UNH Law’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property Welcomes First Executive Director
The Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property at the University of New Hampshire School of Law will welcome Alexandra J. Roberts as its first executive director this spring. Professor Mary Wong, the founding faculty director of the IP Center, will assume a new role as Faculty Chair for Global IP Partnerships at the law school.
Roberts is currently a visiting assistant professor at Boston University School of Law, where she teaches Trademarks & Unfair Competition. She also serves as an editor of The Trademark Reporter, the law journal of the International Trademark Association.
We are very excited to be welcoming Alex Roberts to lead the Franklin Pierce Center for IP. Her background in IP litigation and her scholarship on trademark law will help lead the IP Center into its next phase as a global center for applied research and economic development.
As executive director, Roberts will be responsible for coordinating the IP Center’s internal and external operations, including conferences, events and the IP Center’s major programs, which include the International Technology Transfer Institute, the Intellectual Property Valuation Institute, the IP Summer Institute, and the forthcoming Sports and Entertainment Law Institute.
She will also work with the dean and faculty on the development and execution of new strategic initiatives, including collaborative partnerships with national intellectual property offices, major educational institutions, and international organizations.
In addition, Roberts will be an Assistant Professor of Intellectual Property and will be teaching courses in the law school’s IP curriculum.
I’m thrilled about this opportunity to collaborate with the excellent faculty members, students, and alumni connected with the Franklin Pierce Center for IP. With 40 years of IP leadership to build on, UNH Law has a very bright future training the next generation of IP leaders.
Professor Wong, who has served as founding faculty director of the IP Center since 2011, will focus on expanding UNH Law’s international IP partnerships. She will also continue to chair UNH Law’s Intellectual Property Graduate Programs.
“Mary Wong has done a great job of leading the IP Center through its formative stages,” says Dean Broderick. “We had a major public launch in 2011, followed by a series of IP Scholars’ Conferences, and a wide range of guest speakers. Her international work has greatly enhanced the global perspective that UNH Law has long embraced.”
It has been a real privilege to oversee the launch of the IP Center and several new and exciting programs that will ensure that UNH Law remains at the top of the rankings as a pioneering IP school. My new role as Faculty Chair for Global IP Partnerships grows out of the initial success of the Center and demonstrates our commitment to furthering our global strategic relationships with top-ranked universities, governments and international IP organizations, and to deepening our ties with Asia and other emerging markets.
The Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property promotes global economic development by facilitating research and training in the protection and use of intellectual property for technological innovation. The IP Center has an international reputation for educating global intellectual property leaders (with successful alumni working in over 80 countries) and providing pioneering intellectual property programming.
The IP Center houses one of the largest intellectual property faculties in the United States as well as the only dedicated intellectual property library in the nation. Through the law school’s affiliation with UNH, the Center draws on the resources of one of the nation's premier research universities.
Roberts earned her JD at Yale Law School, where she won the INTA Ladas Memorial Award for best student paper on trademark, and served as an editor of the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities.
Her scholarly publications include Constructing a Canon of Law-Related Poetry,” Reviewing David Kader & Michael Stanford, eds., Poetry of the Law: From Chaucer to the Present in the Texas Law Review; “What’s in a Domain Name? Nominative Fair Use Online in Toyota v. Tabari,” with Peter M. Brody, in the Trademark Reporter; and “New-School Trademark Dilution: Famous Among the Juvenile Consuming Public,” in IDEA, the IP Law Review (published by UNH Law).
Her most recent work, “How to Do Things with Word Marks: A Speech-Act Theory of Distinctiveness,” was presented at both the Intellectual Property Scholars Conference at Stanford Law School, and at UNH Law’s Second Annual Intellectual Property Scholars Roundtable on IP and the Constitution.
She worked as an associate at Ropes & Gray LLP in its New York and Boston offices, where she focused on IP litigation. Her work included litigating trademark, trade secret, false advertising, business tort, antitrust, contract, and data breach cases for clients in the medical device, biologics, food, and cosmetic industries. She also prosecuted and maintained trademark registrations, and represented parties in inter partes proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Roberts has an AM in English Literature from Stanford University, and an AB from Dartmouth College in English (honors) with a psychology minor.