Recent fundraising successes, including a new chaired professorship in intellectual property and a scholarship for underrepresented students
Faculty contributions, including several casebooks, numerous articles published in legal and scientific journals, and amicus briefs
Academic colloquia hosted in hybrid format with IP scholars from around the US and an upcoming roundtable on pharmaceutical patents and pricing featuring current and former FDA and PTO officials, academics, and practitioners
A new course taught by a judge who has been nominated to the Federal Circuit
Appointment of a new Marks Fellow
A grant given to two IP professors to work on the Ethical Tech Initiative of D.C.
GW Law's IP Program Receives Several Donations for Academic Programming, Totaling Over $2,500,000
Michael J. McKeon, a star student, began his career as a mechanical engineer and impressed his professors right from the start—including the scholar who now holds his endowed professorship.
GW Law’s pioneering Intellectual Property Law Program took a giant leap forward, thanks to a major gift by Michael J. McKeon, JD ’96. The nationally acclaimed IP trial attorney established the Michael J. McKeon Professorship of Intellectual Property Law. Professor Robert Brauneis, co-director of GW Law’s IP Program was appointed the inaugural holder of the endowed professorship.
“I am deeply honored to be appointed the McKeon Professor of IP Law,” said Professor Brauneis, who joined the GW Law faculty in 1993 and is a prominent scholar in the IP world. “Amazingly enough, Mike was a student in the very first class I taught at GW Law. He was a phenomenal student, the kind that you don't forget even after 27 years of teaching. He made me feel like I had come to the right place to teach.” Professor Brauneis said he could not be prouder to call himself the Michael J. McKeon Professor of Intellectual Property Law. “While endowing a professorship is a huge deal, it's just another day in the life of Mike's service to the law school,” he said. “In addition to becoming a leader in the patent bar and one of the preeminent litigators of his generation, he has given back so much to our community. It has truly been gratifying to watch him accomplish so much. We are extremely fortunate that he’s a member of the GW Law family.”
“GW Law has had a leading Intellectual Property Law program for well over a century, and I am proud and grateful to be part of that tradition,” Mr. McKeon said. “The McKeon Professorship is a real ray of light for the IP Program and the law school.” “GW Law has been a stepping stone to many great opportunities for me over the years, and when a school is good to you, you give back,” added Mr. McKeon, who graduated at the top of his law school class.
Kenneth E. Jaconetty, JD ’88, Established the Kenneth E. Jaconetty Scholarship Fund to Provide Need-Based Funding for Second- and Third-Year GW Law Students Who Are Active Members of the Black Law Students Association or Enrolled Members of a Native American Tribe with an Interest in Intellectual Property Law
Kenneth E. Jaconetty, JD ’88, made a planned gift of $2 million to establish the Kenneth E. Jaconetty Scholarship Fund, an endowed scholarship program that will provide need-based funding for second- and third-year GW Law students who are active members of the Black Law Students Association or enrolled members of a Native American tribe with an interest in intellectual property law.
“We are deeply grateful to Mr. Jaconetty for his generous estate gift, but even more grateful for the commitment he has shown to ensuring that GW Law continues to realize the educational benefits of a broadly diverse student body,” said GW Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew. “His gift will ensure that generations of talented students, regardless of financial resources, will have equal access to a top-quality GW Law education.”
Hoping to make meaningful use of his estate, Mr. Jaconetty said he was inspired by his own law school experience as well as the Black Lives Matter demonstrations of the past summer, sparked by the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., to start the scholarship program. “I had a light bulb moment that this was a way I could make maybe a small difference in addressing some of the long-standing issues in this country,” he said.
Attending GW Law’s evening program, Mr. Jaconetty’s school costs were covered by the law firm that he clerked for during the day. He said he appreciates in retrospect how fortunate he was to graduate debt-free from both his undergraduate and law schools and understands that not only do many minority students do not have access to generous benefactors like he had, they also have been historically discriminated against in the legal profession.
Sophia Sim, GW Law’s associate dean of admissions and financial aid, said as an endowed scholarship, the gift will be invested to permanently support a legacy of helping students gain access to GW Law’s top-rated intellectual property law program. “Focused on improving diversity in the intellectual property field, the Jaconetty Scholarship will attract the best and the brightest—a perfect match for our phenomenal intellectual property program.”
IP Scholarship Created to Honor Glen Weston
The family of Glen Earl Weston, The S. Chesterfield Oppenheim Professor of Antitrust & Trade Regulation Law Emeritus, endowed an IP scholarship in memory of their father who recently passed away at the age of 98. Glen had an amazing 40-year-long teaching career at GW Law and rose to international prominence in the fields of antitrust, trade regulation, and intellectual property.
Professor Weston was born on July 12, 1922 in rural Oklahoma. He received a B.S. from the University of Maryland in 1943 and married Elizabeth Gruver in that year. Immediately after graduation, he went off to Officer Candidate Training school, and in September 1944 joined the U.S. Army in Europe to fight in World War II. He served under General George S. Patton; fought in the Battle of the Bulge; and earned a Silver Star for extreme bravery and courage, saving numerous men's lives from a surprise German attack. While serving in the War, he served Court Martial, experiences that would later shape and drive the rest of his life's direction, devotion, and scholarship
After two years of military service, he came to study law at GW Law. He completed his law studies in two years; graduated first in his class; and joined the Law School just one year later as an Assistant Professor in 1949, where he taught until he retired forty years later in 1989.
In 1978, Weston spearheaded the successful effort to raise funds for the S. Chesterfield Oppenheim Professorship of Antitrust & Trade Regulation Law, which became the very first endowed chair at GW Law, which he eventually held. He also greatly expanded the Intellectual Property Program at GW Law, establishing the first courses in Copyright Law, Patent Licensing, and International Patent Law.
GW Continues Its IP Speaker Series with Law Professors from American University, Rutgers, and Fordham Law Schools
For over a decade, GW Law has hosted an IP Speaker Series, where IP scholars are invited to present their current work. The audience has traditionally (and primarily) included GW Law IP professors and students in person. This year, the series is conducted in a hybrid format and audience members can appear at the talks in person or by Zoom. Thanks to this format, law professors and other audience members from various parts of the U.S. and the world have attended the series.
Confirmed speakers for Spring 2022 include Erika Douglas, Assistant Professor, Temple University Beasley School of Law, and Dalindyebo Shabalala, Associate Professor of Law, University of Dayton School of Law.
GW Law to Hold FDA-PTO Roundtable with Current and Former Government Officials and Other Prominent Participants
On Friday, January 21, 2022, GW Law will host an FDA-PTO Roundtable. This conference is being held in response to several recent letters sent by the Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs and Members of Congress to the Patent and Trademark Office concerning drug-related patents and pharmaceutical pricing. Pending approval, the attendees from the federal government include Drew Hirshfeld, performing the functions and duties of the Director of the PTO, Linda Horner, Administrative Patent Judge and Senior Legal Advisor at the PTO, Maryll Toufanian, FDA Director of Generic Drug Policy, and Grail Sipes, Deputy Director for Regulatory Policy at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. In addition, former PTO Directors Andrei Iancu and David Kappos and former Acting PTO Director Teresa Stanek Rea will participate. The roundtable will also include participants from academia, industry, law firms, and trade organizations.
As the agenda indicates, the topics that will be discussed include:
Introduction to FDA/PTO Intersection: The Hatch-Waxman Act
Patent Infringement Suits and the FDA
Strategies in Pharmaceutical and Biologic Patenting
Transparency—Orange and Purple Book Listings
Post-Grant Review/Inter Partes Review
FDA and PTO Coordination and Collaboration
FDA and PTO Roles in Drug Marketing and Pricing
The program will also include a luncheon preceding the conference, and a reception upon its conclusion.
The conference is free and open to the public. For more details please click here. To follow the George Washington University protocols for visiting GW’s campus, click here.
Barbara Lauriat Joins the IP Program as the Eleventh
The IP Program is delighted to welcome Barbara Lauriat as the 2021-2023 Frank H. Marks Intellectual Property Law Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Law. Professor Lauriat joins us from King’s College London, where she is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law. She is also a Research Fellow of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre in the University of Oxford Law Faculty. Barbara received her J.D. from Boston University, where she served as an editor of the Boston University Law Review, and her D. Phil. from Balliol College, Oxford. The Marks Fellowship was created in 2003, and has provided an opportunity for many attorneys to transition into full-time legal academic positions in the US. Former Marks Fellows now hold tenured or tenure-track positions in such law schools as William & Mary Law School, University of Colorado Law School, University of Houston Law Center, and University of Baltimore School of Law.
The Honorable Leonard P. Stark Will Teach an IP Litigation Course at GW Law
Judge Stark (District of Delaware) will teach a skills-based course at GW that will examine important procedural issues that recur in IP litigation in federal district court. Course topics will include case scheduling, venue, personal jurisdiction, confidentiality concerns, discovery, motions to transfer, motions to stay, motions in limine, and motions for enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees, topics that frequently arise in high-stakes IP litigation yet receive little attention in typical IP survey classes. Students will also have the opportunity to present oral arguments on these topics to Judge Stark himself. Reading materials, oral arguments, and class discussions will primarily consist of actual briefs and other documents filed in six IP cases that were litigated before Judge Stark in his courtroom. Of the six cases, three are patent cases, two are trademark cases, and one is a copyright case. Judge Stark serves on the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, one of the leading districts in the country for patent litigation. The District of Delaware also receives a steady flow of other intellectual IP cases, including trademark and copyright, in part because so many companies are incorporated in Delaware.
Judge Stark will co-teach the course with two of his former law clerks, who are also GW alums and former Federal Circuit and Judge Stark clerks: Michael Chajon JD ’10 (now at Perkins Coie), and Kristina McKenna JD ’16 (now at Orrick).
In November 2021, the White House announced President Biden’s nomination of Judge Stark to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If confirmed, Judge Stark will succeed Judge Kathleen M. O’Malley, who recently announced that she will retire in March 2022.
Covington & Burling, Paul Hastings, and Qualcomm New IP Benefactors; Former PTO Director Andrei Iancu Is Among Six New Members of the IP Advisory Council
Qualcomm, Paul Hastings LLP, and Covington & Burling LLP have become new GW IP Benefactors. IP Benefactors include IP law firms and IP-related corporations that contribute annually to GW’s IP program. Qualcomm designated Laurie Self, Paul Hastings designated Naveen Modi, and Covington designated Ranga Sudarshan to be their respective representatives to serve on the IPAC.
The IPAC also added three new members: former PTO Director Andrei Iancu; and alums John Goetz, JD ’04, and James Whittle, JD ’16. Iancu served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property of the United States and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 2017 to 2021 and is currently a partner at Irell & Manella LLP. Goetz is a Principal at Fish & Richardson PC and a graduate of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Whittle is an Associate at Cooley LLP, a graduate from GW Law with Highest Honors and Member of the Order of the Coif, and he earned a PhD in Biology from MIT, and an AB in Chemistry from Harvard College.
Professors Nunziato and Brauneis Receive Expanded Grant for Ethical Tech Initiative of DC
Professors Dawn Nunziato and Robert Brauneis recently received a $137,000 grant from New America / Public Interest Technology - University Network to fund an expanded second year of operation of their Ethical Tech Initiative of DC (ETI of DC). ETI of DC is exploring the use of technology to increase access to justice in marginalized communities, with the help of insights from Distinguished Visiting Technologists, and through a series of roundtables. Videos of the March 22 and October 13 roundtables are available on YouTube. Through partnerships with the District of Columbia Department of Corrections and the GW Paralegal Studies Property, ETI of DC is starting with a pilot project to provide individuals incarcerated in DC correctional facilities with paralegal and legal educational resources, using a specialized online platform. ETI of DC has also created and is maintaining the AI Litigation Database, a searchable database of litigation involving all aspects of artificial intelligence.