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About David Connaughton

About:

My name is David Connaughton, Jr., I am a patent attorney at Lambert & Associates in Boston, MA and a graduate from Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, NH (now UNH School of Law). I studied chemical engineering in undergrad at UNH, and being particularly interested in innovation, and its protection and commercialization I decided to study patent law. Pierce was a natural choice because it is also in New Hampshire, and specializes in intellectual property (“IP”) law, especially patent law.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to make laws protecting IP, and sets forth the policy rationale that guides these laws, stating: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The purpose of this blog is to discuss cases, laws, rules and proposed actions that follow, or fail to follow, this constitutional mandate- IP Policy I like to call it.

In promoting this IP policy, IP laws must strive to balance incentives for inventors and artists who create, with limitations to allow others to build off earlier innovation. Balanced, limited incentives thereby keep the machine running, resulting in social and economic growth. This blog seeks to analyze how this balance is achieved, and how well it is done. (As a side note, I feel that this type of policy applies to Trademarks too, even though the Lanham Act is supported by the Commerce Clause, and the blog posts will continue with this opinion.)

I have always been particularly interested in not just the laws of IP that we learn in class, but also thinking about both the real and potential implications of the laws when applied in the real world. It seems that sometimes politics, business interests, and a lack of appreciation of the policy behind IP laws results in questionable outcomes that may not promote progress of science and the useful arts. For example, does protecting an original work of authorship for the life of the author plus 70 years really promote progress?

Additionally, I have considered writing a blog for a while, but I never could think of something that would be interesting and unique to write about until the idea of IP policy analysis popped into my head. I am a huge fan of Patently-O, IP Watchdog, Copyrights & Campaigns, and The Trademark Blog, as sources of the most up to date IP news, but I wanted to give the news a different type of analysis. Analyzing developments through the lens of their impact on IP policy is my way of doing so.

Unlike those blogs, this one seeks to discuss how developments in the law (mostly that I find out about through the previous noted blogs) follow or fail to follow the constitutional mandate governing the law of IP.

I hope to keep this blog regularly updated. I also highly encourage discussion, I hope that some of my ideas can spark some thoughts and generate some difference of opinion; after all, that is the whole point of blogging!

Enjoy!

-David C.

david.connaughton@me.com

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jon Huntington permalink
    May 21, 2010 8:24 am

    Hi David:

    Did you hear the NPR story about the Elie Wiesel fictionalized play and his nastygram to the author? Vanna White case is discussed. Here is the URL –

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127018737

    Hope you are doing well.

    Jon Huntington

    • May 21, 2010 11:34 am

      Hi Jon,

      That is an interesting article. Too bad the play had to get pulled, although the playwright could have just renamed the character. I think the prof. was dead on: He probably wouldn’t win, but not worth the chance.

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