SMU Science & Technology Law Review


The SMU Science & Technology Law Review is a journal produced semi-annually by the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law’s Science and Technology Law Review Association.

SMU Science and Technology Law Review is dedicated to exploring cutting-edge matters at the forefront of science and technology. Each issue features articles authored by leading Science and Technology scholars and practitioners that address key legal, economic, and political developments and issues within science and technology. Key topics highlighted in recent publications including the legal use and limits of hardware and software design, COVID-19 vaccine regulation and distribution, and various areas of intellectual property law.

Recent Articles in Volume 26, Number 2 (2023)

Preventing Intimate Image Abuse Via Privacy-Preserving Credentials

By Janet Zhang and Steven M. Bellovin – The problem of non-consensual pornography (“NCP”), sometimes known as intimate image abuse or revenge porn, is well known. Despite its distribution being illegal in most states, it remains a serious problem, if only because it is often difficult to prove who uploaded the pictures. Furthermore, the Federal statute commonly known as Section 230 generally protects Internet sites, such as PornHub, from liability for content created by their users; only the users are liable, not the sites. [...]

Revolutionizing Justice: Unleashing the Power of Artificial Intelligence

By Samuel D. Hodge, Jr. – The practice of law is changing, and most lawyers are unprepared for this metamorphosis. This statement is not an exaggeration but the acknowledgment that artificial intelligence (“AI”) has altered the way lawyers do business. Instead of having a “battle of forms,” attorneys will now be confronted with the “battle of computers.” Linking artificial intelligence and the law, however, is a natural progression. Both operate in similar fashions: each examines and applies “historical examples in order to infer rules to apply to new situations.” [...]

Generative AI Art: Copyright Infringement and Fair Use

By Michael D. Murray – The discussion of AI copyright infringement or fair use often skips over all the required steps of the infringement analysis in order to focus on the most intriguing question, “Could a visual generative AI generate a work that potentially infringes a preexisting copyrighted work?” and then the discussion skips further ahead to, “Would the AI have a fair use defense, most likely under the transformative test?” These are relevant questions, but without considering the actual steps of the copyright infringement analysis, the discussion is misleading or even irrelevant. This neglecting of topics and stages of the infringement analysis fails to direct our attention to a properly accused party or entity whose actions prompt the question. Making a sudden transition from a question of infringement in the creation of training datasets to the creation of foundation models that draw from the training data to the actual operation of the generative AI system to produce images makes a false equivalency regarding the processes themselves and the persons responsible for them. The questions ought to shift focus from the persons compiling the training dataset used to train the AI system and the designers and creators of the AI system itself to the end users of the AI system who conceive of and cause the creation of images. [...]

Biotechnology Patent Law Top Ten of 2022: Inducement, Clear Error, and Interferences Galore

By Kevin E. Noonan and Andrew W. Torrance – Five-year anniversaries are symbolized by a product of natural biotechnology: wood. This article marks the wood anniversary of the “Top Ten Biotechnology Patent Cases” series that began in 2018. Imagining the world in 2018 is challenging, in part because it was, indeed, a different world. There had not been a major pandemic in one hundred years. Inflation was low. The economy hummed along. No individual war appeared to threaten more than regional stability. O tempora, o mores! The year 2022 was quite different. SARS-CoV-2 continued to stalk the land, having had a monumentally mortiferous effect for several years. High inflation was rampant. The economy was still recovering from one of the deepest declines in history, with imbalances across many sectors. Moreover, eastern Europe had let slip the dogs of war, threatening peace worldwide.


Read more from current issue