For most of the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I wondered what on earth I could write about. Comparatively little of the series raised any interesting legal questions, at least ones that could be answered in any kind of concrete way based on the information presented in the series and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For example, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s jurisdiction is still kind of an open question, with the agency operating freely in some countries but not others. This suggests some kind of treaty, but there just aren’t enough details to do more than speculate.
And then, finally, near the end of the season I received an email from a reader asking some great questions. Massive spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. below, so if you haven’t seen season one and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now.
I promise I’ll be back to comic books soon, but I have another publication announcement, this time a law review article I co-authored with F. Scott Kieff: Benefits of Patent Jury Trials for Commercializing Innovation, 21 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 865 (2014). The article is part of a special issue focused on commercializing innovation. The entire issue is online and includes a host of great articles from scholars such as Joshua D. Wright (now a Commissioner at the FTC), Damien Geradin, and Anne Layne-Farrar.
If you’ll forgive a brief commercial announcement: Perspectives on Financing Innovation, a book I co-edited with F. Scott Kieff* and Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr., has been published by Routledge. It is the fourth book in the informal Perspectives series, which includes books on commercializing innovation, corporate governance, and the human genome project. Here is a short summary:
Although much has been written about innovation in the past several years, not all parts of the innovation lifecycle have been given the same treatment. This volume focuses on the important first step of arranging financing for innovation before it is made, and explores the feedback effect that innovation can have on finance itself.
The book brings together a diverse group of leading scholars in order to address the financing of innovation. The chapters address three key areas, intellectual property, venture capital, and financial engineering in the capital markets, in order to provide fresh and insightful analyses of current and future economic developments in financing innovation.
Dense stuff compared to the usual fare on this blog, but of interest to scholars, practitioners, and policy analysts.
* NB: Scott worked on this book before becoming a Commissioner at the ITC.
She-Hulk #4 brings up one legal issue and a host of ethical issues. Minor spoilers ahead, but nothing earth-shattering.
Today I have something a little different, a draft of a paper by Jeremy Greenberg titled Batman v. Superman: Let the Courts Decide, 33 Quinnipiac L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2014). Mr. Greenberg analyzed 1449 mentions of Superman, Batman, Bruce Wayne, and Clark Kent in US state and federal court cases to determine how judges used references to these characters to explain their decisions. After weeding out false positives such as actual people named Bruce Wayne, intellectual property decisions about the character of Superman, and statements made by witnesses, Greenberg was left with 55 references in the judicial opinions themselves.
Mr. Greenberg’s analysis of the common themes in the references is interesting, as is the underlying data. I won’t reveal any more than that, lest I spoil some of the surprises. Go check it out!
This is the sixth post in the Law and the Multiverse Retcons series, in which I discuss changes in the law (or corrections in my analysis) that affect older posts. Or not so old posts in this case. Barely a week ago I wrote this post about the TV series Orphan Black. Today the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit handed down a decision relevant to that post. Spoilers ahead!
This guest post was written by Joe Suhre, of Suhre & Associates, LLC, a firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois, Dayton, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio. Joe previously wrote a post on Defending Loki.
Introduction by James Daily: This post contains significant spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s a very good movie, and if you haven’t seen it you should definitely check it out!
As many long-time readers know I have spent the last several years working for the Stanford University Hoover Institution’s Project on Commercializing Innovation. Until last October the Project was led by F. Scott Kieff, who left to become a Commissioner on the United States International Trade Commission. The Project is now in the process of wrapping up its various tasks and transitioning to the new Hoover Institution Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity (or IP2 for short). While I may collaborate with IP2 through future papers and conferences, it will not be a full-time job. And so although I am grateful for the freedom and flexibility that my work for Hoover has given me to pursue creating Law and the Multiverse and co-authoring The Law of Superheroes, it is time for me to find a new day job, hopefully one that will allow me to continue to work on side-projects like these.
So, in a shameless appeal to my readership, I present my CV and a pair of writing samples. If you are interested in hiring an intellectual property attorney with a broad range of interests and experience and a technical background in computer science, I’d love to hear from you.
A few readers asked about the TV series Orphan Black a while back. Now that the show is in its second season (and I finally got around to watching the first one and have caught up with the second one), I thought I’d address the central legal questions raised by the show. Moderate spoilers below if you haven’t seen past the first episode or so, followed by big spoilers if you haven’t seen the season one finale.
I recently co-authored an article with Professor Brad Desnoyer and Janet Fries discussing superhero-related intellectual property topics, both real and fictional. Last month the article was published in Landslide, the magazine of the ABA section of IP law, as the cover story! You can read the article for free online. Thanks to Brad and Janet for their excellent work on the article and to David Postolski for putting everything together.