Leading design scholars gather for ND Law roundtable in Chicago

Author: Amanda Gray

Design Law Roundtable

Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law hosted the inaugural Design Law Scholars Roundtable at the Notre Dame Law Chicago space on November 15 and 16. The roundtable, created in partnership with the Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Center for Design, Law & Technology, brings together leading minds to discuss fundamental and emerging topics in design law, an inherently interdisciplinary field that spans several intellectual property regimes.

“We created this roundtable to recognize and support the growing community of design law scholars, and to develop a space for serious reflection on major topics in the field,” said Mark McKenna, John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and faculty director for the Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law. “Since scholars working on design law come from a variety of backgrounds, and because design law is itself a sort of amorphous field, our goal for the first roundtable was to start broadly and understand the range of different things that might qualify as ‘design,’ so that we could focus on the scope of the field. We were particularly glad to host that conversation.”

The two-day roundtable featured three sessions, focusing on the changing definition of design, particularly the increasing emphasis on process, the forms of legal protections for design, and the nature and limits of those protections.

“Design exists across legal jurisdictions and territorial borders. During the roundtable pre-eminent scholars from Europe and the United States personified comparative legal analysis by exploring the differences, similarities, and cultural contexts of design law and design rights across the Atlantic and the globe,” said Felicia Caponigri, program director for the Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law. “As design continues to become increasingly culturally significant around the world, gathering scholars from different legal traditions together to engage in academic discussion is important to understand how design and law should interact in our present and future.”

The group also took time to visit the Chicago Institute of Art, where Acting General Counsel Maria Simon gave the group access to visit some of the collections.

To learn more about Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law, visit the program’s page.

Originally published by Amanda Gray at law.nd.edu on November 27, 2019.