Focus on Technology
By Jennifer Fan
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
The University of Washington School of Law is at the heart of one of the most vibrant innovation ecosystems in the United States. Anchored by Microsoft and Amazon — two of the largest tech companies in the world — there are 14,000 companies in the information and communication technology sector in Washington State.
Our faculty are working on cutting-edge initiatives at the intersection of law and technology on a daily basis and have deep relationships with those in this ecosystem. We not only contribute to the scholarly dialogue about the laws that are evolving in this area, but help to shape legislation as well. Here are a few highlights:
Professor Ryan Calo, a leading scholar in laws related to emerging technologies, is one of the co-founders of the premiere North American robotics law and policy conference, We Robot. This year the conference will be at UW Law Sept. 14-16. He is also a founding co-director of the interdisciplinary UW Tech Policy Lab, which aims to generate more inclusive tech policy (e.g., Telling Stories: On Culturally Responsive Artificial Intelligence), and the UW Center for an Informed Public, which resists strategic misinformation, promotes an informed society, and strengthens democratic discourse.
Professor Xuan-Thao Nguyen is an expert across a number of areas at the intersection of law and technology, including cryptocurrency, NFTs, the metaverse and technology transfer. She is a sought-after speaker in the international community for her expertise. Together with Professor Liz Porter, Professor Nguyen traveled to Vietnam over the summer to meet with high ranking administrators at seven universities. During her visit, she trained banking officials, judges, lawyers, and managers on fintech and spoke about cryptocurrency litigation. Professor Nguyen is also a prolific scholar. One of her recent works, “Blockchain Games and Disruptive Corporate Business Model,” will be published in the Stanford Journal of Blockchain Law and Policy next spring.
Professor Toshiko Takenaka is an internationally recognized scholar in comparative patents and her articles have been published in both Japanese and English. Her recent work highlights the differences between U.S. and Japanese inventorship standards in the biotechnology space.
UW Law faculty are also helping to shape laws related to technology in Washington State. Under the direction of Bill Covington, associate dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and, director of the Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic, students have written white papers that analyze legislative proposals and current laws in Washington State related to privacy (for example, consumer data and biometrics), cybersecurity preparedness, algorithmic regulations, the application of certain provisions of the American with Disabilities Act in public and private autonomous vehicle transportation services, autonomous vehicles, and law enforcement’s use of high technology in carrying out their duties. They have also looked at nationwide policy trends related to Connected and Automated Vehicles.
Under Interim Associate Dean Carla Wale’s leadership, the Gallagher Law Library is focusing on initiatives to democratize legal information through public interest technology, such as building a Washington legal information portal and implementing controlled digital lending which is at the intersection of technology, information and copyright.
Given the ubiquity of law and technology, a number of our faculty in other scholarly disciplines have also written on the topic. As an example, Professor Steve Calandrillo has co-authored tech-related articles with his students, including one related to systemic bias and another on drones.
In my scholarship at the intersection of law, innovation and entrepreneurship, I have researched startup biases in the high tech context and the particular role that employees play in the high tech landscape. Professor Mary Fan, a noted criminal law expert, has written about big data in the context of police body cameras and the public interest. Professor Dongsheng Zang offers a comparative law perspective on cyberlaw in his latest article. Professor Michael Hatfield, has written articles on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity from a tax perspective.
These highlights provide only a snapshot of the ways that our faculty are influencing the conversation about the intersection of law and technology and the implications new innovations have for our society. We invite you to learn more about our faculty scholarship by perusing the list below and to join us at one of our many tech-related events!
- We Robot, Sept. 14-16, 2022, University of Washington School of Law
- Distinguished Roger L. Shidler Lecture by CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson, Feb. 9, 2023, University of Washington School of Law
Faculty Books & Scholarship
- Steve Calandrillo & Nolan Kobuke Anderson, Terrified by Technology: How Systemic Bias Distorts U.S. Legal and Regulatory Responses to Emerging Technology, 2022 U. Ill. L. Rev. 597 (2022)
- Steve Calandrillo, Jason Oh & Ari Webb, Deadly Drones? Why FAA Regulations Miss the Mark on Drone Safety, 23 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. 182 (2020)
- Robot Law II (Ryan Calo, Michael Froomkin & Kristen Thomasen, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing forthcoming) (the first edition, titled Robot Law, published in 2016)
- Ryan Calo, Law and Technology: A Methodical Approach (Oxford University Press forthcoming)
- Ryan Calo, Modeling Through, 71 Duke L.J. 1391 (2022)
- Madeline Lamo & Ryan Calo, Regulating Bot Speech, 66 UCLA L. Rev. 988 (2019)
- Ryan Calo, Howard Jay Chizeck, Elizabeth Joh & Blake Hannaford, Panel 2: Accountability for the Actions of Robots, 41 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1101-21 (2018)
- Ivan Evtimov, David O'Hair, Earlence Fernandes, Ryan Calo & Tadayoshi Kohno, Is Tricking a Robot Hacking?, 34 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 891 (2019)
- Jennifer S. Fan, Employees as Regulators: The New Private Ordering in High Technology Companies, 2019 Utah L. Rev. 973-1026
- Jennifer S. Fan, Startup Biases, U.C. Davis L. Rev. (forthcoming 2023)
- Mary D. Fan, Body Cameras, Big Data, and Police Accountability, 43 Law & Soc. Inquiry 1236 (2018)
- Mary D. Fan, The Right to Benefit from Big Data as a Public Resource, 96 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1438 (2021)
- Robert W. Gomulkiewicz, Software Law and Its Application (2d ed. Aspen Publishers 2018) (Aspen Select Series)
- Robert W. Gomulkiewicz, Considering a Right to Repair Software, 38 Berkeley Tech. L. J. (forthcoming 2023)
- Michael Hatfield, Professionally Responsible Artificial Intelligence, 51 Ariz. St. L.J. 1057 (2019)
- Michael Hatfield, Cybersecurity and Tax Reform, 93 Ind. L.J. 1161 (2018)
- Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Blockchain Games and Disruptive Corporate Business Model (Stanford J. Blockchain L. & Pol’y, forthcoming Spring 2023)
- Xuan-Thao Nguyen, #MeToo Innovators: Disrupting the Race and Gender Code by Asian Americans in the Tech Industry, 28 Asian Am. L. J. 17 (2021)
- Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Lessons from Case Study of Secured Transactions with Bitcoin, 21 SMU Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 181 (2018)
- Elizabeth Porter & Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Crypto Class (work in progress)
- Toshiko Takenaka, Inventorship Standards for Biotechnology Inventions Under the U.S. and Japanese Patent Acts, 52 Int. Rev. of Intellectual Property and Competition L. 556 (2021)
- Toshiko Takenaka, Gan Men'eki Chiryō Hatsumei O Meguru Nichi Bei Hatsumeisha Nintei Soshō Hatsumeisha Nintei Kijun No Nichi Bei Hikaku [Inventorship Disputes over Cancer Immunotherapy in US and Japanese Courts: A Comparison of US and Japanese Inventorship Standard], 66 A.I.P.P.I. 838 (2021)
- Dongsheng Zang, Revolt Against the U.S. Hegemony: Judicial Divergence in Cyberspace, 39 Wis. Int’l L. J. 1 (2022)
Labs and Clinics
- Tech Policy Lab
- Telling Stories: On Culturally Responsive Artificial Intelligence (Ryan Calo, Batya Friedman & Tadayoshi Kohno, Hannah Almeter & Nick Logler eds., Tech Policy Lab 2022)
- Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic
- Associate Dean Bill Covington, Director