What Is So Special (to Me) About Intellectual Property?

Posted on Categories Education & Law, Intellectual Property Law

gone-with-the-wind-11Last week I announced a future post about “why I like IP” and what brought me to specialize in this area. First, as with many-and often the most successful-things in life, IP more or less happened to me. I graduated from the University of Bologna Law School with a thesis (very much like a master’s thesis) in Antitrust Law. During my time at Berkeley and while attending my Doctorate Program I still worked on Advertising and Antitrust Law, increasingly, however, focusing on the relationship between Antitrust and Intellectual Property. As I mentioned before, my mentor and guide of my whole career, professor Vito Mangini, played a vital role in “pushing” me further and further into the IP world. In fact, IP in general, and trademarks in particular, became my main focus of both writing and practicing when, following the suggestion of my professor (who also found scholarships to support my stay and study) I moved to London to attend the Queen Mary and Westfield College and the London School of Economics. Since then, my love for IP has just grown, and I have never thought of a better field of law in which to practice, teach, and write.During the 1990s, IP has boomed everywhere, and had become a predominant aspect of any legal training and practice. Its increasing importance is not, however, the reason why I like it so much and would unlikely change it for any other areas (tax law and immigration law are also my passion, but IP still wins over anything else). I love IP because it is technical, challenging, and, as the “icing on a cake,” can really apply to everything in our lives, at any time.

IP is about logos, trademarks, advertising, and product distribution, and thus I constantly can relate to it when I go shopping, work in my house, drive to work, or just watch TV. IP is about technology, any kind of it, from pharmaceuticals to electronics, so I think of it when I use any equipment, think (or listen to my husband or my dad suggesting) how to improve machinery, take a pill, or just wonder why drugs and health care are so expensive in this country or what we can do about it. IP also is about authors and creative work, so I think of it when I read books or watch videos, go to a museum, or wonder which design could be the best for a new jewelry or dress. And IP is about so much more than that; no matter what you are looking at or thinking of, there is something that relates to IP.

But, as I said, IP is not just about cakes, dresses, movies, and video-games. It can be about life saving drugs, new varieties of seeds that can be pest resistant and could help fight famine around the world, cheaper and better communication for people in the globe, etc. In other words, it can be “light,” and fun (and some days I just need that), but it also very serious, and incredibly important to make a difference in many areas of business and society in general (and we all want to make a difference, or to be part of it, right?). IP is also about policy and theory, one of my hidden passions, but it can become one of the most technical and detailed laws I have ever practiced (want to know whether the book “Gone With The Wind” is in the public domain? The answer will be long while we navigate all the extensions, renewals, etc., of copyright law in the past century, and even many great IP lawyers can get lost in this sea of details).

In sum, IP is, and has, something for every one, the scientist, the artist, the business man, and the average person on the street. So, no matter how you look at it, there will be always an aspect of your every day life that has something to do with IP . . . and that is why I like it so much!

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