FTC to Co-Sponsor June 9 Conference on Patent Reform

For Release


On June 9, 2005, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP), and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) will co-sponsor a conference on patent reform in Washington, DC. FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras will join Yale University President Richard Levin in offering opening remarks. The Honorable Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will give the keynote address.


The conference builds on the hearings that led to the FTC’s 2003 Report “To Promote Innovation: The Proper Balance of Competition and Patent Law and Policy,” the research that resulted in a 2004 report by the STEP Board and position papers formulated by AIPLA.


“Through this session, we continue our efforts to seek out the views of all stakeholders in the patent reform process,” Chairman Majoras explained. “The FTC has recommended a number of steps to preserve the appropriate balance between competition and patent law, and several of those ideas are focal points of current debate.”


FTC recommendations to be discussed include establishment of a system of post-grant review within the Patent and Trademark Office to weed out questionable patents; limiting litigation over willful infringement in order to foster dissemination of information about inventions; and expanding publication of patent applications to avoid harm to competition and to facilitate rational business planning. The conference will bring together governmental officials, representatives of small and large businesses, academics, patent specialists, and university officials to discuss these and other possible reforms. It will serve as the culmination of a series of meetings that began with three patent reform town meetings in February and March.


Separate panels will present Industry Perspectives on Patent Reform, “Small Entity” Perspectives on Patent Reform, Empirical Studies on the Patent System, and the Judicial Perspective on Patent Reform. A final panel will provide Commentary on Patent Reform, and the conference will end with a summation of the day’s discussions.


The conference will be held at the National Academy of Sciences Building Auditorium, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC. The complete agenda, including schedules and a list of speakers is available on the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/opp/intellect/050601agendatownmtg.pdf. Registration information is available on the AIPLA’s Web site at http://www.aipla.org/Template.cfm?template=/ContentManagement/


Summaries of the three patent reform town meetings appear at: http://www.ftc.gov/opp/intellect/050601summarytownmtg.pdf, and transcripts of those sessions can be found at http://www.aipla.org/Content/ContentGroups/Meetings_and_Events1/
; http://www.aipla.org/
; and http://www.aipla.org/Content/


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Contact Information

Media Contact:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Susan DeSanti,
Office of General Counsel