Harvard law professor will teach about intellectual property law this semester

Posted by Turner Maxwell on Monday, Aug. 26 at 1:00 pm.

The Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics will host William “Terry” Fisher as the visiting Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics this year. Every year the center selects an invitee to host its theme.

Fisher, the Wilmer Hale Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Harvard and a director of the Berkman Center for Internet Society will be the lead scholar for the upcoming Wayne Morse Center theme of “Media and Democracy,” and co-teach a class with UO professor Eric Priest in the fall.

“He’s one of the foremost experts in intellectual property law in the world,” Priest said.

Almost 10 years ago, Priest met Fisher when he enrolled in one of his classes at Harvard Law. Priest worked with Fisher as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Fisher would later supervise Priest’s thesis when he was a grad student at Harvard Law and ended up working at a company that Fisher co-founded with another Harvard Law faculty member in 2006 called Noank.

“It’s a really rare opportunity for the University of Oregon to be able to learn from an expert of that caliber,” Priest said.

At the time, Noank was implementing a new licensing model for copyrighting works distributed by peer to peer technologies and was essentially a spin-off of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and society. After two years the company ended due to lack of funding as well as other financial reasons.

The class that Fisher and Priest are going to teach will focus around intellectual property laws. The two plan to implement their experiences with Noank.

“He taught me a lot so I think that my student teacher relationship has really impacted my teaching, not just in this class but of course my teaching in all my intellectual property courses and all my teaching in general,” Priest said.