Berkeley Center for Law and Technology
Established in 1995 with a focus on intellectual property, the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT) has expanded over the years to encompass privacy law, cybercrime and cybersecurity, digital entertainment law, biotech, telecommunications regulation, and other areas of the law that are affected by new technologies. The Center is comprised of fourteen full-time faculty members who serve as faculty directors, three research fellows, a senior fellow who directs the BCLT Asia IP Project, an executive director, and a professional staff.
The research of the center’s faculty directors addresses issues in intellectual property, privacy, cybercrime and cybersecurity, free expression, and consumer protection. Recent and ongoing projects include:
- Intellectual property protections for software;
- The impact of cloud computing models on transborder government demands for data;
- The rights of artists and other workers in the video game industry;
- The use of machine testimony in the courtroom;
- Management of complex patent cases;
- Values and the governance of artificial intelligence.
In addition to articles and books for academic and practitioner audiences, BCLT faculty file amicus briefs in Supreme Court cases, testify at legislative hearings, and serve on governmental advisory boards.
The Most Comprehensive Instructional Program in Law and Technology
Berkeley Law offers the world’s most comprehensive instructional program in law and technology in the world. It is regularly rated #1 in intellectual property law by US News and World Report. The curriculum has four essential components:
- Strong foundational courses taught by Berkeley Law faculty;
- Advanced courses on a wide range of topics taught by tenured faculty and leading practitioners;
- Research and writing courses;
- Clinical and experiential courses in which students hone their advocacy and analytic skills.
Courses are supplemented by the Law & Tech Luncheon Series, specifically aimed at students, which brings law firm attorneys, in-house counsel, and government officials to the school every Tuesday and Thursday when classes are in session.
BCLT supports the student-run Berkeley Technology Law Journal (BTLJ), one of the leading specialized journals in the country, which produces the Annual Review of Developments in Technology Law. BCLT also provides administrative and financial support to 11 other student groups related to law and technology, including the Patent Law Society, Healthcare and Biotech Law Society, Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative, Sports and Entertainment Law Society, Space Law Society, and blockchain@BerkeleyLaw. BCLT also provides funding to Berkeley Law’s teams in intellectual property moot court competitions.
Supporting a Local, National and Global Community
Taking advantage of its location near Silicon Valley, BCLT serves as a resource for lawyers, corporations, and other affected parties as they grapple with the complex policy and legal issues arising in the wake of new developments in technology. Annually, the Center sponsors an ambitious agenda of conferences, symposia, and workshops. Among other events, BCLT co-sponsors the Intellectual Property Scholars Conference and the Privacy Law Scholars Conference, each of which annually brings together over 170 scholars from 70+ institutions to present their works-in-progress.
Since 1998, Professor Peter Menell and BCLT, in conjunction with the Federal Judicial Center (FJC), have organized an annual intellectual property education program for the federal judiciary. These four and a half day training sessions have drawn more than 700 judges from across the country, covering the full range of patent law, copyright law, trademark and trade secrets law with lectures, panels, and trial simulations.
In today’s interconnected world, intellectual property, privacy and other technology law issues must be addressed on a global scale. Recognizing this, BCLT has worked collaboratively with international scholars, lawyers, public officials and students to dissect differences in the IP and regulatory regimes of various countries. In 2017, BCLT launched its Asia IP Project, which is developing collaborative relationships with academic institutions and other partners in Asia and planning workshops, conferences and other events to bring data-driven insight to the complex IP landscape in China and other Asian venues.