[PAST EVENT] 2022-2023 Stanley H. Mervis Lecture in Intellectual Property
When first written into the Constitution, intellectual property aimed to facilitate the "progress of science and the useful arts" by granting limited rights to authors and inventors.
Today, when rapid technological evolution accompanies growing wealth inequality and political and social divisiveness, the constitutional goal of "progress" may suggest more fundamental human values such as equality, privacy, and distributive justice, redirecting IP's emphasis to the commonweal instead of private interests.
In a talk titled "Against Progress: Intellectual Property and Fundamental Values in the Internet Age," Professor Jessica Silbey (Professor of Law and Yanakakis Faculty Research Scholar at Boston University School of Law) will highlight key themes and disputes to examine the experience of everyday creators and innovators navigating IP laws in the current internet eco-system and will encourage a refiguring of the substance of "progress" and the purpose of IP in terms that demonstrate the urgency of art and science to social justice today. Professor Patricia Banks of Mount Holyoke College will offer commentary.
The Stanley H. Mervis Lectureship in Intellectual Property was created in memory of Stanley Mervis in 2003 by his family and friends. Mervis, a member of the William & Mary Law School Class of 1950, was patent counsel for Polaroid Corporation for most of his career and was actively involved in important patent and intellectual property issues.