Show #208 — Prof. Mark Lemley on the US Supreme Court’s current patent cases — posted

At LONG last, after working on issues ranging from transparency in international trade and hydraulic fracturing to making sure that 3Ls have grades upon which to base their graduation, I am now going to begin a flurry of posts of this quarter’s shows. Thanks for your patience, and get ready for a barrage!

So let’s start with Show #208, April 8, my interview with four-time guest (thanks Mark!) Prof. Mark Lemley of Stanford Law School on this term’s United States Supreme Court intellectual property cases — and there are a banner number. This term’s cases have addressed some of the most vexing issues in patent law generally, ranging from claim construction to abstract ideas. We discussed the primary cases, as well as current legislative efforts to address patent trolls/non-practicing entities/patent assertion entities. As always, I greatly enjoyed my discussion with Mark.

[Ed. note: apparently the Facebook “like” box is currently broken. So like it some other way, if you’d like].


Shows #189-192 — Valentin Dander, Profs. Deven Desai and Michael Rich, and Tim Jordan — posted

New semester, and new projects, means that I’m only now posting the last four shows from the summer quarter. They are:

First, Show # 189, July 17, is my interview with Valentin Dander, PhD candidate at the University of Innsbruck, on open government data. I met Valentin at MIT8, a wonderful conference where this law professor got to meet with and learn from many fascinating communications scholars, some of whom will be future guests on Hearsay Culture. Having heard Valentin’s talk on open government data, I thought it would be a great topic for the show — and it was! We discussed the theory underlying and need for open data structures in government, and their ramifications. I greatly enjoyed the interview!

The second show, Show #190, July 24, is my interview with Prof. Deven Desai of Thomas Jefferson Law School, on 3D printing. Deven’s work focuses on the implications of 3D printing — the ability to “copy” physical objects — in the intellectual property sphere, particularly patents. The dramatic impact of 3D printing is only now beginning to be felt and weighed by scholars, policymakers and society, so I was very excited to have Deven on the show to discuss his early insights. I very much enjoyed the interview!

Additionally, I’m pleased to post the third show, Show #191, August 14, my interview with Prof. Michael Rich of Elon University School of Law, on technology and crime. Mike, who is not only a colleague but a friend, has been doing cutting-edge work on the question of how technology can be used to prevent crime, and the ramifications of using such technology. During our discussion, we focused on two of his articles examining the contours of this issue, from what we mean by “perfect prevention” of crime to the technological limitations of such efforts. As always, I greatly enjoyed by conversation with Mike and consider myself fortunate to work with him at Elon.

Lastly, I’m thrilled to post Show #192, August 23, my interview with Tim Jordan of King’s College London on hacking. Tim is (and has been) doing fascinating work on the question of how the Internet has changed communication practices. Drawing on the worlds of 19th century Australian pioneers and modern-day virtual world gamers, Internet, Society and Culture: Communicative Practices Before and After the Internet, published by Bloomsbury, was a terrific book from which to draw many enlightening and fun points of discussion. I learned much and loved the interview.

I am now in the process of setting the schedule for the Fall 2013 quarter, so please look for the schedule by the end of September (I am excited to note that the first guest will be Prof. Anupam Chander of UC Davis Law, author of the just-released book The Electronic Silk Road). In the interim, please email me at dave@hearsacyulture.com if you have any comments, questions or suggestions for future guests. Thanks for listening!

Shows 187 and 188 — Prof. David Opderbeck and Ron Epstein — posted

I’m pleased to post the first two shows of the summer quarter. The first, Show #187, July 3, is my interview with Prof. Dave Opderbeck of Seton Hall Law School on FISA courts and NSA surveillance. David recently created a dataset which shows that very few government requests have been denied by the FISA court. While it may be tempting to dismiss this conclusion as obvious, it is useful to explore it in more depth. And so we did, discussing the role of the FISA court and its relationship to the Snowden/PRISM affair, and the implications of the data, political, social and legal. I enjoyed the interview.

The second show, Show #188, July 10, is my interview with Ron Epstein, CEO of EpicenterIP, on non-practicing entities/patent trolls, or as Ron puts it, “patent investors.” Ron is one of the most prominent people in this highly controversial world of patent investing and arbitrage. Regardless of the monicker placed on the activity, the purchase of patent portfolios raises fascinating questions regarding the role of patents in our economy and the limits of permissible use of the monopoly power that it confers. We explored the range of these questions, and I greatly enjoyed the discussion.

Look for more shows to be posted in a week or so, and thanks for listening!

shows 170-174 — Profs. Woodrow Hartzog, Fred Stutzman, Dr. Deborah Peel, Profs. Madhavi Sunder, Chris Sprigman and Shubha Ghosh — posted

At long last, I am posting several new shows from the end of last quarter and the beginning of this quarter.

The first show, Show 170, August 7, is my interview with Prof. Woodrow Hartzog of Cumberland School of Law, Samford University and Fred Stutzman of UNC on their article, The Case for Online Obscurity. In their article, Woody and Fred conceptualize “obscurity” as an area on the information flow spectrum from publicity to privacy. Although people often interact with technology from the perspective of something other than complete privacy or publicity, Woody and Fred note that the parameters of that activity — obscurity — has not been theorized. In our discussion, we explore the theory and practice underlying obscurity. They were great guests.

Next, Show 171, August 21, is my interview with Dr. Deborah Peel. Deb is one of the nation’s leading advocates on patient privacy rights and the rights associated with the distribution of health information. In our interview, we discussed her work and views on the challenges facing both patients and the healthcare industry as we confront the explosion of information stored in electronic format. I greatly enjoyed the discussion.

Show 172, August 28, is my interview with Prof. Madhavi Sunder of UC Davis School of Law, author of From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Global Justice. Madhavi has written a fascinating book arguing that the process of production, and not just the outputs, should be a value that intellectual property law encompasses. In her book, she explores the implications of such a shift on communities in developing economies and other groups who are not generally considered in intellectual property’s utilitarian scheme. I learned much and we had a fun interview.

The fourth show, Show 173, October 3 is my interview with Prof. Chris Sprigman of Virginia Law, co-author of The Knockoff Economy. Chris and his co-author Kal (who did not join us on the interview) have written a fascinating account of industries and communities, like fashion and comedy, where intellectual property law is non-existent and/or unenforced. They found, somewhat surprisingly to those who view intellectual property law as a necessary requirement to spur innovation and economic activity, that these industries thrived despite the absence of intellectual property rights. We had a broad and high-energy discussion.

Finally, Show 174, October 10, is my interview with Prof. Shubha Ghosh of the University of Wisconsin School of Law, author of Identity, Invention, and the Culture of Personalized Medicine Patenting. Shubha is a prolific scholar who has written a study of the law surrounding and implications of personalized medicine from a patent law perspective. Given the advances in technology that allow for a vast array of data to be used in the treatment of patients, patent law is at the center of the questions as to the parameters of this activity. Shubha was able to discuss a challenging area in a clear and concise way, and I greatly enjoyed the interview.

A final note: since the show began in May 2006, Joe Neto, Stanford Law School’s wonderful creative services specialist and Funkranomicon lead vocalist, was responsible for posting the shows onto CIS’ server. After six years and 170 shows, he has handed that job over to CIS’ Elaine Adolfo. Thanks much to Joe for his work, and to Elaine for taking over the reigns!

show # 142 — prof. michael risch — posted

I’m pleased to post the first show in the summer quarter, Show #142, June 29, my interview with Prof. Michael Risch of Villanova University School of Law. Mike discussed his article Patent Troll Myths, forthcoming in Seton Hall Law Review. Patent trolls are getting increasing attention as the parasite of the patent world, entities that buy patent portfolios for the express purpose of bringing actions for patent infringement. We discussed the empirical research that Mike did to identify the who and what of patent trolls, which lead to some surprising findings. I enjoyed the conversation and expect to see more of patent trolls in future shows!

Show #75 — Profs. Michele Boldrin and David Levine (not me!) — posted

How do I approach posting a show with a professor with the same name as mine? Do I downplay it to appear more balanced? Do I come up with a kitschy title (Dave Meets David)? Or celebrate the achievement of another member of the tribe of Levite? I think I’ll celebrate it.

I am very pleased to post Show #75, my interview with Profs. David Levine and Michele Boldrin of Washington University in St. Louis, authors of Against Intellectual Monopoly. David and Michele have written an empirical study, from their perspective as economists, of the copyright and patent systems. As the title suggests, they think that both are, in essence, superfluous and counterproductive. While against my long-term career interests as a professor of intellectual property law, they make a compelling argument. I very much enjoyed the interview and hope that you do as well!

Show # 70 — Prof. Michael Meurer — posted

I am pleased to post Show #70, my interview with Prof. Michael Meurer of Boston University School of Law, co-author of Patent Failure. Patent Failure is an excellent empirical analysis of the basic question: is patent law doing what we think intellectual property law should do (namely, encourage innovation)? In our discussion, we discuss, among other topics, the current state of patent law, the basis for the provocative title of the book, and why we should (or shouldn’t) radically alter or eliminate the patent system entirely. It was fun, and I hope that you enjoy the interview!

Incidentally, later in the year, I’ll be interviewing Profs. David Levine (David Levines are everywhere!) and Michele Boldrin of Washington University in St. Louis, authors of Against Intellectual Monopoly. The contrast to Patent Failure should be enlightening.

Look for new shows in a few weeks!