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50 Years of Firsts

As we count down to the 50th Anniversary kickoff celebration, we’d like to take you down memory lane to commemorate key events in the history of ITechLaw with our 50 Years of Firsts series brought to you by the ITechLaw 50th Anniversary Committee. We look forward to celebrating our fifty-year history as an association. We have reviewed our history as an association and have selected ten “firsts” for ITechLaw which we will highlight to you as we countdown to this special event. We hope you enjoy each one! The celebration will continue at our upcoming conferences and events in 2022 and 2023. Significant content in this communications series has been sourced from the formal history of ITechLaw, “History Project: A Few Opening Remarks,” by C. Ian Kyer, one of our Past Presidents (the “ITechLaw History”). His work is gratefully acknowledged.

When was the First ITechLaw Conference?

Determining which was the first conference is not as easy as one may think. The informal Computer Lawyers Group, the predecessor to ITechLaw, began in 1971 and was formally incorporated as a non-profit association in the District of Columbia in 1973 as the Computer Law Association (CLA). Following its incorporation, the CLA continued to host meetings as it had done previously, but these were largely informal.

Thus, while it may be arguable, ITechLaw history identifies the 1975 First USA-Japan Joint Computer Law Conference in Japan, co-chaired by the CLA and the Japanese Computer Law Association, as the first formal conference.

C. Ian Kyer comments on the significance of this conference:

“The Computer Law Association grew out of a shared need to better understand the legal issues generated by computerization. That need and the desire to collaborate in dealing with these issues knew no national boundaries. North and South Americans, Europeans, and those in the Asia Pacific, all faced similar issues and concerns. So it was not long before the Washington-based association reached out to those in other countries. The Japanese conference was a logical and very important first step.”

Thus, were these first ‘international’ seeds of the International Technology Lawyers Association born.

When was the First Time the Annual US Conference Left Washington, DC?

The answer is complicated. ITechLaw, known as the Computer Law Association (CLA) at the time, began as a Washington-based association in 1973 but did not hold a conference outside of the District of Columbia until its first U.S. West Coast conference in San Francisco in 1976 (where we will hold the 2022 World Technology Law Conference, 25-27 May). While the CLA at first returned to the West Coast for many years, by 1998 the World Technology Law Conference (located in North America) was once again well and truly ensconced in Washington, DC.

In 2005-2006, then-President Amy Lynne Williams successfully broke the cycle of Washington DC conferences, by moving the 2006 US World Technology Law Conference to San Francisco. Williams reflects:

“Historically, there was a CLA conference in Washington every year, partly out of habit and partly because the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was there, and we had easy access to government speakers. However, as the tech business changed and the membership became more international, not only were people tired of going to Washington and not interested in the USPTO contacts, the international members were also hoping to tack on going to International Trademark Association (INTA) while they were in North America for CLA/ITechLaw to save travel time and money. We thought that if we followed INTA and went to the same city where INTA was going to be, either right before or after our conference, we could encourage more international ITechLaw members to make the trip for our conferences. It worked!”

And from there, ITechLaw never looked back. The World Technology Law Conference has been held in diverse locations across North America including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Scottsdale, and Seattle, to name a few.

Who was the First Female ITechLaw President?

In 1987, Susan Nycum became President of ITechLaw. Nycum served for two years during which time ITechLaw held its first European meeting in Amsterdam. To put that in perspective, the United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to serve on the high court in 1981, just six years prior.

ITechLaw is proud to note that Nycum was the first of a long line of women leading ITechLaw including Karen Casser (1998-1999), Diana J.P. Mackenzie (2002-2003), Esther Nunes (2004-2005), Amy Lynne Williams (2005-2006), Ursula Widmer (2009-2010), Sandy Jeskie (2010-2011), Kiran Sandford (2013-2014), Jenna Karadbil (2015-2016), Susan Barty (2016-2017), and Gabriela Kennedy (2021-2022).

Susan Barty, Past President (2016-2017) and Chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee, comments on support for gender diversity in ITechLaw:

“ITechLaw has always supported and promoted women within the organization, as the list of women Presidents attests, but we always want to do more. In 2007, Francoise Gilbert and I led the start of the I-WIN (the ITechLaw Women’s International Network) which has gone from strength to strength, and is now under the excellent leadership of Carmen de la Cruz, Hélène Deschamps Marquis and Arya Tripathy. So, in the year when the sixth woman and the first black woman is nominated and confirmed on the United States Supreme Court, I would encourage all women members of the organization to become as actively involved as you can. We have so many impressive women within our membership from all corners of the world – we welcome and endorse your involvement at every level.”

ITechLaw promotes, supports, and facilitates the unique interests and needs of women technology lawyers and leaders across all jurisdictions through the I-WIN (Women’s International Network) Committee. The I-WIN Committee provides a space for female technology lawyers to interact, learn, and grow through targeted networking, educational, and career-boosting opportunities.

When was the First Annual European Conference?

On June 1 – 3, 1988 ITechLaw held a conference in Europe for the first time, in Amsterdam. In our previous 50th Years of Firsts communication, we noted that Susan Nycum was the first woman to be President of ITechLaw in 1987: the Amsterdam conference took place during her tenure.

Notably, the conference in Amsterdam also acted as the first meeting of the International Federation of Computer Law Associations (IFCLA), an organization with which ITechLaw has had a productive and collegial relationship for many years. ITechLaw went on to co-sponsor other European conferences with IFCLA in Munich in 1990, Stockholm in 1992, Bath, England in 1994 and in Brussels in 1996. ITechLaw notes that IFCLA is also celebrating its anniversary this year at its June 16 – 17, 2022, conference in Helsinki – its 35th anniversary – so congratulations to IFCLA!

While the 1988 Amsterdam conference was successful, it is not what initiated our annual ITechLaw European Conference. In C. Ian Kyer’s History of ITechLaw, David Bender (Past President, 1999-2000) attributes the commencement of the ITechLaw European Conference to Enrique Batalla (Past President, 2007-2008), who recommended a European Conference series, which began in Madrid in 1999. The European Conference has become an annual staple of ITechLaw’s calendar.

Enrique reflects on his proposal for annual series of ITechLaw European Conferences:

“I suggested that if ITechLaw wanted to become really international, they had to hold conferences also in Europe. My idea was to change every year from one city to another in order to also fulfill the further goal of recruiting members throughout the different European countries. This vision on internationalizing the activities of the association led to another President, Richard Allan Horning, to start the Asian Conferences.”

ITechLaw has hosted European Conferences in Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Rome, and Stockholm. This year’s European Conference will be in Zürich, 19-21 October. We look forward to seeing you there!

When was ITechLaw's First Official Publication?

While conference proceedings were published in the 1970s, perhaps the first formal publication by ITechLaw was in 1988, when Paul S. Hoffman edited the first of a series of forms collections. That initiated a long history of significant ITechLaw publications, including:

    • a series of annual essay collections (1993 to 1996);

    • volumes on special interest topics (for example, works on international treaties by Bill Tanenbaum, pamphlets on state taxes by Paul Hoffman, and a glossary by Bob Bigelow); and

    • the publication of the first of the ITechLaw Current Issues Publications Series – “The Internet and Business: A Lawyer’s Guide to the Emerging Legal Issues” in 1996

ITechLaw has played a key role in generating technology law publications. These documents were particularly important as technology law was a relatively new field and new practitioners were desperately seeking guidance. Additionally, numerous ITechLaw members published notable works which became leading publications in the field. There is a strong connection between ITechLaw membership and seminal technology law guidance and publications.

In short, ITechLaw’s thought leadership, including through publications, plays a significant role in the technology law space. This role in providing thought leadership was in fact expressly recognized as being one of the three key “pillars” of ITechLaw in ITechLaw’s first Strategic Plan – a topic which we will address in a subsequent communication.

Bill Tannenbaum (Past President, 1995-1996) reflects on the importance of ITechLaw as a thought leader in developing technology law issues:

“I had the honor of serving as President of our Association during our 25th Anniversary when we were then known by our original name as “The Computer Law Association.” At that time we shifted our focus to the Internet, and in doing so became a pioneer among bar associations in focusing on how the Internet would change the nature of Information Technology Law. We arranged to receive presentations from the first technology companies moving to Internet in order to provide our members with an early education to the Internet as it was becoming part of the commercial landscape.  At this time we also began to expand our membership to start down the road of becoming an international association.”

ITechLaw continues to publish ground-breaking works as technology evolves and new issues come to the fore. The recently published Responsible AI: A Global Framework is another one of these ITechLaw publications, as authored by a multi-disciplinary group of 54 technology law experts, researchers, and industry representatives from 16 countries: Responsible AI was just updated in 2021.

And so ITechLaw continues to lead the way in technology law thought leadership.

When was ITechLaw's First CyberSpaceCamp®?

Building on two ITechLaw retreat programs in Monterey California in 1993 (“From Bits and Bytes to Virtual Reality”) and 1996 (“From Bits and Bytes to Cyberspace”), ITechLaw hosted the first ITechLaw CyberSpaceCamp® Program in San Jose in 1998.

In a previous 50 Years of Firsts communication, we highlighted the key contributions ITechLaw has made as part of its “thought leadership” role in the technology law space, specifically in connection with the numerous publications of the association. The CyberSpaceCamp® Program is another means by which ITechLaw has played, and continues to play, a significant role in educating practitioners on technology law issues.

The ITechLaw CyberSpaceCamp® Program is a platform which is specifically designed to allow experienced lawyers from across the world to interact with young lawyers and professionals and share their insight and in-depth view on the implications of technology law and practice as it has developed in their respective jurisdictions. ITechLaw practitioners who have spoken at these programs are always universally positive about the experience, and in particular comment on the immense enthusiasm of attendees for the programs.

Diego Fernandez, Past-Chair of the CyberSpaceCamp® Program, comments on the importance of the CyberSpaceCamp® Program for new lawyers:

“The CyberSpaceCamp® Program has proved to be a very effective way in sharing knowledge with young lawyers. Partnerships with local law schools and institutions have helped spread the word as much as possible.

Our experience during the last seven years has been extremely positive and the association has been able to help create or increase the local lawyer’s technology community. Attendees will often highlight how important this training was for them, as this kind of training was not available at their law schools and/or local bar associations. It is for perhaps that reason that jurisdictions have been eager to repeat the experience year after year.

I have no doubt that this program has been, and continues to be, of great importance for the local community and for ITechLaw as well.”

The CyberSpaceCamp® Programs are now planned by the Latin America Membership Committee, and since the first programs in the United States, the CyberSpaceCamp® Program has been hosted in multiple different countries, including India, Cuba, Panamá, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Bolivia. In 2022, the CyberSpaceCamp® Program will visit Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay. We look forward to seeing you there!

When was ITechLaw's First India Conference?

The first annual ITechLaw India Conference (or as it was then known the First Asian Conference) took place in Bangalore, India, in February 2005.  By 2014, the 10th ITechLaw International India Conference – again in Bangalore – had “become the largest annual lawyers conference in India”. Contemporaneous materials describe the diverse range of attendees:  “senior legal professionals (both in-house and practitioners) from India and across the world… [including] a cross-section of Lawyers, Corporate/In-House Counsel and Legal Heads, Technology Entrepreneurs, Cyber Law and Forensic teams, Finance Heads, ICT Professionals, Judges, and others from around the world”.

Rahul Matthan, Chair of the initial conferences, comments on the challenges of initiating the India conference series, and the significance of the accomplishment:

“In those early days no-one even believed there was a need for a technology law conference in India – much less that it would be so successful. From building the audience to getting sponsors to commit their support, it was an uphill battle every step of the way. Had it not been for a few ITechLaw members who believed that the only way we could make ITechLaw a truly global organization was to extend its reach halfway across the globe, we may never have got here. Today the India conference is the premier conference of its kind in India attracting policy makers, technology companies and law firms year on year.”

And 17 years later, the ITechLaw India conference is still going strong.

When was ITechLaw's First Webinar?

ITechLaw launched its first webinar series in 2010. As described in the September 2010 ITechLaw Newsletter:

For those of you unable to attend upcoming face-to-face events, ITechLaw has recently launched free monthly webinars on hot topics in IT law for members only.  Starting this month, you will see an extensive program of webinars, beginning with a webinar on Virtual Worlds, Virtual Goods and Virtual Currency on September 28 [2010], followed closely by an Outsourcing Committee webinar on Sustainability Obligations in IT Infrastructure Outsourcing on October 5… ITechLaw also recently launched a social media initiative with daily substantive technology law comments on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Notably, in 2009 the ITechLaw Newsletter itself in fact won the Web Marketing Association Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising.

Sandra Jeskie (Past President, 2010-2011), was particularly focused on the importance of utilizing social media and webinars as a means of broadening member engagement, and comments on how this represented an important sea-change for ITechLaw:

“Until around 2009-2010, ITechLaw was often viewed as a conference-driven organization.  Members looked forward to opportunities to network and learn at our annual conferences in the U.S., Europe and in India, but there was limited engagement with the organization and its members between conferences.  The webinar and social media programs were started to actively engage members in the organization throughout the year and to position ITechLaw and its members as thought leaders in technology law.”

This expertise in presenting webinars well-positioned ITechLaw to pivot exclusively to the webinar format when in-person events were halted during the worst of the COVID pandemic: in 2020 and 2021 ITechLaw presented 38 and 31 webinars respectively.

What was ITechLaw's First Mission Statement?

ITechLaw’s first Mission Statement was developed and launched in 2007, as the result of a Board of Directors Retreat in Dublin.  While only two sentences, creating the Mission Statement took hours of intensive debate:

ITechLaw is the leading global organization for legal professionals focused on technology and law. Its mission is to create unparalleled opportunities for international networking and exchanging knowledge and experience with experts and colleagues around the world.

Note the key phrases:

  • “Global”: reflecting the by-now well-established credentials of the Association as having an international impact;
  • “Legal professionals”: this may seem obvious, but stemmed from the conclusion – after some debate – that this scope should also not also include technology-focused businesses, venture capitalists, etc.;
  • “Opportunities for international networking” was a nod to the critical importance of events in facilitating networking between ITechLaw members; and
  • Finally, “exchanging knowledge and experience with experts and colleagues” highlighted that ITechLaw was not just about networking to drive business, but was also about creating opportunities for technology law experts to learn from each other.
  • Richard Horning (Past President, 2006-2007), who arranged for the Board Retreat, reflects on the motivations for developing the Mission Statement:

“In the period that followed the Madrid, Lisbon, and Milan conferences, and the start of the annual conferences in Bangalore, it became apparent to me and others that CLA needed a clear view of its role as a growing international organization, with leadership opportunities in a broad range of developing technologies in an ever more closely connected world. It was in this context that, immediately following my election as President in San Francisco in 2006, we organized our first leadership retreat in Dublin. The three-day leadership retreat was successful: we changed the name to the International Technology Law Association; we wrote the Mission Statement; we changed the corporate structure and election cycle; and we outsourced the back office to a professional organization.”

It is important to note that the Mission Statement is not symbolic: rather, it has served as a critical guide as to which initiatives ITechLaw should support as being congruent with its mandate, and which it should not.  In short, creating the Mission Statement has proven to be a valuable investment for ITechLaw, which continues to reap dividends.

What was ITechLaw's First Strategic Plan?

ITechLaw’s first Strategic Plan (Fiscal Years 2013 – 2015) was developed and launched in 2012. As set out in the introduction of the Strategic Plan itself:

In order to establish continuity for the ITechLaw Association between presidential administrations, which rotate annually, ITechLaw has developed this three (3) year Strategic Plan to encompass Fiscal Years 2013 through 2015. While establishing continuity and a cohesive approach to the overriding vision for ITechLaw as an organization, the Strategic Plan will ensure synergy among ITechLaw’s three core offerings – the three “pillars” which support the Association – each of which supports ITechLaw’s core mission:

“ITechLaw is the leading global organization for legal professionals focused on technology and law. Its mission is to create unparalleled opportunities for international networking and exchanging knowledge and experience with experts and colleagues around the world.”

The three “Strategic Pillars” of the Strategic Plan were (1) Conferences and Events, (2) Membership, and (3) Thought Leadership.

Alex Blumrosen (Past President, 2011-2012) and I jointly developed and issued the Strategic Plan during our presidencies:  below he reflects on what drove the content for, and the significance of, the Strategic Plan:

“We had lived through many of the ups and downs of the early 2000s and we wanted to build on the work of the Dublin Board Meeting – for example, in creating the Mission Statement – to ensure long-term organizational stability, no matter the changes in Executive Director or Executive Committee personnel.  The Strategic Plan, in serving that purpose, needed to be both multi-year – to ensure that there was an ongoing vision for the Association without limiting Executive Committee initiatives – and broad enough to engage all our members and their activities.  Finally, the choice of Conferences and Events as a main pillar was no accident: the EU Conference series, as started by Enrique Batalla, had demonstrated that even in difficult times – like 2001 (9/11) and the 2008 recession – our members would gladly travel the world to meet up in person and exchange ideas.  This was a foundational concept of the Strategic Plan.”

In some ways, this is the perfect Fifty Years of Firsts communication with which to end our ten-part series, as so many of the topics of the series have in fact fit squarely within these three Strategic Pillars:

Conference and Events:
  • First CLA Conference 
  • First Time Annual CLA US Conference left Washington DC
  • First Annual European Conference
  • First Cyberspace Camp
  • First India Conference
Thought Leadership: 
  • First Official Publication
  • First Webinar

All of which have contributed to expanding both the geographic reach and the depth, of our Membership engagement: our third Strategic Pillar. In short, since its incorporation in 1973, ITechLaw has continued to evolve into an organization that, if you practice technology law, you simply cannot afford to not be a member.

Commemorating 50 Years of ITechLaw

In 2022, ITechLaw celebrated its 50th Anniversary of serving as the leading global organization for legal professionals focused on technology and law. ITechLaw has been serving the technology law community worldwide since 1971. It has a global membership base representing six continents and spanning more than 70 countries. Its members and officials reflect a broad spectrum of expertise in the technology law field.

Hear from our members, take a trip down memory lane, and join us in congratulating some incredibly influential change makers in the field of technology law. 

50th Anniversary Awards

To mark this momentous occasion, ITechLaw also honored 4 individuals who have made a global impact and an outstanding contribution to the fields of technology and law. ITechLaw will be awarding these five awards based on the geographic location of the individual: North America, Europe, India, and Asia-Pacific. Read more below to learn more about these pioneers of technology and law.

North American Award: Brad Smith, President and Vice Chair of Microsoft

Brad Smith, President and Vice Chair of Microsoft, has been selected as the first recipient of this global award and recognition. He has had an outstanding legal career as a technology lawyer with one of the largest technology companies, has previously spoken at ITechLaw conferences, has been a great promoter of “Tech for Good” and “Responsible AI” principles and is an enthusiastic supporter of the ITechLaw “Responsible AI” book published in 2019.

For over 30 years, including two decades as General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, and now President and Vice Chair, Brad Smith has been at the heart of the evolution of global technology advances. He has had the opportunity to advance many related legal and social topics. Brad Smith has done so on behalf of Microsoft, but never just in the interest of Microsoft. As one the largest technology companies in the world, Microsoft plays an important role as an industry and thought leader on many topics. In his role, Brad Smith has not been shy to try and advance topics from a broader legal or societal perspective. Transparency and non-discrimination, coupled with the American practice of giving back from a position of success and power, are at the core of his actions. In his recent New York Times bestselling book, coauthored with Microsoft’s Carol Ann Browne, Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age, Brad urges the tech sector to assume more responsibility and calls for governments to move faster to address the challenges that new technologies are creating. Examples of these pertinent issues include: (i) Microsoft’s push to become a carbon-negative company by 2030; (ii) Microsoft’s role in advancing ethical principles for the development of AI; (iii) Microsoft’s use of AI for Good; (iv) Microsoft’s push for diversity in the work force; (v) Microsoft’s institutional support of philanthropy; (vi) Microsoft’s push to advance privacy on a global scale, (vii) a warning for the use of technology for cyber warfare, (viii) a call for a Digital Geneva Convention, and recently (ix) Microsoft’s push for open and equal access to app stores.

European Award: Spiros Simitis, "Father of Data Protection"

Spiros Simitis has been selected as the second recipient of this global award and recognition. Known to many as the “Father of Data Protection,” Spiros Simitis has had a remarkable personal and professional engagement in data protection.

For over 50 years, Spiros Simitis has been at the forefront of data privacy and regulation.  Professor Dr. Indra Spiecker gen. Döhmann, LL.M. shared with ITechLaw that “Spiros Simitis understood that information, if recombined and processed with machine capacities, would challenge the foundations of individuality, freedom of choice, and autonomy and alter the potential of the law and the individual to balance power.” Spiros Simitis developed three core principles of the right to information, self-determination, and freedom of information. Spiecker gen. Döhmann stated “It was his belief that the understanding of data protection and freedom of information is the backbone of a democratic society, thus the need to protect society against the exploitation and manipulation of the power of knowledge.”

These core principles enabled the development of data protection around the globe. Spiros Simitis’s work and influence can be traced back to the first world data protection law including the General Data Protection Directive of the EU (EU GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Brazilian General Data Protection Law (LGPD), and Japanese Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI).

Indian Award: Honorable B.N. Srikrishna

The Honorable B.N. Srikrishna, Retired Supreme Court Justice, has been selected as the third recipient of this global award and recognition. Justice Srikrishna has had an illustrious career in the Supreme Court deciding on matters relating to human lives and commerce.

Post-retirement, Justice Srikrishna has headed several commissions such as the 6th Pay Commission, the Committee for Consultations on the Situation in Andhra Pradesh (CCSAP), Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), the committee on arbitration law in India, and committee to draft a data protection framework. He was formerly the independent director of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. and director of NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd and the National Securities Depository Ltd. He has contributed to the jurisprudence of data protection by being the chair of the Committee that created the draft data protection bill for the country. The consultation pioneered by him has contributed significantly to the development of the vibrant technology law and policy community that we have in India today. He generated a white paper on the law, conducted several roadshows and then generated a draft law that was widely based on the feedback he had received. During that time he even attended ITechLaw events in India to use the platform as a means by which to collect feedback from the community on the law. In many ways, this approach was unprecedented in tech policy at the time and as a result of the way in which he engaged with the community he fostered its growth.

Asian-Pacific Award: Tan Min-Liang, Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Razer

Tan Min-Liang, Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Razer has been selected as the fourth recipient of this global award and recognition for his outstanding contribution to technology and law. Min-Liang stands as an inspiring model of how a technology lawyer can extend and transcend the role of legal advisor to become a titan in the frontline of the technology industry.

Min-Liang Tan is a Singaporean businessman, internet entrepreneur and former lawyer. He is the co-founder, chairman, chief executive officer (CEO) and creative director of the gaming hardware company Razer Inc. where he oversees the design and development of all Razer products. With a fan base that spans every continent, the company (now valued over $2.5Bn) has designed and built the world’s largest gamer-focused ecosystem of hardware, software and services.

Tan was a lawyer before he co-founded Razer at Rajah & Tann Asia and has been on the forefront of legal policy making as a previous board member of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. He is also a founding member of the Open Source Virtual Reality platform, which aims to create a common standard for VR program design.

Early Career Scholarship Recipients

2023 World Technology Law Conference Scholarship Recipient 

María del Pilar García Benejam, an associate at Rodríguez Rueda S.C., was selected as this year’s Early-Career Scholarship recipient, awarded on behalf of Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.

Pilar received her J.D. from the Panamerican University in Mexico City, where she was born. She is recognized as a rising star of the firm. She practices corporate work, with an emphasis in M&A and representation of foreign clients doing business in Mexico. She has a lot of interest for technology matters, during her practice she has participated in M&A transactions in different industries, including technology, as well as consultations on data protection, SaaS and PaaS, among others. Congratulations, Pilar!

2023 European Conference Scholarship Recipient 

Nataliia Badora, an Associate at Mamunya IP from Ukraine, was selected as this year’s Early-Career Scholarship recipient, awarded on behalf of Spiros Smitis, Father of Data Protection.

Nataliia specializes in IP enforcement, particularly in litigation, focusing on trademarks, copyright, and domain names. She graduated in 2020, Magna Cum Laude, with her Master’s degree in IP from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv – where she gained a profound and comprehensive understanding of copyright, industrial property, innovations, and the fundamentals of economics. She has won the National Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition twice and has participated in the written phase of the 18th Oxford International IP Law Moot in 2020, in addition to serving as a coach for the Ukrainian team in the 20th Oxford International IP Law Moot (2022-2023), making history as the first Ukrainian team to advance to the Oral Rounds of the Moot.

2024 International India Conference Scholarship Recipient

50th Anniversary Committee 

In honor of celebrating 50 years of the International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw), the ITechLaw 50th Anniversary Committee was established. The 50th Anniversary Committee is committed to honoring and celebrating the past 50 years of the association and to showcasing its future trajectory.

  • Susan Barty, Past President 2016-2017, United Kingdon
  • John Beardwood, Past President 2012-2013, Fasken, Canada
  • Alex Blumrosen, Past President 2011-2012, Polaris Law, France
  • Carmen De la Cruz, Board Member, Axians Schweiz AG, Switzerland
  • Jenna Karadbil, Past President 2015-2016, Law Offices of Jenna F. Karadbil, United States
  • Gabriela Kennedy, Past President 2021-2022, Mayor Brown, Hong Kong
  • Michael Peeters, Past President 2022-2023, Addleshaw Goddard LLP, United Kingdom