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Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Colorado Calling! It's a Barbie World, this Thursday

I am thrilled to be heading to Colorado where the University of Colorado is holding its annual IP conference this thursday. This year's conference is called...drum roll...

It’s a Barbie World: Intellectual Property, Rights of Publicity, and the Gender Wars

If you are anywhere close by would so love to have you - here's program:

The nature and extent of intellectual property rights in product design, and in one’s name and likeness, pose some of the most challenging questions for courts today. These issues converge at an unexpected juncture: BarbieTM.

In 2011, Barbie manufacturer Mattel lost its nearly decade-long intellectual property battle against competing toy company MGA Entertainment over its line of Bratz dolls. In 2016, a change in executive leadership—and perhaps more pointedly, a significant drop in profits—led to a fresh face for Barbie for the first time since her introduction in 1959: new body types and skin tones were introduced with the stated goal of promoting healthy body image in young girls.

In March 2018, timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, Mattel released its “Inspiring Women” Barbie collection featuring Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, and Katherine Johnson. Even a casual observer of the Frida Kahlo doll will immediately notice the absence of the artist’s famous unibrow. Kahlo’s niece, Mara de Anda Romeo, speaking through the attorney for Kahlo’s estate, would also note the doll’s artificially light-colored eyes and impossibly spindly arms to insist that the representation is not authorized.

In our fifth annual conference on content, Silicon Flatirons is excited to bring two leading experts on intellectual property law to discuss their latest book projects and their respective implications not only for the seminal question “Who can own an idea?”, but also for the broader cultural debate around sex and gender roles. We are pleased to welcome Orly Lobel, author of You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side, and Jennifer Rothman, author of The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World, to headline this conference.

Following a presentation of both book projects, we will convene a roundtable of experts in intellectual property and gender to discuss, among other topics:

  • conceptions and treatment of ownership and value, especially as they vary between men and women
  • anticompetitive use of IP law and concerns about the concentration of power (and composition of leadership) in culture-producing industries
  • IP’s expansion to human capital and the disparity in male/female compensation
  • fair use in the context of public criticism, especially about gender roles

SESSIONS

03/07/19 8:30am - 9:00am
CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
03/07/19 9:00am - 9:10am
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
  • S. James Anaya
    Dean and Charles Inglis Thomson Professor, University of Colorado Law School
  • Kristelia A. García
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School; Content Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons
03/07/19 9:10am - 10:00am
KEYNOTE BOOK PROJECT PRESENTATIONS
  • Orly Lobel — Presenter
    Professor, University of San Diego School of Law; Author of "You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side"
  • Jennifer E. Rothman — Presenter
    Professor, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; Author of "The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World"
03/07/19 10:00am - 10:15am
BREAK
03/07/19 10:15am - 11:30am
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
  • Kristelia A. García — Moderator
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School; Content Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons
  • Chloe Blaskiewicz — Moderator
    Student, University of Colorado Law School
  • Colleen McCroskey — Moderator
    Student, University of Colorado Law School
  • Ann Bartow
    Professor of Law, University of New Hampshire School of Law; Director, Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property
  • Rebecca Curtin
    Associate Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School, Boston
  • Casey Fiesler
    Assistant Professor, Information Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Orly Lobel
    Professor, University of San Diego School of Law; Author of "You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side"
  • Alexandra J. Roberts
    Associate Professor, Franklin Pierce Faculty Fellow, University of New Hampshire School of Law
  • Jennifer E. Rothman
    Professor, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; Author of "The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World"
  • J. Richard Stevens
    Associate Professor, Media Studies, College of Media, Communication and Information, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Kara W. Swanson
    Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

Posted by Orly Lobel on March 6, 2019 at 01:23 AM | Permalink

Comments

Absolutely Marty! A sharp contrast from the symposium I participated in last week in antitrust law where I was the only woman law professor. We need thousands like this, but importantly also when the topic does not involve gender ...

Posted by: Orly Lobel | Mar 7, 2019 9:09:22 AM

12-2! What a fine example. And if we have a few thousand more conferences like this one, things might even begin to even out.

Posted by: Marty Lederman | Mar 6, 2019 7:54:01 AM

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