Professor who inspired lawsuit challenging copyright of “Happy Birthday” speaks at John Marshall

Professor who inspired lawsuit challenging copyright of “Happy Birthday” speaks at John Marshall

As published by Yahoo Finance 

Professor Robert Brauneis, who wrote the article that inspired the lawsuit to challenge the copyright of “Happy Birthday to You,” spoke at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on April 4. The event was co-sponsored by the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago and the Copyright Society of the USA.

Brauneis’s presentation focused on his research, the federal court litigation and Warner/Chappell’s agreement to relinquish all rights to the song and pay $14 million, much of which will be available to reimburse those who licensed use of the song.

Brauneis’s teaching and scholarly interests include copyright, trademark, property and constitutional law. He is the co-author of a leading casebook on copyright law and of numerous articles on copyright, trademark and constitutional law. He is a member of the managing board of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center and a trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA, and has served as president of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court. In 2013–2014, he served as the inaugural Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence at the United States Copyright Office.

Brauneis is professor of law and co-director of the intellectual property program at The George Washington University Law School. After earning his JD, magna cum laude, at Harvard Law School, he served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen G. Breyer (now Justice Breyer) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and to Justice David H. Souter. He has also served as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago.

John Marshall’s nationally ranked intellectual property program is one of 42 law schools in the country to participate in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Law School Clinic Certification Program. It is the only law school in Illinois whose USPTO program offers both patent and trademark legal services to independent inventors and small businesses on a pro bono basis.

With more than 50 specialized IP courses, John Marshall’s program draws students from around the U.S. and across the globe. It has partnered with IP lawyers in the People’s Republic of China for 20 years. It also conducts an ABA-approved summer program in China directed exclusively to IP issues.


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