All Episodes

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Jed S. Rakoff, who for close to 25 years has been a federal district court judge in the District Court for the Southern District of New York. Before that he spent several years in private practice and seven years as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. 

They discuss a number of issues and experiences, including Judge Rakoff’s: 

– Upbringing in Philadelphia; 

– Time as a white collar criminal defense lawyer and Chief of Business and Fraud Prosecutions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office;

– Longtime experience as a federal judge, including views on jury trials and the value of oral arguments;

– Views on the death penalty and problems with federal sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences; and

– Work with the Department of Commerce in training foreign judges in international commercial law.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). He has served in this role since October 2008 and will finish his second term this month.
Their discussion features a variety of global IP topics including:

1) Origins of WIPO in the late-1800s and its efforts to promote international cooperation while balancing political tensions;
2) Future of multilateral IP treaties and bilateral agreements;
3) Impacts of Brexit and German courts on the EU’s Unitary Patent System;
4) AI and its effects;
5) Social media and IP, e.g. failure of Parliament and Congress to adopt SOPA and ACTA;
6) Perspectives on the future of IP development.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with John D. Feerick, Dean Emeritus and Norris Professor of Law at Fordham Law School.

John and Hugh discuss various aspects of John’s life and developments in the legal profession from the 1940s until now:

a. John’s Irish family heritage and his childhood in a diverse neighborhood of working-class families in the Bronx;
b. the growth of law firms from small to large to overwhelming;
c. the role of bar associations, past and present;
d. John’s participation in the crafting and drafting of the 25th Amendment and the amendment to abolish the Electoral College;
e. how the practice of law has changed since he became Dean; and
f. how diversity has been a continuing issue.

They also discuss some of the special people in John’s life, why he left practice to become Dean, and how he made a difference in whatever he did, including the transformation of the Fordham Law School into a leading law school on many levels.

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Addendum: At this link, www.fordhampress.com/9780823252015/…fth-amendment/, you can obtain a copy of John’s autobiography, “That Further Shore: A Memoir of Irish Roots and American Promise,” and his book on the 25th Amendment, “The Twenty-Fifth Amendment – Its Complete History and Application,” now in its third printing.

 

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Patricia Martone, an attorney with over 45 years of experience as a trial lawyer in intellectual property matters. She previously served for many years as a partner in Fish & Neave (which was merged into Ropes & Gray) and currently serves as principal of her own practice. She has been lead counsel in 45 patent litigations and personally negotiated over 40 patent licenses.

Hugh and Pat discuss a number of issues including: 

  1. Pat’s background and how she became interested in the law;
  2. The state of the patent system, particularly issues involving Section 101;
  3. The role of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Federal Circuit in IP litigation;
  4. How patent litigation differs from other types of litigation;
  5. What role venue choices should play in litigation;
  6. The value and role of mentors in practice;
  7. Challenges facing women today in the legal profession and how to deal with them.

They also discuss the nature of Pat’s current practice and how her focus includes a shift in part to arbitration. 

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Renata Hesse, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and co-head of their Antitrust Group. Prior to joining the firm, she served twice as Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice and worked in the division for over 15 years.

Hugh and Renata discuss among other things, her childhood in Berkeley, what it was like growing up in a “big caliber family,” and her somewhat unusual entry into antitrust. They trade experiences working at the Antitrust Division and Renata explains how the division has dramatically shifted in terms of international cooperation and the sharing of information among global antitrust enforcers.

From there, they dive into China’s track record on antitrust, theorize on potential outcomes of the DOJ’s review of the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI, the effect of companies like Amazon and Walmart on the market and consumers, and why FRAND issues continue to arise. They reflect on the tension that exists between IP and antitrust and Renata’s view that “both disciplines are really trying to get at the same thing. They both are trying to encourage innovation and competition… and to let people reap the rewards when they do something great.”

They conclude by reviewing hot topics in antitrust: whether the consumer welfare standard is the right standard, how antitrust analysis should take data into consideration and, finally, whether antitrust is doing the job people expect it to.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Nicholas Groombridge. a senior partner in Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, who over the past 25 years has been extensively involved in all aspects of patent litigation.

Hugh and Nick discuss a wide variety of topics, starting with his childhood in Birmingham, England, the long trail through Brazil and ending up in New York. They talk about why he started practicing in the patent field, the pros and cons of being a litigator and why he prefers jury trials in patent litigation, which aren’t available in most of the world.

Nick and Hugh address the question of whether patent law in the U.S. is currently in crisis. They opine on the impact of Mayo and other Supreme Court cases on patent eligibility, especially claims covering medical diagnostics. They discuss the recent troubled relationship between the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court and what the future might bring. Nick predicts that the Supreme Court “may have no choice but to re-engage here” and points to the petition for certiorari that was filed by Athena Diagnostics in the beginning of October.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with former Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Prof. William E. Kovacic.

Bill is the Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy and Director of the Competition Law Center at The George Washington University Law School. Currently he travels back and forth each week to Kings College London, where he is its Dickson Poon School of Law visiting professor of Global Competition Law.

Hugh and Bill discuss a wide variety of topics starting with his idyllic childhood in upstate New York and his early cultural and familial influences. Not surprising that Bill was drawn to the law, and competition law in particular, with a family of lawyers and a very unusual year off from law school working in the U.S. Senate on its subcommittee on antitrust. You’ll learn what has kept him interested in it all these years.

Bill had three separate periods working in the FTC, including one where he served as its Chair. These have given him valuable insights into the workings of the FTC. For instance, what role does the FTC administrative structure, including the fact that there are five commissioners, play? What is the current state of the FTC and its leadership? Is the pay-for-delay FTC approach of filing a complaint in the U.S. District Court better than the traditional administrative law model of ALJ opinion, full Commission opinion, appeal to federal court of appeals of party’s choice?

Hugh asks Bill whether the long-standing existence in the U.S. of both the DOJ’s Antitrust Division and the FTC makes sense today. Bill’s answer might surprise you.

Next, Bill and Hugh look to the future and around the globe to discuss current effects on competition law including private actions, the gig economy, monopolistic tech giants, developing countries, the European Commission and China.

Finally, Bill states that competition law should shift away from its consumer-based framework and be reshaped to give more emphasis on real workers affected by price-cutting market competition. How likely is this to happen? They discuss the role that Congress and the judges play in shaping competition law and what this means for the future, including his suggested change in the law.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Etienne Sanz de Acedo, the CEO of the International Trademark Association (INTA), an organization that is dedicated to supporting trademarks and related IP. INTA members come from more than 190 countries.

Prior to joining INTA, Etienne had several roles at EUIPO, formerly OHIM, including Head of the Communications Service. Before that, Etienne practiced as an attorney in Spain and taught law at the University of Alicante, Spain.

Hugh and Etienne explore how Etienne ended up at INTA after 15 years at EUIPO, the Association’s goals and strategies, where the U.S. stands in terms of support of trademarks and IP in general and the Unreal Campaign. This campaign is aimed to educate teenagers about intellectual property rights and the risks of buying counterfeit goods. 

They also discuss whether the Trump administration is good for IP, the evolving view of IP from the perspective of academics and why INTA is moving its China office from Shanghai to Beijing: “[A]t the time we opened that office [in Shanghai], the business was more in Shanghai. [T]he Chinese government was not that open. Since then, things have changed and we think it makes more sense to be closer to the government, to the officials. . . . They’re clearly on listening mode and there are definitely things that have improved. But again . . . there is still a lot of improvement that needs to take place.”

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Sir Robin Jacob, the Hugh Laddie Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Director of the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law at University College London. Prior to UCL, Sir Robin served as a judge for the High Court (Chancery Division) and the Court of Appeals for a total of 18 years. Before that he was a barrister and “took silk” at the Intellectual Property Bar for 28 years. Being a “born litigator,” Sir Robin talks about his life as a barrister including how he became one and what his typical work week looked like.

Sir Robin left the Court of Appeal at age 70. He looks back on his life as a judge and a jurist’s perspective on IP litigation. He also discusses his current academic and arbitrator/mediator experience.

Hugh and Sir Robin discuss IP in different parts of the world, and it might surprise some to learn which country Sir Robin names as having “the poorest litigation system in the world.” This discussion includes differing views on the value of a jury system and also what the future might hold for IP in general.

Sir Robin had been crucial in the creation of the idea and early discussion of a Unified Patent Court. It has had an interesting, if difficult incubation period. The EU Commission took over control and then abandoned it. It was revived by one bold Commission Head of Unit. Then came Brexit. Where is it now? Sir Robin discusses whether in his view it will at last become an important component of European patent law.

This week, Hugh sits down with Stan McCoy, President and Managing Director of the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) for the Motion Picture Association. He previously served as Assistant US Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. They discuss Stan’s time at the USTR, IP policies under the Obama and Trump administrations, and the effect of social media on passing IP legislation in the US and EU.