October 09, 2023

Law Student Wins National Intellectual Property Writing Award, the Second Win for L&C in 4 Years

Frank Morton-Park ’23 was selected as the 2023 recipient of the Robert C. Watson Intellectual Property Award for his paper on the intersection between contract law, copyright law, and generative artificial intelligence.

Frank Morton-Park ’23 has been selected as the 2023 Robert C. Watson Intellectual Property Award recipient for his paper, “Licensed to Learn: Mitigating Copyright Infringement Liability of Generative AI Systems Through Contracts,” addressing the intersection between contract law, copyright law, and generative artificial intelligence. Morton-Park’s selection for this national award makes him the second student recipient from Lewis & Clark in four years, following Stuart Leijon’s receipt of the award in 2021.

The Watson Award, sponsored by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), is a national student competition which aims to inspire future leaders in the field of intellectual property. The award honors students whose papers contribute to intellectual property knowledge and demonstrate creativity and originality. Student winners are invited to accept their award at the AIPLA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., with expenses paid by AIPLA. This year, the meeting will be held from Oct. 19-21.

A 2023 graduate, Morton-Park was inspired by Professor Lydia Loren’s Copyright Law course. With AI like ChatGPT and DALL-E on the rise, Morton-Park wanted to address questions about how these systems might interact with intellectual property law.

“My paper examines the interplay between contract and copyright law in the context of works created by generative AI, with an eye toward balancing the interest in incentivizing human creativity through copyright law,” said Morton-Park. “I was particularly interested in the rights of copyright owners whose works are used to train these systems and was curious about how the various agreements we enter when uploading content online might interact with those rights.”

Following his spring 2023 graduation, Morton-Park has continued his path in the intellectual property field, working for Klarquist-Sparkman in IP litigation.

“With so much attention on artificial intelligence, Frank’s paper tackles an under-appreciated aspect of the development of generative AI systems, specifically the contract and copyright law interplay,” said Professor Loren. “I was thrilled to see him receive this national award for his creative and clear analysis.”