I know it’s not over yet, but 2018 has already been one filled with amazing opportunities, experiences and accomplishments for me. I joined the phenomenal faculty at the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center) in the fall of 2017. Since that time it has been planes, trains, and automobiles.
It feels like I created my own “Where in the world is Professor Evans” game as I traveled the world to share my experiences and expertise about the intersections of intellectual property and technology, with a decided focus on blockchain and IP. Reminds me a lot of my life before law school when I traveled the world as a professional tennis player. So I guess all of my experiences have prepared me for this moment in time.
I was thrilled to be one of the faculty members featured in this month’s Franklin Pierce IP News, which highlights some of the impressive accomplishments of UNH Law faculty. My highlight focused on a recent nomination by Judge Patricia Elaine Campbell-Smith, and appointment by Chief Judge Margaret M. Sweeney, to the IP Committee of the Advisory Council to the US Court of Federal Claims.
In each preso, I engaged attendees (live and via video conference) in a macro-level exploration of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts to clarify what this relatively new disruptive, empowering ecosystem is, what it means for our collective future as attorneys, corporate leaders, startup founders and entrepreneurs, and its implications in intellectual property law.
Recently, Darts-IP.com published an article I wrote titled IP + Blockchain: A Primer based on some of the information I shared in Bangkok.
I could spend all day every day falling down the proverbial rabbit hole of information about blockchain. There is literally breaking blockchain and cryptocurrency news every minute, if Coindesk’s website and twitter feed are any indication. Each bit and byte of information leads to more information (and misinformation), FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt), FOMO (fear of missing out), and speculation about all of the potential pitfalls and opportunities in this new technology frontier. So it’s difficult for most people to figure out where to begin. If this describes you, you’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place! Read on.
You probably have questions (or you wouldn’t be reading this post). Lots of them. The first may very well be where to begin to get a handle on the power and promise of blockchain. Everyone should have some baseline understanding. But lawyers, in particular, must achieve basic technological competence in this space to be well positioned to help clients solve problems. Given my background and expertise, I am particularly interested in the intellectual property issues triggered by blockchain’s rise in mainstream adoption as research & development use cases transition into full implementation and refinement.
In future posts, I will share trends and current events in the blockchain ecosystem that raise copyright, patent, and trademark issues. Follow me on Twitter @IPProfEvans for breaking IP-related blockchain and crypto news. Below are some blockchain basics that I cover more substantively in IP + Blockchain: A Primer and some additional resources about blockchain, crypto, and smart contracts.
Part of a lawyer’s professional competence includes technological competence. Therefore, every lawyer should have a basic understanding of the business and legal implications of the blockchain and its varied and various use cases.