issues related to entertainment and technology law. JETLaw was founded in 1998 as the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment Law and Practice and changed its name in 2005.
Daniel Gervais is an expert in international intellectual
property and copyright law.
Sean Seymore holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and
specializes in patent law.
Joseph Fishman focuses on the relationship of intellectual
Learn more about JETLaw.
property to creativity and the creative process.
Michael Bressman, who formerly practiced IP law,
teaches the Intellectual Property and the Arts clinic. Judge Kent Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit teaches a short course in Trademarks. Suzanne Kessler, an experienced entertainment
lawyer, teaches two short courses: Intellectual Property Licensing and Entertainment Industry Transactions.
“The Entertainment and Sports Law Society helped me make connections with attorneys in Nashville who are receptive to mentoring students who want to focus on music law.” RICKY HERNANDEZ
| Class of 2017 A former band manager and CPA who worked as an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers before law school, Ricky applied only to law schools in “music towns” where he could develop an entertainment law practice. He chose Vanderbilt for its strong academic reputation, its strength in intellectual property law and its Nashville location.
Daniel Gervais, who directs Vanderbilt’s Intellectual Property Program, is the author of an influential treatise on the TRIPS Agreement, the international treaty that governs the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. His new co-authored book, International Intellectual Property: An Advanced Introduction, was released in 2016.
Student Organizations The Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Association and the Entertainment and Sports Law Society both sponsor events, help students develop employment networks with alumni and local practitioners, and help students find and take advantage of opportunities to gain practical legal experience in Nashville. Julie Samuels ’05, an expert on technology policy, is executive director of Engine, a nonprofit focused on technology entrepreneurship. She previously held the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization with the stated mission of advocating for “digital civil rights.” She is a frequent speaker at VLS.
An Entertainment Industry Capital Vanderbilt is ideally situated in a major center of entertainment law. Nashville is home to numerous record labels, television networks, instrument manufacturers, and three leading performance rights licensing organizations, BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. The Intellectual Property Program coordinates with noted practitioners, many of whom are Vanderbilt Law alumni, to provide fellowships and externship opportunities to students interested in studying technology, intellectual property, entertainment and innovation law.
VLS hosted a World Intellectual Property Organization roving seminar, “Protecting Your IP Overseas,” in April 2016.
Judge Kathleen O’Malley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit discussed her views on patent law from a judicial perspective in Vanderbilt’s 2015-16 Fenwick & West Lecture. Judge O’Malley presided over more than 100 patent and trademark cases as a federal district judge before her appointment to the Federal Circuit in 2010.
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Sean Seymore, who holds a secondary appointment in the department of chemistry, studies how patent law should evolve in response to scientific advances and how the intersection of law and science should influence the formulation of public policy. As a member of the 2015-17 class of Chancellor Faculty Fellows at Vanderbilt, he receives additional financial support for his research.
“Inventions have become increasingly complex, and patent law has to respond to advances in science and technology. I was eager to join the faculty at a research university that offered a depth of expertise in both science and law. In addition to having a top-notch law school, Vanderbilt’s science and engineering programs and medical school are all superb.”
| Professor of Law, Professor of Chemistry, Chancellor Faculty Fellow
“I studied engineering in undergrad thinking I would be interested in patent prosecution. However, I learned over the course of my 1L year and at student organization lunch events that patent law was much more than patent prosecution. Through Vanderbilt connections, I was fortunate enough to secure a summer job doing patent litigation and loved it.” MICHAEL JOSHI | Class of 2014 Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, New York After earning his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science at Harvard, Michael ran his own business with a partner before starting law school. He now plans a career in patent litigation and spent summer 2013 at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in the Bay Area before joining the firm’s New York office after graduation.
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