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WVU Law Fisher Lecture to address copyrighting engineered DNA


MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Copyright protects original works of writing, music and art. Law professor and biotech scholar Christopher Holman wants to add engineered DNA to that list.

Holman will discuss broadening copyright laws to include engineered DNA when he delivers the annual John W. Fisher II Lecture in Law and Medicine at the  West Virginia University College of Law on Friday, October 30.

The lecture takes place at 12:00 p.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. A reception will follow in the College of Law lobby.

Engineered DNA is the main product of the emerging field of synthetic biology, which has the potential to overcome some of mankind’s most pressing challenges in energy, food and medicine. Holman is among a growing number of biotechnologists who argue that copyright protection, which lasts longer than patent protection, would lead to greater innovation in the field.

Holman is an intellectual property law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas School of Law. He has written briefs for numerous biotechnology patent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit, and his work has been published in several law review and scientific journals.

Before entering academia, Holman was the vice-president of intellectual property and patent counsel at numerous biotechnology companies and was an associate at a major intellectual property law firm.

The John W. Fisher II Lecture in Law and Medicine was established through the generosity of Thomas S. Clark, M.D., and Jean Clark. The Clark Family Lecture Series, funded by a half-million dollar pledge in 1998, provides lectures in 10 fields of study throughout West Virginia University. A member of the College of Law faculty from 1968 to 2014, Fisher is the William J. Maier, Jr. Dean Emeritus and the Robert M. Steptoe and James D. Steptoe Professor of Property Law Emeritus.



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