2016-2017 Symposium

Disruptive Technologies: The Transformation of Intellectual Property & Enterprise on the Horizon

Thursday, February 2, 2017, at Vanderbilt Law School


On February 2, 2017 the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law (JETLaw) hosted its annual Symposium. This year’s event, entitled Disruptive Technologies: The Transformation of Intellectual Property & Enterprise on the Horizon, consisted of three panels discussing how disruptive technologies impact patent law, the entertainment industry, and technology law. This year’s event was a huge success thanks to our wonderful panelists, moderators, and Journal Members. Special thanks are in order for our Senior Development Editor, Ricky Hernandez who did a wonderful job planning the event, our Faculty Advisor, Daniel Gervais, and our Program Coordinator, Faye Johnson—who have both been wonderful resources for us throughout the year.

Following Dean Christopher Serkin’s introductory remarks, Edward Lanquist of Patterson Intellectual Property Law moderated the day’s first panel on patents. The panel featured Professor Margo Bagley, Professor David Hricik, and Patent Agent, Technology Specialist at Fish & Richardson PC LaShanya Nash discussing international and domestic challenges resulting from fast-paced technological innovation. Professor Bagley began with a vivid discussion on synthetic biology, fairness, and patents. This discussion consisted of multiple issues—including patent digital biopiracy—and provided a range of both domestic and international solutions for listeners to consider. Next, Professor Hricik discussed transformation of patent laws and issues surrounding 3D printing and autonomous vehicles. The panel rounded out with LaShanya Nash providing a unique lens into new technological challenges in patent prosecution.

Our second panel on entertainment was moderated by Vanderbilt Law School’s very own Professor Joseph Fishman and aimed to uncover how intellectual property has impacted both the artists and the laws that the entertainment industry deals with on a day-to-day basis. This panel featured Professor Suzanne Kessler, Scott Keniley, and Jim Zumwalt. Professor Kessler explained how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now able to compose music and how performing rights protection needs to be expanded to protect today’s creators. Mr. Keniley discussed monetizing music and how there are many things changing within the industry itself in attempt to adapt to new disruption within the field. Lastly, Mr. Zumwolt provided a necessary industry perspective explaining how entertainment lawyers must understand who their client is and what their unique talent is to increase the value of the brand.

The day came to a close with our technology panel, moderated by JETLaw’s Faculty Advisor Professor Daniel Gervais. This panel featured discussion by panelists Professor Jason Epstein, Caitlin Moon, and Carson King about the disruptive technologies themselves. This panel focused on AI, Block Chain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The panel began with Professor Epstein, who provided insight into what AI, IoT, and Block Chain technology entails. Next, Caitlin Moon provided a unique perspective signaling that with disruption, comes opportunity. Finally, Carson King ended the event by providing insight into the importance of the ability to effectively communicate with Software Engineers and individuals who code. Following closing remarks by Professor Daniel Gervais, the event came to a close.

Once again, the Journal would like to thank all of our participants again for their continued support and high-level academic discussions that led to this event’s success. An official schedule and photos are available under the “Symposium” tab at the top of our website. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions regarding the event and thank you for your support.