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Current International Perspective and Issues in Intellectual Property Rights

Friday workshop / lecture: “Current International Perspectives and Issues in Intellectual Property Rights”

Friday, 16. September, 2011, Konferencecenteret, Aarhus University



Centre for Internet Research



A morning faculty / PhD student workshop, in conjunction with an IMV Friday Lecture with Dan Burk, School of Law, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine, and currently a Fulbright Scholar at the Max-Planck-Institut für Immaterialgüter- und Wettbewerbsrecht, Munich, Germany. Dan Burk is a leading international expert on the legal dimensions of central issues in information ethics, including privacy and intellectual property.


Invitees / Participants

Centre for Information and Innovation Law, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

Intellectual Property Rights group (AU Business and Law faculty, PhD students)

Law Faculty, Aalborg University

Patrade (a Denmark-based international IPR consultancy firm)


Local Organizer

Charles Ess (Professor MSO), IMV, Aarhus University



Aarhus University Konferencecenteret (Building 1421/1423: Fredrik Nielsens Vej 4, 8200 Aarhus N), room 210, 2.3



8:30-9:00 coffee – welcome – registration (handing out of name tags, etc.)
9:00-9:30 - AU Law PhD presentation: Mahatab Uddin, “A case study on legal aspects of national adaptation frameworks in terms of climate change.”

9:30-10:00 – AU Law Post-doc presentation: Abeba Gebreselassie, “The protection of new varieties of plants and the sustainability of plants: the European and the African perspective.”



Concerning the protection of new varieties of plants, the TRIPS Agreement has enough flexibility for countries to choose either a patent system or an effective sui generis system for the protection of new varieties of plants. As the TRIPS Agreement does not define what a sui generis system is, and as it does not refer to the UPOV Convention as a sui generis system, the African Union has for example adopted a sui generis system for the protection of new varieties of plants that is different from the 1991 UPOV Convention. While the EU is a member of the UPOV Union, the African Union is not a member of the UPOV Union. The purpose of this Article is to elaborate the African and the European perspective on the protection of new varieties of plants, and the underlying policy reasons for the differences in light with the sustainable protection of plants.

10:00-10:15 - follow-up discussion

10:15-10:45 - coffee break

10:45-11:15 - Dan Burk: Preview of afternoon Friday lecture, "Patent Law's Problem Children: Software and Biotechnology in TransAtlantic Perspective"


The past 18 months have seen important and controversial decisions on both sides of the Atlantic regarding patentability. These decisions have revolved around biotechnology and computer software, the "problem children" of modern patent law. Both biological and digital code are increasingly treated under similar standards, suggesting the convergence on a consistent doctrine for information technologies.

11:15-11:45 - Timo Minssen (Centre for Information and Innovation Law, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen), “The CAFC's "Myriad" decision: Background, outcome and (potential) ramifications”



On July 29th, 2011 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a split decision in AMP v. USPTO (the Myriad case),. This presentation will first describe the background to this case, which is of great importance for the patentability of biotechnological and pharmaceutical technology. Then it will focus on the outcome of the majority opinion and discuss two substantive issues, i.e. (1) the patent-eligibility of the composition of matter claims (i.e. "isolated DNA"), and (2) the patent-eligibility of the method claims (i.e. the diagnostic method claims and the sole screening method claims). If time allows, brief references will also be made to the minority opinions and the standing issue. Finally, this presentation will briefly address the (potential) impact of this seminal decision and evaluate the chances for a Supreme Court review.


11:45-12:15 - final discussion
12:15-1:15 - lunch

14:15-16:00 Dan Burk Friday Lecture - Store Auditorium, INCUBA Science Park