IP and Technology Law Program Hosts Visiting Scholar

Author: Kevin Allen

Shyam Balganesh

Notre Dame Law School is hosting Shyamkrishna Balganesh, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, as a distinguished visiting scholar this week in the Program of Study in Intellectual Property and Technology Law.

While at Notre Dame Law School, Balganesh is visiting the Design Law and Copyright classes, meeting with students and faculty, and presenting his paper titled “Copyright as ‘Legal Process’: The Evolution of American Copyright Law” at a faculty colloquium.

“We are thrilled to have Shyam Balganesh visit us as a distinguished visiting scholar,” said Mark P. McKenna, a professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and development at Notre Dame Law School. “Shyam is one of the leading copyright scholars in the world, and our students will benefit tremendously from having him here. His current work is also of interest to a wide range of our faculty. We’re very fortunate he was able to spend some time here.”

Balganesh said he admires the work that McKenna has been doing in the field of intellectual property, and he heard first-hand from McKenna about the rising interest in IP among Notre Dame law students.

“This sounded like a nice opportunity to spend some time with Notre Dame Law School’s faculty and students,” Balganesh said. “Interacting with people in the field and beyond is always helpful, and Notre Dame has a vibrant, intellectually diverse faculty. That interaction brings new ideas and perspectives.”

Balganesh’s scholarship focuses on understanding how intellectual property and innovation policy can benefit from the use of ideas, concepts, and structures from different areas of the common law, especially private law.

In his paper “Copyright as ‘Legal Process’” – which is not yet published – he examines the intellectual history of American copyright law over the past century. He explores how modern American copyright law, once understood primarily as a private law institution focused on the horizontal interaction between authors and copiers, is now treated as a form of public regulation in which collectivist ideals and utilitarian goals dominate individual interests.

Balganesh, who previously visited Notre Dame Law School for an intellectual property roundtable in 2015, is the fourth distinguished visiting scholar that the Program of Study in IP and Technology Law has hosted since the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year. Previous scholars were John F. Duffy, a professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law; Graeme Dinwoodie, a professor of intellectual property and information technology law at the University of Oxford in England; and Sean B. Seymore, a 2006 Notre Dame Law School alumnus who is now a professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School.