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    06.21.11 Brooklyn Law School Launches Trade Secrets Institute
    trade secrets logo

    Brooklyn Law School is pleased to announce the formation of the Trade Secrets Institute, an initiative of the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law. The mission of the Institute is to provide a source for lawyers, policy makers, and business people interested in high-quality, objective coverage of key trade secrets cases and related legislative and regulatory developments throughout the world. The Institute was made possible by a generous grant from the Mai Foundation, a private philanthropic organization.

    The Trade Secrets Institute Web site,, will serve as an information hub. The site includes a comprehensive database – the first of its kind in the country – that connects users to supporting documents, briefs, motions, and timelines for current cases, as well as recent updates on pending legislation or regulatory initiatives concerning trade secrets. The Institute provides timely, in-depth coverage of legal and business issues and critical analysis of decisions, legislation, and regulatory initiatives related to each case.

    The Institute’s key advisor, Professor Claire Kelly ‘93, said, “The Block Center has always sought to explore legal issues in light of both theoretical and practical perspectives, and this project falls within our ongoing commitment to this end. Our students will be exposed to cutting edge issues in the classroom while at the same time learning from practicing attorneys dealing with these very same issues and providing a resource to the larger legal community.”

    One of the cornerstones of the Institute is the creation of a new course, the Trade Secrets Workshop. The initial offering of the course, in Spring 2011, was taught by Alexander Kaplan ‘00. Students who took the class focused on both research and doctrinal issues related to trade secrets. Admission to the class was competitive. To be eligible, students must have completed a basic intellectual property course. As part of their course work, students tracked current cases and legislative or regulatory efforts. They also provided legal analysis of past and pending cases and reforms. The course enabled students to master trade secrets legal doctrine and theory while developing their practice skills. Students also benefitted from networking opportunities with practicing attorneys in the field.

    Each year, the Law School will select two student fellows who will receive stipends and be responsible for identifying key cases to include in the database and ensuring the Web site is regularly updated with new content. Inaugural fellows Valentina DiPippo ’11 and Gordon MacLeod ’11 began their work this past fall.

    The Institute was spearheaded by David Mitnick ’00, a practicing intellectual property lawyer, and Professor Claire Kelly, an expert in international trade law. The Institute builds on the Law School’s strong intellectual property curriculum, which blends traditional copyright, patent, and trademark law with a thorough understanding of information science, Internet privacy, and media and telecommunications law.

    “The Institute is an opportunity for BLS students to fill a large void in the area of Trade Secrets by creating a practice-based online resource that will not only use the Law School’s tremendous research capabilities, but will also offer practical, thoughtful, and unbiased commentary on cases and issues in the Trade Secrets arena,” remarked Mitnick.

    The Institute will also benefit from the input of an Advisory Board consisting of attorneys, each with expertise in intellectual property and trade secrets, who will consult and advise key faculty connected to the Institute and serve as mentors to the student fellows.

    The founding members of the Advisory Board are:

    • Bob Berezin, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
    • David Boag, Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP
    • Susan Cohig, National Hockey League
    • Stephen Kahn, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
    • Steven Kayman, Proskauer Rose LLP
    • Anthony F. LoCicero, Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein, LLP
    • Christopher Marino, Cowan, Debaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP
    • David Mitnick ‘00, Domain Skate LLC
    • Harvey Mitnick, JVC Americas Corp.
    • Erica Wass, Bloomberg Inc.