Select research and publications by core and affiliated faculty and researchers in intellectual property:


Professor Swanson Contributes Chapter to Seminal IP Book

50 ObjectsCorsets are at the heart of a new chapter penned by Northeastern Law faculty member Kara Swanson  in the provocative new book, A History of Intellectual Property in 50 Objects (Cambridge University Press, 2019), edited by Claudy Op den Kamp and Dan Hunter. The 50 objects — examined in chapters by leading experts in fields including law, history, science, media and even horticulture, among others — not only demonstrate the significance of intellectual property systems, but also show how IP has developed and how it has influenced our experiences of everyday objects. Each story provides a glimpse into examples of how innovations, great and small, offer a unique lens on our past, present and future.

In her chapter on the corset, Swanson takes readers back two centuries, to a time when women and girls throughout the United States reached for one piece of technology first thing in the morning and kept it with them all day long—the corset. It emphasized (or depending on the whims of fashion, deemphasized), bust, waist and hips in ways intended to accentuate differences between male and female. Today, the corset still fascinates, an emblem of femininity that appears on fashion runways and the concert stage. Less visible are the ways the corset as an object of intellectual property has exposed the masculine assumptions in our understanding of technology, patents and law.

Professor Hartzog Calls for Reframing Privacy Law in New Book, Privacy’s Blueprint 

Privacy's BlueprintEvery day, internet users interact with technologies designed to undermine their privacy. Social media apps, surveillance technologies and the internet of things are all built in ways that make it hard to guard personal information. And the law says this is okay because it is up to users to protect themselves — even when the odds are deliberately stacked against them. In Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies, Professor Woodrow Hartzog pushes back against this state of affairs, arguing that the law should require software and hardware makers to respect privacy in the design of their products.