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The Federal Trade Commission today announced the second in a series of public hearings exploring the evolving market for intellectual property (IP). These hearings, to be held February 11 and 12, 2009 in Washington, DC, will examine remedies for patent infringement. District Court Judge Sue L. Robinson (U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware) will deliver the keynote address on the opening day.

The February 11 hearing will address patent damages, including the standards that govern such assessments, the application of these standards in court proceedings, and the impact of the resulting awards on business activity, including licensing and innovation. The hearing on February 12 will focus on permanent injunctions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s eBay decision and willful infringement. Panelists will consider, among other issues, the criteria courts have considered in deciding whether to grant or deny an injunction and the effect of these legal doctrines on innovation and business strategies. An agenda for the hearings is available on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release.

These hearings are part of an ongoing series of public hearings that will examine changes in patent law, patent-related business models, and new learning about the operation of the IP marketplace since the issuance in October 2003 of the Commission report on the patent system, “To Promote Innovation: The Proper Balance of Competition and Patent Law and Policy.” The Commission held the initial hearing in the series on December 5, 2008. Additional information about the series is available at the Web site for the hearings,

The Commission is seeking public comments on the remedies issues to be discussed at the February 11 and 12 hearings, and in response to any of the topics raised in the Federal Register notice announcing the hearings on the Evolving IP Marketplace. Comments must be received by February 5, 2009, and should refer to “Evolving IP Marketplace - P093900.” The Federal Register notice and information on how to submit written and electronic comments to the Commission are available at the web site for the hearings,

The FTC’s hearings on the Evolving IP Marketplace are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is helpful but not required. All attendees must present a valid photo ID for admission to the agency’s Satellite building, which is located at 601 New Jersey Ave., NW. The hearings will be accessible to people with disabilities. Anyone needing a related accommodation should contact Carrie McGlothlin at the FTC at 202-326-3388 or Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodations needed and contact information if more information is needed. Please provide advance notice of accommodation needs.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(IP Hearings.wpd)

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
Erika Meyers,
Bureau of Competition