University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 6:15pm

Professor Michael Madison offered a keynote presentation on "Overcoming Legal Barriers to Open Innovation" as part of the Second Annual Global R&D and Collaboration Symposium at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday, January 20, 2012.


The Symposium theme was "Accelerating R&D Excellence Through Open Innovation and Global Collaboration" and was co-sponsored by the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh and local consultancy Echo Strategies.  Other keynoters included scholars from Harvard University, Ohio State University, the University of Kansas, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center, and the global enterprise software firm SAP.


Justine Kasznica, Executive Director of Pitt Law's Innovation Practice Institute, attended the symposium and served as a commentator on Professor Madison's presentation.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 11:38am

Is Pittsburgh the new haven for the hipster crowd?  Pitt Law Professor Mike Madison offers his thoughts to the Post-Gazette. 


Is there a sense that the Pittsburgh hipster species - to the degree that he exists -- might be more authentic than those found in some other cities? Or does Pittsburgh mark some kind of post-hipster lifestyle -- but with all the hipster amenities -- to those who come here to pursue it?


"Looking at Pittsburgh, it's some of both," said Madison, who broached the issue of local hipsterdom on his blog, Pittsblog. "In some neighborhoods, [there's] clearly been an in-migration over the last several years of people from higher-cost locales, like New York. ... Then there are people who have just been living in Pittsburgh, in that style, for some time -- it was just how they lived. It wasn't a particular clique."


Read the full article here.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 10:29am

Pitt Law Professor Michael Madison commented on the recent settlement involving a decade-old claim stating that Carnegie Mellon University misled an investor who sank $5 million into developing technology that didn't work.


Madison stated that lawsuits from unhappy investors rarely involve universities because schools stick to basic research and leave development to the private sector. However, the growing trend of universities seeking investors to fund research -- a trend Carnegie Mellon has led by building partnerships with private companies -- is changing the investment landscape.


Read the full article here.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 5:01pm

Michael Madison, Pitt Law Professor and expert in intellectual property Law, weighs in on a copyright infringement lawsuit that legendary rock band Velvet Underground recently brought against the Andy Warhol Foundation.  The Velvet Underground filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against The Andy Warhol Foundation, claiming it illegally licensed the famous banana image from the band's 1967 debut album for use on iPhone and iPad cases. 


Says Madison, "Suppose VU is right and the image really is in the public domain for copyright purposes. If that's true, then anybody can sell copies of it. That's what 'public domain' means."


As far as VU having a trademark for the image, he said, the band would have an easier time preventing another band from using the banana than convincing a judge that an iPad cover manufacturer could not use it.


Read the full story here.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 9:21am

Professor David Harris compared the affidavits submitted by experts for plaintiff Jordan Miles and the Pittsburgh Police Bureau in the civil rights case stemming from a deadly encounter two years ago.  Miles, then an honor student at Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School, was badly beaten during an arrest by three undercover Pittsburgh police officers who chased Miles because they thought he had a gun.  In fact, no weapon was present.  The expert for the Police Bureau said that the officers could not and would not have made the mistake of failing to identify themselves, as Miles contended; the expert for Miles disagreed.  More important, Miles' expert factored into his opinion the testimony of the supervisor of the officers, something the Police Bureau's expert inexplicably left out.  In the supervisor's testimony, she identified disciplinary problems with all three officers.  In one of those disciplinary cases against one of the officers, the officer was found to have been untruthful.  According to Professor Harris, lack of truthfulness is potentially devastating because "this case will turn on the credibility of the witnesses."


See the Pittsburgh City Paper article here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 9:10am

As calls mounted for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin to resign, Professor John Burkoff urged caution.  Justice Orie Melvin and her sisters, State Senator Jane Orie and Janine Orie, have been under investigation for political corruption; a trial of Jane and Janine Orie ended abruptly when forged documents were entered into evidence by defense counsel.  Justice Orie Melvin, who has not yet been charged, received a grand jury subpoena and a target letter in the investigation in December.  Professor Burkoff cautioned that while it was important for Justice Orie Melvin to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, "everyone is to be presumed innocent, and that applies to judges."


See the Tribune-Review article here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 9:00pm

Professors Jules Lobel and Vivian Curran former Clinical Professor Karen Engro taught from January 3-6 at the University of Havana Law Faculty in Cuba, under the auspices of the Inter-American Center for Legal Education.  Professor Lobel taught U.S. constitutional law, and spoke about some of the human rights cases he has argued.  Professor Curran discussed common-law methodology and gave an introduction to U.S. tort and contract law.  Professor Engro discussed mediation in the U.S.

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 4:05pm

Professor Larry Frolik will be the inaugral speaker for the University of Iowa College of Law Elder Law Colloquium on Thursday, January 12th.  Sponsored by the National Health Law and Policy Resource Center, the Colloquium will focus on the legal needs of the elderly with dementia and will feature national experts on elder law. Professor Frolik will describe what elder law is, and will discuss the legal issues that arise when representing older clients, particularly those with dementia.


See the program for the Professor Frolik's session of the Colloquium here.

Friday, January 6, 2012 - 5:03pm

Professor Michael Madison, an expert in copyright law, recently talked with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the copyright infringement charges brought against Cameron Jibril Thomaz, commonly known as Wiz Khalifa, by relatively unknown artist Max Gregory Warren.    

Madison comments, "The classic way [to prove an artist has heard a song] is that to say it was on the radio or some music channel or through iTunes. The second way is chain of custody: The mixtape got handed around the club somewhere, or one of Wiz's people knows someone at the club, so he got handed a physical copy, or maybe someone mailed the mixtape to someone's people. That kind of argument shows up a lot of the time in movie cases. You have to be pretty detailed, but once in a great while you can actually show chain of custody."


Read the full article here.  

Friday, January 6, 2012 - 4:33pm

Justine Kasznica, executive director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Innovation Practice Institute (IPI), and Tara Tighe, a Pitt law school JD candidate and editor-in-chief of the law school’s Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law, will be featured guests at 6:30 a.m. this Sunday, Jan. 8, on the KDKA-TV/Channel 2 Sunday Business Page program with host Jon Delano. Kasznica and Tighe will talk about the IPI, the journal, and the Pitt law school’s upcoming Feb. 13 forum titled “Building Sustainable Neighborhoods: Powering Sustainable Development in Allegheny County.”

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