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My Law School Story: Amelia Pennington, Intellectual Property (IP) Law

Did you know tattoos can be copyright protected? Amelia Pennington '18, can tell you all about it. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her passion for intellectual property law. Keep reading for her law school story.

A tattoo licensing firm cried foul after the makers of a videogame included depictions of basketball megastars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James—and their tattoos.

Amelia Pennington explored the intellectual property law controversy and suggestions for tattoo artists wishing to protect their creations in an award-winning Boston Patent Law Association competition essay.

Solid Oak Sketches, a tattoo licensing firm, objected after 2K Games included depictions of the players’ inkings in a videogame. “No court has rendered a decision on the merits that expressly states the bounds of copyright enforcement for tattoo art,” noted Pennington in her essay. To ward off rights approvals stemming from implied licenses, she wrote that artists should clearly show their intent to confer very limited, nonexclusive rights to tattoo recipients.

Judges rated competition submissions for their contribution to intellectual property law and the extent to which they display original and creative thought or information not previously published or available.

Pennington is currently ranked number one in her class, and her IP prowess has been on display in the Trademark and Unfair Competition course, where she received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award for highest score (one of her ten CALI awards to date). She was also selected to represent New England Law as part of a two-person trademark moot court team that competed in the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition in New York.

She has embraced the real-world learning opportunities made available to her at New England Law, and has already held positions with firms Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Currently, Pennington is serving as an intern with Judge Denise Casper of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Following her time as a summer associate, Pennington received an offer of employment from Morgan Lewis; she will be joining them as a litigation associate after graduation.

“I attribute all of my success to Professor Peter Karol’s mentorship and guidance, and New England Law is incredibly lucky to have him at the helm of the IP program,” said Pennington. “He truly invests in students and was the reason I submitted the paper, which would not have been recognized without his edits and insight.”

Learn more about studying IP law.