Calendar of Events

2021-2022 Tsai Center Programs and Events 

Friday, October 29, 2021 [Virtual]

18th Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues: Patent Law and Institutional Choice


Please join the SMU Dedman School of Law for a symposium exploring the latest major controversies, legal developments, and judicial decisions in the field of intellectual property, through panel presentations and discussions with distinguished academics. In particular, this symposium explores the institutional structure of the U.S. patent system and the roles of its institutions: the U.S. Congress; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; federal district courts and juries; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; and the U.S. Supreme Court. Confronting critiques of this structure and these institutions, this symposium will consider how the U.S. patent system may be improved to further the innovation economy.


3.75 hrs Texas MCLE credit

Symposium Agenda and Speaker Biographies


18th Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues:

Patent Law and Institutional Choice

October 29, 2021

9:15                Opening Remarks

9:15–10:30  The Rise of the Western District of Texas: Forum Selling and Forum Shopping in Patent Trial Courts; Or, the Failure of T.C. Heartland

Prior to 2017 the Eastern District of Texas attracted criticism as an example of forum selling. But it was the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of the patent venue statute that some viewed as creating the opportunity for forum shopping by patent owners—and patent owners evidently overwhelmingly preferred to file infringement actions in the Eastern District of Texas. Following the Supreme Court’s holding in 2017 that a domestic corporation “resides” only in its state of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute, however, many observers speculated that the holding spelled doom for patent owners seeking to secure venue in the Eastern District of Texas. While rumors of the demise of the Eastern District of Texas have been proven to be exaggerated, in the last few years the Western District of Texas has emerged as a new favored forum of patent owners. This panel will explore forum selling and forum shopping in patent trial courts, along with alternative ways of organizing patent infringement litigation in trial courts.


Jonas Anderson, Associate Dean for Scholarship and Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law

Megan M. La Belle, Co-Director of the Law and Technology Institute and Professor of Law, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law

Greg Reilly, Co-Director of the Program in Intellectual Property Law and Associate Professor of law, Illinois Tech Chicago-Kent College of Law

10:45–12:00  Arthrex, the PTAB, and the USPTO Director’s New (Temporary?) Authority over Patent Opposition Proceedings  

In June 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that the unreviewable authority of Administrative Patent Judges of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board was not compatible with the manner of their appointment under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. As a result, the Court invalidated a portion of the patent statute that prevented the presidentially-appointed Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from reviewing Board decisions and issuing new decisions on behalf of the Board. Since then, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued an interim procedure for Director review of Board decisions. But members of Congress have suggested that a more radical restructuring of review authority may be appropriate. This panel will consider these recent developments, with an eye toward identifying an appropriate mechanism for ensuring accurate decision making over invalidity disputes while recognizing the political accountability required by the Appointments Clause.


Tejas N. Narechania, Robert and Nanci Corson Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology

Jason Rantanen, Director of the Innovation, Business & Law Center and David L. Hammer and Willard L. “Sandy” Boyd Professor, University of Iowa College of Law

A. Christal Sheppard, Former Regional Director of the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office, Adjunct Professor of Law, Nebraska College of Law

12:00-1:00        Lunch Break

1:00–2:15      The Federal Circuit: Is Its Exclusive Jurisdiction Still Needed Given the Supreme Court’s Renewed Interest in Resolving Disputes over Patent Law?

President Reagan and Congress created the Federal Circuit in 1982 to eliminate forum shopping that resulted from the Supreme Court failing to resolve splits of authority in the field of patent law amongst the regional appellate courts. In the last ten years, however, the Supreme Court has heard oral argument and issued opinions in numerous patent cases, at least two each term and in one term in six cases. Given the Supreme Court’s renewed interest in resolving disputes over patent law, this panel will consider the question of whether the Federal Circuit’s exclusive jurisdiction is still needed and, more broadly, the role of the Federal Circuit in the nation’s current institutional structure for resolving patent disputes.


Laura Pedraza-Fariña, Associate Dean for Innovation and Partnerships and Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Paul Gugliuzza, Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law

David O. Taylor, Director of the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation and Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law

2:15          Closing Remarks




October 6, 2021     

Tsai Talk: Let them Play (and get Paid): Name, Image and Likeness Deals and NCAA Compliance 

Wednesday, Oct. 6th, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Hillcrest Classroom

Damilola Sule, SMU Director of Compliance, and Rob Heuer, SMU Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance, will discuss the effects of the recent Supreme Court decision in NCAA v. Alston on name, image, and likeness deals for student athletes, the innovative ways that student athletes can pursue these deals, and careers in NCAA compliance.

Registration Required: Email Complimentary lunch from East Hampton Sandwiches provided to registrants. 


2020-2021 Tsai Center Programs and Events 

April 8, 2021

Tsai Talk: To Win Friends and Influence People: Influencer Marketing and Social Media with Craig Carpenter of Thompson & Knight. 

Craig Carpenter, partner at Thompson & Knight, will speak about the evolution of social media influencer marketing, the current approach and various proposals of regulating the practice, and careers at the intersection of social media and the law. Please join us for this casual lunch hour conversation.  12:15 p.m. -1:15 p.m. REGISTER

April 1, 2021    

Tsai Talk: Innovation and Resilience in a Time of Energy Transformation

This Tsai Talk, hosted by Tsai Scholars, will feature James Coleman, Associate Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law and Monika U. Ehrman '05, Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Oil & Gas, Natural Resources, and Energy Center (ONE C), The University of Oklahoma College of Law. They will discuss innovation in energy and recent events, including the Texas electricity blackouts.

March 16,

Tsai Talk: Regulating an Evolving AI Landscape with Yoon Chae, Senior Associate, Baker McKenzie

Friday, February 26, 2021

17th Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues: The America Invents Act @ 10 Years

America Invents Act

This year will mark ten years since the America Invents Act was signed into law.This year’s symposium will reflect on the law, what changes in patent law have been observed over the past decade, and look forward to the next ten years of patent practice and jurisprudence. Please join the SMU Dedman School of Law for a symposium exploring the latest major controversies, legal developments, and judicial decisions in the field of intellectual property, through panel presentations and discussions with distinguished academics, jurists, practitioners, and leaders in industry.

4.75 hours Texas CLE Credit Pending

Symposium Agenda and Speaker Biographies

Symposium Video Playlist

January 28, 2021

Tsai Talk Series – COVID-19 and the Law: Technology & The Health Surveillance State, presented by Professor Chris Jenks

November 12, 2020

Tsai Talk Series – COVID-19 and the Law: with Director of the Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center and Professor of Law Pam Metzger VIDEO

October 28, 2020

Tsai Talk Series – COVID-19 and the Law: COVID-19 and the Constitution with Professor Dale Carpenter VIDEO

October 8, 2020

Tsai Talk Series – COVID-19 and the Law:Voting in the Pandemic with Professor Grant Hayden VIDEO

September 24, 2020

Tsai Talk Series – COVID-19 and the Law: Observing Online Courts: Lessons from the Pandemicwith Professor Beth Thornburg VIDEO and PRESENTATION SLIDES

September 15, 2020

Tsai Innovation Lecture Series: Featuring Josh Malone, Inventor, Bunch O Balloons VIDEO

July 31, 2020

Tsai Talk Series – COVID-19 and the Law: Law and the Search for a COVID-19 Vaccine with Professor Nathan Cortez. 12:00 pm-1:00 pm, 7/31  Recording of Presentation

February 28, 2020

16th Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues: Opportunities and Challenges in Creative and Innovative Industries

January 23, 2020

Tsai Talk: Leggo My Logo! Using Trademarks to Protect a Brand featuring guest speakers Charles Phipps and Joe Unis of Locke Lord.

2019 Tsai Events

November 15, 2019 Tsai Talk: IP in the Sky: Uber Elevate and Autonomous Driving Technology featuring Chris Storm, IP Legal Director for Uber's Emerging Technology Programs
October 30, 2019  Tsai Talk: Tales from the Crypt(o): How Cryptocurrency is Resurrecting the Legal Market
October 25, 2019 STLR Symposium: CRISPR and Me: How CRISPR Gene Editing Affects the Human Race
October 24, 2019 Law, Ethics & Autonomy featuring Prof. Chris Jenks and Dr. Rain Livoja, University of Queensland 
October 1, 2019 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Oral Arguments, Q&A and Reception
September 25, 2019 Leadership Lecture: Featuring the Honorable Scott R. Boalick, Chief Judge for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board 
September 19, 2019 Tsai Talk: Art Law and Copyright: How A Small Firm Takes on National Cases featuring Thomas Maddrey