Sean A. Pager

Sean A. Pager
[Hi-Res Photo]
Professor of Law; Associate Director, Intellectual Property, Information & Communications Law Program (IPIC)
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 329
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

  • Biography

    Prior to joining the Law College faculty, Professor Pager taught as a visiting professor at University of Richmond, Seattle University, and Indiana University-Bloomington.

    Professor Pager’s scholarship explores ways in which intellectual property regimes affect development and cultural identities. Much of his recent work has focused on creative industries. He has a particular interest in legal capacity building issues related to “Creative Upstarts,” a rubric that embraces both indie filmmakers and musicians in the U.S. as well as emerging content industries in the developing world. Professor Pager has also written on traditional knowledge and cultural heritage rights and has a longstanding interest in geographical indications.

    While at U.C. Berkeley, Professor Pager served as associate editor on the California Law Review. Following law school, he practiced as a litigation associate at Howard Rice in San Francisco and clerked for the Honorable Judge James Browning on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to entering academia, Professor Pager earned an LL.M. in International Law from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, while studying on a Fulbright Fellowship.

    Professor Pager is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Copyright Alliance and the Association of Teachers and Researchers in Intellectual Property Law. He is admitted to the California bar.

  • Degrees

    J.D. Order of the Coif 1998, U.C. Berkeley (Boalt Hall); A.B. magna cum laude 1989, Harvard University; LL.M. European University Institute

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses

    Copyright Law
    (Formerly DCL 375) According to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the power to promote the "progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." Congress has adopted copyright statutes to protect forms of expression, which include computer software. This course will explore the history of copyright protection, with a particular emphasis on entertainment litigation.

    Intellectual Property Survey
    (Formerly DCL 321 and LAW 533V) Formerly known as Intellectual Property Law. This course could be offered for 2 or 3 credits. This course is a survey of all Intellectual Property law, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secret law. No technical degree is necessary.

    International Intellectual Property Law
    International Intellectual Property Law begins with overview of the purposes of intellectual property under U.S. law, then looks at rapidly developing treaty regimes, reciprocal international legislation particularly focusing on patent law, and international cases for the protection of scientific invention and ownership issues in the global markets that affect the rights of authors and inventors. Some attention will also focus on United States export control laws.

    Torts I
    (Formerly DCl 141) The study of the protection that the law affords against interference by others with one's person, property or intangible interest. It is broadly divisible into three areas of liability: intentional interference, negligence and strict liability. Specific tort actions and defenses are analyzed. Each is examined in the context of underlying social and economic factors that provide the framework in which law develops and social conflict is managed.

  • Publications

    Law Faculty Repository »

    Law Review Articles

    Trading Up: Is Section 337 the New ATS?, forthcoming, 107 Iowa L. Rev. __ (2022) (with Michael Sant’Ambrogio).

    Laboratories of Extraterritoriality, forthcoming, 29 Geo. Mason. L. Rev. __ (2021) (with Jenna Foos).

    The Chinese Copyright Dream, forthcoming, _ Pepp. L. Rev. __ (2021) (with Eric Priest).

    Redeeming Globalization through Unfair Competition Law, 41 Cardozo L. Rev. 2435 (2020) (with Eric Priest), selected for the 2015 Harvard-Yale-Stanford Junior Faculty Forum.

    Does Copyright Help or Harm Cultural Diversity in the Digital Age?, 32 Kritika Kultura 397 (2018).

    The Role of Copyright in Creative Industry Development, 10 L. & Dev. Rev. 521 (2017).

    Traditional Knowledge Rights and Wrongs, forthcoming, 20 Va. J. L. & Tech. 82 (2016), selected for the 2015 Yale-Stanford-Harvard Junior Faculty Forum.

    Making Copyright Work for Creative Upstarts, 22 Geo. Mason. L. Rev. 1021 (2015).

    Cultivating Capabilities for Creative Industry Upstarts, forthcoming, 21 Mich. St. Int’l L. Rev. 547 (2013).

    Folklore 2.0:  Preservation through Innovation, 2012 Utah L. Rev. 1835; selected for inclusion in the 2011 Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum.

    Accentuating the Positive: Building Capacity for Creative Industries into the Development Agenda for Global Intellectual Property Law, 28 Am. Univ. Int’l L. Rev. 223 (2012).

    Beyond Culture vs. Commerce: Decentralizing Cultural Protection to Promote Diversity Through Trade, 31 Northwestern J. Int'l L. & Bus. 63 (2011).

    Patents On a Shoestring: Making Patent Protection Work for Developing Countries, 23Georgia St. Univ. L. Rev. 755 (2007).

    Antisubordination of Whom?  What India’s Answer Tells Us About the Meaning of Equality in Affirmative Action, 41 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 289 (2007).

    TRIPS: A Link Too Far?  A Proposal for Procedural Constraints on the Use of Cross-Issue Linkages to Advance Regulatory Harmonization in the WTO, 10 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 215 (2006).

    Strictness vs. Discretion: The European Court of Justice’s Variable Vision of Gender Equality, 51 Am. J. Comp. L. 553 (2003).*

    Strictness and Subsidiarity: An Institutional Perspective on Affirmative Action at the European Court of Justice, 26 B.C. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 35 (2003).

    Caveat Lawyer: The Restatement of the Law of Lawyers’ ‘Invite to Rely’ Standard for Attorney Liability to Nonclients, 34 Tort & Ins. L. J. 1121 (1999).

    Is Busing Preferential? An Interpretive Analysis of Proposition 209, 21 Whittier L. Rev. 3 (1999).


    Trademarking the Blockchain Enterprise, Intellectual Property Law Scholars Conference, DePaul University College of Law, August 8, 2019.

    Trademarking the Blockchain Enterprise, Conference on Innovation and Communications Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Law, May 4, 2019

    Does Copyright Help or Harm Cultural Diversity in the Digital Age?, Cultural Practices and Policies in the Digital and Global Age Conference, Ateneo de Manila University, November 22, 2018.

    The Korean Wave and Copyright: The Hidden Virtues of Indirect Subsidization, World Hallyu Conference, Osaka Kansai University, November 17, 2018.

    Enforcing Global Justice Administratively, American Society of International Law, Midyear Meeting Research Forum, UCLA School of Law, November 9, 2018.

    Unfair Competition as Global Governance, Mid-West ASIL-Midwest Works-In-Progress Workshop, Southern Illinois University College of Law, September 8, 2018.

    Much Ado About (IP) Norms, Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, University California at Berkeley School of Law, August 8, 2018.

    Rethinking Commodification of Intangible Heritage: Cultural Islands, Dynamic Meanings, International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property, University of Roma Tre, July 5, 2018.

    Edited Volume

    Transnational Culture in the Internet Age (with Adam Candeub, Elgar 2012).

    Book Chapters

    Copyright & Cultural Development: Emerging Creative Industries in the Digital Age, in Peter Menell & Ben Depoorter, eds., Handbook on the Law & Economics of Intellectual Property (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2016).

    Digital Content Production in Nigeria and Brazil: A Case for Cultural Optimism?, in Transnational Culture in the Internet Age (2012).

    Introduction: Navigating in the Dark When Bits Have No Borders, in Transnational Culture in the Internet Age (2012), (with Adam Candeub).

    Comparisons in Color Consciousness: Targeting Affirmative Action in India, France and the US, in Barbara Pozzo, ed., Multiculturalisms: Meanings and Perspectives of Multiculturalism in a Global World (2009).