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.

Hugh continues his two-part conversation with David Kappos, partner at Cravath, Swaine, and Moore LLP and former Director of the USPTO. Among other things, they discuss patent law and its relationship to other areas of intellectual property, the Supreme Court’s record on dealing with IP issues, and why subject matter eligibility under Section 101 is still the most important issue facing the U.S. patent system today.

In this episode, the first part of two, Hugh sits down with David Kappos, a partner at Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP and former Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They discuss David’s time at the USPTO and his role in passing the America Invents Act (AIA), the major players in U.S. intellectual property law, recent Supreme Court patent decisions and the future of blockchain technology.

In this episode, Hugh sits down with Denny Chin, a judge in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and a former district court judge in the Southern District of New York. They discuss Denny’s different experiences in these courts, the role of dissents and en banc rehearings, and how the appellate experience has changed over the years. They also discuss a number of other issues, including diversity in the judiciary and Denny’s numerous trial reenactments of key civil rights cases in U.S. history.

You can read more about Judge Chin here, and visit the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s website to find out more about trial reenactments.