University of New Hampshire

School of Law

School of Law

Franklin Pierce Center for IP Newsletter - Fall 2013

Message from Alexandra Roberts, Executive Director

Imagine: millions of people are logging countless hours playing a videogame that features your likeness. Your avatar not only looks like you, but wears your uniform, bears your jersey number, plays your position, performs your signature moves, and even answers to your nickname. In most cases, such use of your name and likeness without your permission would violate your right of publicity; you could enjoin the use and recover damages, or enter a licensing agreement with the videogame company to secure a cut of the profits your avatar generates.

But if you’re a college athlete, NCAA rules severely constrain your ability to profit from or even control the use of your image. What’s a student/athlete/videogame star to do?

Professor Mike McCann and I will join industry insiders to discuss this and other challenges at the intersection of sports law and intellectual property that arise in the O’Bannon litigation at our upcoming town hall, co-sponsored by Sports Illustrated. The event will inaugurate our new Sports & Entertainment Law Institute, which expands the breadth of our intellectual property curriculum and augments our traditional strengths and practice-ready training in patent, trademark, and copyright law.

My colleagues and I look forward to another great year at the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, and hope you’ll consider joining us for the town hall or any of our other events and programs.

Best wishes from the Granite State,


UNH Law Hosts IP Boot Camp

Junior faculty members from law schools around the country attended UNH Law’s three-day IP Academics’ Boot Camp held last June in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Senior faculty led discussions on developing a scholarly agenda, research strategies & tools, and creating scholarship helpful to the courts. We plan to host the Boot Camp again in 2015, and we welcome your thoughts on the themes and topics that will be most useful to junior scholars!

IP Scholars' Roundtable

UNH Law’s 3rd annual IP Scholars’ roundtable will convene next month, bringing a wide range of IP scholars together to share their works-in-progress and to discuss the theme “Intellectual Property Where Function Meets Style.”

New Advanced Patent Law Institute

This summer, UNH Law launched a two-week advanced certification program created especially for patent attorneys, agents, examiners, managers and other IP and business professionals. The inaugural APLI faculty featured Chief Judge Randall R. Rader from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as well as IP practitioners and scholars from around the world. Read more>>

“International IP Practice and the America Invents Act” Symposium

The IP Center hosted the inaugural Robert Shaw International IP Symposium, sponsored by Sughrue Mion, LLC, last spring. Experts from around the country discussed the risks, implications, and potential strategies for assisting clients and companies in an age of significant change for US and international patent practice. The symposium honored the memory of the late Robert Shaw, who founded UNH Law’s Patent Practice Program. Read more>>

The Sports and Entertainment Law Institute
at UNH Law

UNH Law’s new Sports and Entertainment Law Institute is led by noted sports law expert Michael McCann and by the executive director of the IP Center, Alexandra Roberts, who also will be teaching Entertainment Law.

An inaugural symposium, co-sponsored by Sports Illustrated, will be held this fall focusing on Ed O’Bannon’s high-profile case against the NCAA and its implications for the future of college athletics.

The Sports & Entertainment Law Institute is part of UNH Law’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, which carries forward the school’s 40-year commitment to IP scholarship and education.

Courses offered will include Pro Sports and the Law; College and Amateur Sports Law; International, Comparative and Olympics Sports Law; and Intellectual Property Issues in Sports & Entertainment Law.

Workshops will include contract drafting; NCAA regulations; sports litigation, arbitration and mediation; and video game licensing.

Aaron Hernandez Case Puts UNH Law Sports Law Professor in National Spotlight

UNH Law Professor Michael McCann, director of the new Sports & Entertainment Law Institute, appeared on more than a dozen major media outlets to offer his expertise on the Aaron Hernandez case. He also did original reporting on the case for Sports Illustrated magazine. Read more>>

New IP Faculty

Assistant Professor Jiarui Liu

JSD candidate, Stanford Law School
LLM, University of Washington School of Law
PhD, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing

Jiarui Liu specializes in international IP, in particular the interaction among IP protection, technological innovation, and the development of cultural industries. At Stanford, he was an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics and a Microsoft Fellow in Intellectual Property and Antitrust. He has worked for both Baker & McKenzie and Jones Day in Shanghai and Hong Kong and is the author, most recently, of "Copyright Injunctions After EBay: An Empirical Study" in LEWIS & CLARK LAW REVIEW.

Assistant Professor Alexandra Roberts
Executive Director of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property

JD, Yale Law School
AM, Stanford University

Prior to joining UNH Law, Alexandra Roberts served as visiting assistant professor at Boston University School of Law, where she taught Trademarks & Unfair Competition. She practiced IP litigation with Ropes & Gray in Boston and New York and is the author, most recently, of "How to Do Things with Word Marks: A Speech-Act Theory of Distinctiveness", forthcoming in ALABAMA LAW REVIEW.

IP Faculty Member Teaches
Patent Valuation in Argentina

Professor John Orcutt co-taught a course last month at the Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires titled “Financial and Accounting Aspects of Intangible Assets.” The course is part of the Austral’s Regional Master (LLM) Program in Intellectual Property, which is sponsored by WIPO.

Orcutt and Professor Bill Murphy will be conducting a week-long technology and patent valuation program in Costa Rica this December at the invitation of the Universidad de Costa Rica and the Costa Rican government.

UNH Law Student Wins Innovation-to-Market Competition

A UNH Law student with a biomedical engineering background who invented a clip to stop brain aneurysms has won this year’s UNH Paul J. Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market competition, which includes a grand prize of $25,000 in celebration of the competition’s 25th anniversary.

Third-year UNH Law student Craig Litherland won the competition for his zero artifact aneurysm clip, which can significantly reduce the cost of treating brain aneurysms and save lives. According to Litherland, subarachnoid hemorrhage or bleeding on the brain is a significant problem and typically caused by leaking aneurysms in brain arteries. About 5 percent of the U.S. population harbors these ticking time bombs. Read more>>