Toledo law alumnus wins national writing award for copyright paper

July 19, 2010 | News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

A 2009 graduate of The University of Toledo College of Law has received national praise for an essay he wrote about intellectual property.

Robert Platt won the 2009 Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for his essay, “A Comparative Survey of Moral Rights.”

Platt wrote the essay, which focused on how different legal systems and different countries recognize an author’s non-economic or moral rights, during his final year of law school at UT.

“I was rather surprised when I received notification of this award,” Platt said. “Because I chose to write a survey, the style of my essay was not that of a typical law-review article.”

The first-place prize comes with his essay being published in The Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA and a $3,000 award. Second place went to a law student at the University of Hawaii and third place to a Georgetown University law student.

Platt is the second UT College of Law student to receive this prestigious award. Tamera Peters, a 2005 graduate, placed first in the 2005 competition.

“Both students benefitted from the rich intellectual property curriculum at the College, as well as from the guidance of Professor Llewellyn Gibbons,” said Daniel Steinbock, interim dean of the College of Law. “I know of no other school that has had two students do so well in this national competition in the past decade.”

Platt received his undergraduate degree in broadcast and cinematic arts from Central Michigan University and worked at a radio station before attending law school. He is serving as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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