Fall is here which means stores and front stoops are full of all things pumpkin! Taking IP this Fall has made me realize that many great fall items may have some kind of intellectual property (IP) protection. That’s been one of my favorite parts of learning more about IP, the realization that it truly impacts all areas of our lives. To help prove my point I rounded up some of the most interesting pumpkin related patents I could find. Continue reading
When I first learned about intellectual property (“IP”) law, my initial impression was that a large portion of IP involves patents and that patent law was only reserved for former science majors. However, my impression was wrong. In the past year, I learned that IP law is not solely focused on patents and that not every aspect of practicing patent law requires a science background.
Let me explain how I learned that and how Loyola Law played a major role in that story.
Professor Cynthia Ho is the Director of the Intellectual Property Program at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She teaches courses in Intellectual Property as well as Civil Procedure. She has made particular contributions in the area of international intellectual property, as well as patent issues involving biotechnology or health policy.
I had the pleasure of taking Professor Ho’s Civil Procedure class in my first semester and her Global Access to Medicine: A Patent Perspective class (based on a book she wrote) in my second semester. This semester, I’m excited to be in her Intellectual Property Law class and learning more about the world of IP.
In her Global Access to Medicine class, Professor Ho introduced the topic of patents on medicines as they relate to TRIPS, which is a legal framework regarding intellectual property rights followed by member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As we are witnessing with the pandemic, patents protections as required by TRIPS are playing a central role in the conversation regarding the COVID 19 vaccine and its global distribution. In a surprising move, the Biden Administration came out in favor of a “patent waiver” for the COVID vaccine and other COVID related technologies this past May.
I sat down with Professor Ho to learn a little bit more about what that means: