Emily Mola’s paper, “Trademark Laws Capability to Protect Traditional Cultural Expressions from Unauthorized Borrowing and Theft,” was selected as one of the two winning papers in the student category for the International Trademark Association (INTA) Ladas Memorial Award. The Ladas Award, which was established in memory of the firm’s late partner Dr. Stephen P. Ladas, carries with it a $2,500 cash award. This winning article will be considered for publication in the Trademark Reporter (TMR), INTA’s legal journal.
Emily’s article, which was adapted from a paper she wrote for Professor Osei-Tutu’s Intellectual Property & Human Rights seminar, advances the argument that domestic and/or international trademark laws may provide the means to protect the cultural expressions of indigenous and local communities. From celebrity controversies over “cultural appropriation” and high-end fashion companies claiming patterns and designs from indigenous and local communities as their own, protection is necessary to ensure that the original meaning and history of these traditional cultural expressions are not lost to uncontrolled use and misappropriation. She proposes that as a matter of human rights, trademark law could find the balance between protecting cultural expressions and allowing others to, respectfully, build upon the expressions to promote innovation and creativity.
Emily will be receiving the FIU Law IP Certificate when she graduates. “The IP certificate at FIU Law exposes students to the theory and practice of intellectual property law, as well as to a range of business courses,” said Professor Osei-Tutu. “This challenging program signals a student’s commitment to the field and it tends to attract academically strong students, who are also frequently active in student organizations.”
In 2018, Emily was one of 25 Hispanic law students chosen from a nationwide competition to attend the Microsoft and Hispanic National Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Legal Institute (IPLI), a week-long immersive program in Washington, D.C.
Emily has also completed hundreds of IP focused experiential hours through her work at The Law Office of Allen Jacobi, FIU Law’s Business, Innovation, and Technology Clinic, and Malloy & Malloy, P.L. and has received 3 CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Intellectual Property, Trademarks and Geographic Indications, and Fashion and Design Law.
“Completing the IP courses allowed me to gain the knowledge necessary to understand the concepts, analyze the registration requirements of the USPTO and U.S. Copyright Office, and gain an advantage in the job market” said Emily. “As President of the Intellectual Property Student Association, I made it my goal to host at least one IP event each month for students to gain insight on this area of law and to promote the certificate.”
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