3L Kavyasri “Kavya” Nagumotu Wins Second Prize in the Boston Patent Law Association’s Annual Writing Competition

Friday, December 3, 2021

Kavyasri “Kavya” Nagumotu

The concept of fake news has worked its way into the American lexicon over the last several years. Knowing which sources to trust is one thing, while understanding the legal ramifications of spreading false information is another.

This is the topic 3L Kavyasri “Kavya” Nagumotu chose to explore in a Student Note written for IDEA: The Law Review of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, for which she served as Associate Editor during her 2L year. Her work earned Nagumotu second prize in the Boston Patent Law Association’s annual writing competition.

“My paper was inspired by the political landscape during the 2020 election and the discussion of fake news and deepfakes on social media,” Nagumotu explains. “In the legal space, the only possible current ramification for public figures is to use property or tort law to claim civil liability against individual deepfake creators. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act immunizes entities, such as social media and tech companies, from liability.”

In her writing, Nagumotu explored one exclusion to the broad immunity that currently exists within the legal system — the intellectual property exception. Her note explores how courts have interpreted the existence of the exception related to various IP statutes, while her paper proposes that “any viable legal solution to regulate deepfakes is through the right of publicity and hinges on the capacity of online platforms to efficiently flag the manipulated content and the courts’ ability to enforce the right of publicity in a way that protects the content creator’s free speech.”

Front of the IP Center with fall leaves on ground

Prior to law school, Nagumotu earned a B.S. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Rochester. At UNH Franklin Pierce, she is a Daniel Webster Scholar and now serves as managing editor of IDEA. During the summer of 2021, she completed an internship with the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Nagumotu plans to pursue a career in patent litigation. This semester, she is completing an externship at a law firm in Washington, D.C. She chose UNH Franklin Pierce for its strong IP program and rigorous blend of academic and practical skills. Since her arrival in Concord, Nagumotu has been impressed by the opportunities she has discovered and by the accessibility of the law school faculty.

“I really appreciate how approachable all my professors are,” she says.  “They are always available to offer guidance.”