IP Faculty Q&A: Professor Mark McKenna

Author: Program on IP & Technology Law

Mark Deep Fakes

Are you missing campus following announcements by the University and the Law School to postpone events and move to online courses until April 12th to reduce the risks and mitigate the impact of COVID-19? We’ve got your IP Law cravings covered! We’re staying in touch with the NDLS IP Community through stories and posts that spotlight the people that make our Program great while offering fun and helpful guidance during these extraordinary times. For our first installment of “Five Questions in the Time of Coronavirus” we talk to our Faculty Director and fearless leader, Professor Mark McKenna, a trademark law expert whose most recent work focuses on the intersection of intellectual property rights regimes and the intersection of IP rights with adjacent rights. 


NDLawIP: As classes go online for the next few weeks, what are you most looking forward to in this new digital teaching environment?

MM: I'm looking forward to the challenge of figuring out how to make this work in a different format. Here's hoping Zoom can handle the traffic!


NDLawIP: What advice do you have for students during this unexpected time? 

MM: Be patient and flexible. Things will not work perfectly, but you can be sure your faculty is working very hard to make this as productive and helpful as possible. 


NDLawIP: It’s said that Isaac Newton developed calculus and the theory of gravity when Cambridge temporarily closed in 1666 and that Shakespeare wrote King Lear under similar circumstances. Given all the time in the world, what legal theory would you craft or what legal issue would you solve? 

MM: Right now, I'm trying to solve the puzzle of keeping everyone fed and making an at-home school work for 5 kids ranging from junior year in college to 6th grade. 


NDLawIP: What’s your favorite YouTube channel, Instagram account, or Twitter feed to follow now? 

MM: Found a great YouTube channel with my kids - Crash Course. It's a series of "crash courses" on all kinds of things. Hoping they have one on pandemic responses. 


NDLawIP: As Aristotle said, we are social animals. What are you doing to stave off cabin fever and maintain your humanity during this time of social distancing? 

MM: That's a great question. I have no idea :)