As the COVID-19 crisis has illustrated, the Chinese and US economies are inextricably linked to each other and to the larger global economy. Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Jack Hicks has extensive experience working on both sides of the Pacific, and on April 8, he gave a combined videoconference lecture on ethics in engineering and the law to students at the University of Virginia and China’s Zhejiang University.

The lecture attracted an audience of more than 200 students from China (where it was 11 p.m.) and 40 from UVA. 

Hicks discussed his own career path from an engineer to an innovation attorney, and the different skillsets required. He also explained why and how cultural differences and global perspectives impact engineering and innovation, and how that translates into different approaches toward IP rights in China and the US.

He closed his discussion with a look at future challenges for engineering and the law, including: 

  • AI: code/algorithm as patents, copyrights, or trade secrets? Could IP law prevent transparent and fair algorithm? Can AI/Robots claim and own IP?   
  • Global opportunities and crises: What are the lessons learned from the COVID-19 and any impact upon nationalism, innovation and privatization. 
  • The business and educational challenges for future engineers/innovators brought by the increasing connectivity, global tensions and crises. What quality does legal industry value the most in an employee?

Joining Hicks in the discussion were Zhejiang University Professor Cong Hangqing, UVA Professor Sharon Ku and Miriam Bradley of UVA’s Global Development Office. 

Jack Hicks has more than 30 years of experience guiding global businesses through all stages of the intellectual property process. He has considerable experience helping companies prepare and prosecute patents in international venues, particularly in Europe and in Asia. Hicks also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Elon University School of Law.

Jack Hicks Discusses Engineering, Ethics and the Law with Combined US-Chinese University Audience

Jack Hicks Discusses Engineering, Ethics and the Law with Combined US-Chinese University Audience