Boston University School of Law
January, 2007

Professor Wendy Gordon’s Scholarship the Focus of Japanese Law Seminar

Professor Wendy Gordon’s scholarly work was recently the focus of the post-graduate course "Advanced Seminar on Intellectual Property" at Hokkaido University in Japan. Each semester the seminar chooses a different IP scholar to highlight. The course, informally known as "The Gordon Seminar," was held in the fall semester of 2005.

“I was very honored that the Hokkaido students spent a semester studying my scholarship. It’s exciting when one's work stirs such interest that it can become the sole topic of an advanced seminar,” said Professor Gordon.

Professor Dr. Yoshiyuki Tamura of Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of Law led the course, while Professors Sono (contract law), Aizawa (Anglo-American law) and Hienuki (anti-monopoly law) attended the seminar and delivered presentations on Gordon’s works.

"The Gordon seminar was very useful and educational, as her articles thoroughly explore both the Lockean justification of copyright and the law and economics approach of intellectual property,” said Nari Lee, researcher in the COE Research Program at the Hokkaido School of Law.

“Students could read classic articles such as ‘Fair Use as Market Failure: A Structural and Economic Analysis of the Betamax Case and its Predecessors,’ and discuss its applicability in the current context,” Lee said. “I particularly liked the Intellectual Property chapter from the Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies, as it shows her new train of thoughts on intellectual property as claims on intellectual work, rather than as formalized property right.”

Hokkaido University invited Gordon to speak to faculty and students in Sapporo as part of the University’s research project entitled “The Law and Policy of Intellectual Policy: Building a New Global Framework,” which is based on a COE grant awarded from the Japanese. “The input from both faculty and students was wonderful,” said Gordon, who delivered two lectures in June.

Gordon, Paul J. Liacos Scholar-in-Law at BU Law, received her bachelor's degree with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University and her juris doctor degree from University of Pennsylvania Law School. Renowned for her application of philosophy and economics to copyright and related common-law areas and for her work on fair use, Gordon has published on four continents, received numerous honors and grants and speaks to audiences all over the world.

Reported by Caitlin McCartan