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Children who tag along when their parents visit Mari M. Shaw in her Philadelphia office get a special treat. Shaw, an intellectual property litigation partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, hands each child visitor a toy from the abundant supply she keeps on hand. The children, in turn, often draw a picture of their favorite toys, and Shaw hangs them in her office. It’s not just that Shaw is a mother and sympathetic to a child’s boredom while grownups discuss complicated legal issues. She’s also a founder of Bozart, a toy company through which artists receive revenues from the use of their intellectual property, and she loves seeing how children react to the products. COLLECTING LED TO INVESTING Shaw, and her husband Peter L. Shaw-a former partner at Philadelphia’s Saul Ewing turned real-estate investor-have long been high-profile contemporary-art collectors. They were deeply dismayed several years ago when Larry Mangel, one of the Philadelphia art dealers they patronized, fell on hard times. According to a 1997 article in Business Philadelphia, annual sales at Mangel’s Lawrence Oliver Gallery sank from $3 million to less than $50,000. Not only was their favorite dealer hurting, but so were the artists who depended on gallery sales for a major hunk of their income. Mangel came up with the idea of commissioning his stable of artists to design children’s toys to sell for $25 or less at high-end toy and department stores. The Shaws decided to invest in the nascent company, and Shaw became the architect of the company’s novel intellectual property policy, which is posted at “Copyright to the toys resides with the artists, the company has a license to those copyrights, and the company owns the trademarks,” she explains. “It’s entirely an intellectual-property-based company.” Artists who have produced toys include photographers William Wegman and Laurie Simmons, sculptors Jon Kessler and Daniel Oates and architect Peter Wheelwright. The toys are made in China. Initially, the factory there sought permission to license the products for the Asian market. Fearing knock-offs, Bozart declined, said Shaw. She was pleased to discover, as an added but unintentional element of IP protection, that the designs for Bozart products are not particularly culturally appealing in China. One of the best sellers is a demented-looking dragon marionette designed by Oates. “The licensing request was dropped once they saw our funky dragon,” says Shaw. “A dragon has almost holy status in China, and ours doesn’t look very holy.” Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Prof. Paul Goldstein, who teaches copyright law at Stanford University Law School, suggested that Bozart’s ultimate anti-piracy strategy might next be “not to distribute your product at all.” Shaw confesses that while the IP cases she handles on behalf of such clients as occupy her mind and consume most of the hours of her day, the toy business “has captured such organs as my heart.” Already, in her off-hours, she’s teaching an art class for disadvantaged children, using Bozart toys as a creative stimulus.

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