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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Mark Lemley

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Renowned IP and Antitrust Scholar Mark A. Lemley

“Stanford has an interesting collection of intellectual property scholars, including Larry Lessig, Peggy Radin, John Barton and Paul Goldstein.  I look forward to talking and working with them this semester.”

So says Visiting Professor Mark Lemley, who is bolting from Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law to teach at Stanford for the fall semester.

Lemley is a co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. He teaches intellectual property, computer law, patent law, antitrust, and electronic commerce law. In addition to his teaching, Lemley practices law as counsel to the law firm of Keker & Van Nest, where he litigates and counsels clients in the areas of antitrust, intellectual property and computer law. He is the author of six books and numerous articles on these and other subjects.

Professor Lemley received his J.D. from Boalt and his A.B. from Stanford.

Regarding his time at Stanford, Lemley says, "I will be teaching patent law and a seminar on intellectual property and antitrust law. My current work focuses on efforts to rationalize the patent system by changing the law relating to continuation applications, by changing the rules for determining willful infringement, and by giving the courts greater leeway to adapt the rules of patent law to the needs of particular industries."

We are very pleased to welcome Professor Lemley to the Program in Law, Science & Technology, and look forward to the results of his collaboration with students and faculty at Stanford Law School.

Brief Interview with Lemley:

LST@Stanford: First, I was wondering why you have chosen to focus on the fields of patent law and antitrust in your scholarship.  In light of your expertise regarding patents and antitrust, I thought it would be interesting to hear how you got started working in these areas, and why you continue to do so.

Prof. Lemley: I got interested in antitrust law in college here at Stanford, where I studied economics and industrial organization. My interest in patent law came out of its overlap with antitrust, though it has since come to dominate my scholarship. Patent law is one of the least theorized and least studied of all legal disciplines. There is so much work that needs to be done in this field.

Do you think that public attitudes towards the notion of intellectual property are changing, following from, say, the RIAA’s recent crackdown on illegal downloaders? Do you believe that academic lawyers have a responsibility to clearly explain to the public and to government officials just what IP means and stands for? 

Prof. Lemley: Intellectual property 30 years ago didn’t really impact the lives of most people. That has changed dramatically. IP stories are front-page news on a regular basis, and everyone from college students to parents has to confront legal issues they never would have encountered in the pre-digital world. Some members of the public will encounter these laws and recoil, saying, in effect, “how can this apply to me?”  An academic’s job is to educate lawyers and the public about this legal system, but even more important is our obligation to make sure the system itself is working properly, and to speak out if we find it isn’t.

What are the most pressing issues in your field of study at this particular world historical moment?  Do you believe that they will change much in upcoming years, or is there an aspect to patent law that is naturally resistant to changing social currents?

Prof. Lemley: For patent law, the most pressing problem is abuse of the patent system. The system works pretty well, but as more people discover the importance of patents there are more and more cases in which the system is used to stifle innovation, not to promote it.

I don’t think the patent law can or should be indifferent to changes in the innovation process.  Indeed, much of my work today is directed towards pointing out the ways in which the patent system can be tailored to meet the needs of an increasingly complex and heterogeneous world.

(from http://www.law.stanford.edu/programs/academic/lst/newsletter/01/lemley.html)

Brief Biography

Mark Lemley is Professor of Law and Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law School, and the director of the Stanford Center for Law, Science and Technology. He teaches intellectual property, computer and Internet law, patent law, and antitrust. He is of counsel to the law firm of Keker & Van Nest, where he litigates and counsels clients in the areas of antitrust, intellectual property, and computer law. He is the author of six books and 57 articles on these and related subjects, including the two-volume treatise IP and Antitrust. He has taught intellectual property law to federal and state judges at numerous Federal Judicial Center and ABA programs, and has testified before Congress and the Federal Trade Commission on patent, antitrust, and constitutional law matters. He has chaired or co-chaired more than two dozen major conferences on antitrust, intellectual property, and computer law, including Computers Freedom and Privacy '98, and he was the 1997 chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law and Computers.

Mark received his Juris Doctor degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. After graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge Dorothy Nelson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and has practiced law in Silicon Valley with Brown & Bain and with Fish & Richardson. Before joining the Stanford faculty in June 2004, he was the Elizabeth Josslyn Boalt Chair in Law at the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley. Until January 2000, he was the Marrs McLean Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law.

Mark's practice at Keker & Van Nest focuses on all aspects of intellectual property and antitrust litigation, as well as computer and internet disputes and his clients include Google, Inc.; Grokster, Ltd.; University of Colorado; Speedera Networks; and Genentech, Inc.

(from http://www.kvn.com/attymal.html)