U.S. Design Law: Domestic and International Perspectives: A talk with Sarah Burstein of Oklahoma Law and David Gerk of USPTO April 6

The Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Program is hosting a conversation featuring Sarah Burstein of the University of Oklahoma School of Law; David Gerk, principal counsel and director for patent policy in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); and Nicholas Mack, Class of 2022, a student at VLS.

The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wed., April 6, and is open to the Vanderbilt and OU communities. Attendees may register to attend via Zoom or in person in the Renaissance Room at VLS.

Daniel Gervais, who directs the Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Program, will moderate the discussion. Gervais holds the Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law. The event is free and open to the Vanderbilt and Oklahoma University communities and may be attended remotely via Zoom.

Sarah Burstein is an internationally recognized expert in design patents. Prior to joining the faculty at OU, she worked as an intellectual property litigation associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis and clerked for Judge Robert W. Pratt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. Burstein has a law degree from the University of Chicago and B.A. in art and design from Iowa State University. She is a past chair of the AALS Section on Art Law and the ABA Design Committee and a member of the INTA Academic Committee.

David R. Gerk is principal counsel and director for patent policy in the Office of Policy and Internal Affairs (OPIA) at the USPTO. In his role at the OPIA, Gerk helps promote development of intellectual property systems nationally and internationally and consults with foreign governments and other U.S. government agencies on substantive intellectual property rights laws. Gerk was charged with domestic implementation of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs when the U.S. became a Contracting Party to the Agreement. Prior to joining the USPTO, Gerk was a shareholder in Banner & Witcoff’s Washington, D.C., office. He is a co-founder of the Patent Law Option at The George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), where he serves as a part-time professor. He regularly publishes and lectures on a wide array of intellectual property issues. Gerk also served in committee leadership for both the ABA and AIPLA, regularly meeting with attorneys, organizations, business leaders and the USPTO and international IP officials regarding intellectual property legislation, legal decisions, and U.S. and foreign IP practice and procedures. He received an Honors B.S. in mechanical engineering from Marquette University and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.

Nicholas Mack is a third-year student at Vanderbilt Law School. He is authorities editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. He earned his B.S. in finance at The College of New Jersey.