CPIP Hosts Conference on Patent Law
From Lab to Market: How Intellectual Property Secures the Benefits of R&D
On March 21, 2014, the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) hosted a conference on patent law, From Lab To Market: How Intellectual Property Secures the Benefits of R&D, at George Mason University School of Law.
The keynote speaker was the Hon. Randall R. Rader, and the conference panels were dedicated to discussing the essential role that intellectual property plays in converting the research conducted at universities and labs throughout the country into valuable technology and products, and the legal and policy decisions that affect that process. CPIP and WARF would like to thank our supporting organizations and all the conference speakers and attendees for helping create this timely and thoughtful discussion of the intellectual property framework that allows us to harness the value of our country’s unparalleled R&D.
CPIP Fellow Sean O’Connor Testifies at House Judiciary Committee Hearing on the DMCA Notice and Takedown System
On March 13, 2014, Professor Sean O’Connor (a CPIP da Vinci, Edison, and Twain Fellow), testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary at a hearing regarding the DMCA notice and takedown system. Professor O’Connor discussed how the current notice and takedown regime discourages web businesses from monitoring content for copyright infringement, and encourages a culture of copyright contempt. Despite millions of takedown notices, wholesale copies of creative works (not mash-ups, parodies, or excerpts, but infringing copies of the entire work) are routinely re-posted on the same sites receiving the takedown notices just moments after they are taken down, offering creators no relief from free access to their property.
Professor O’Connor proposed two simple, focused solutions to improve the notice and takedown process for the most egregious cases (continually re-posted wholesale copies) and to decrease the number of notices for all parties involved: (1) “Notice and stay-down,” and (2) codified “willful blindness.”
On January 14, 2014, Professor Mark Schultz testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary at a hearing regarding “The Scope of Copyright Protection.” Professor Schultz discussed the moral and economic importance of broad protection for creative works and broadcasts. In particular, he argued that “creators, businesses, and the public are all best served when our intellectual property laws recognize the essential core value that those who invest labor and risk capital to create and distribute original content deserve protection” of their property. During the Q&A, professor Schultz also noted the need to revisit the DMCA notice and takedown system, which is outdated and no longer works to protect creators’ property rights.
On December 5, 2013, CPIP released an important new policy brief, The Failure of the DMCA Notice and Takedown System: A Twentieth Century Solution to a Twenty-First Century Problem,” by Professor Bruce Boyden of Marquette University Law School. Professor Boyden argues that the DMCA notice and takedown system is outdated and not up to the task of reducing the availability of infringing copies of creative works. A tool that was originally designed as an emergency stopgap measure, to be used in isolated instances, is now expected to manage infringement on a persistent, ubiquitous, and gargantuan scale. Copyright owners currently send takedown notices at an annualized rate of over 78 million infringing files, and yet every day these same files are still available on the most heavily trafficked websites. In short, the notice and takedown system is long overdue for an update that actually works to prevent today’s wide-scale infringement.
On November 7, 2013, Professor Adam Mossoff testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation at a hearing regarding Patent Assertion Entities. Professor Mossoff urged caution in making additional changes to the patent system so soon after the significant revisions of the America Invents Act of 2011, and he noted that the USPTO and the courts have the necessary tools to address bad actors in the patent system. He also provided historical insight on the patent licensing business model as well as a thoughtful analysis of the problematic terminology used in today’s patent policy discussions.
Inaugural Conference on Patent Law: The Commercial Function of Patents in Today’s Innovation Economy
Keynote Speaker: FTC Commissioner Joshua D. Wright
September 12-13, 2013
George Mason University School of Law
Supporting Organization: American Intellectual Property Law Association
Co-Sponsored by the Federal Circuit Bar Association and
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox
On September 12-13, 2013, CPIP hosted its inaugural conference on patent law, “The Commercial Function of Patents in Today’s Innovation Economy,” at George Mason University School of Law. The conference panels addressed the function of the commercial system in the creation and distribution of patented innovation.
The conference was dedicated to a largely neglected perspective on patents: how they facilitate commercial transactions, and thus foster innovation and new businesses and products. Public policy discussions about patents focus almost entirely on litigation, but litigation is just a small part of the patent system. While a few notable disputes get all the attention, the reality is that patents facilitate millions of win-win transactions every day. The conference considered this overlooked perspective on the patent system and what it can contribute to public policy debates. CPIP would like to thank all of the speakers and panelists for helping create an engaging and informative conference.
Judicial Panel on the Patent System
On May 14, 2013, the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property co-sponsored a panel of distinguished judges, who discussed the current state of the patent system. The panelists were:
- Hon. Richard A. Posner, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Hon. Paul R. Michel, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Hon. Arthur J. Gajarsa, former Circuit Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Moderator: Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
The combined panelists reflected years of experience in adjudicating patent cases, writing on patent or IP policy, and addressing issues related to the patent system, such as antitrust and law and economics. With wide-ranging views on the current health of the patent system and the relevant solutions, the panel discussion was insightful and illuminating. The event was co-sponsored with the Federalist Society’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and was held at the National Press Club.
Selected interview and panel remarks by Judge Michel:
Selected interview and panel remarks by Judge Gajarsa:
Video of the entire event:
CPIP Launches Leonardo da Vinci Fellowship Program
The Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property is proud to announce the launch of our Leonardo da Vinci Fellowship program. This program will provide significant funding for scholarship in intellectual property law, and is a key component of CPIP’s mission to promote a balanced discussion about intellectual property rights and their fundamental role in a successful and flourishing economy.
More Information about the program and how to apply (pdf).
Is the Patent System Working or Broken? A Discussion with Judges Posner and Michel – Podcast
Recently, the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property co-sponsored a teleforum event with the Federalist Society’s Intellectual Property Practice Group that examined whether the patent system promotes or hampers innovation. We hosted two distinguished jurists: Hon. Paul R. Michel, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and Hon. Richard A. Posner of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Both judges have unparalleled depth in knowledge about patent policy and the working details of the patent system. This teleforum brings them together for the first time to discuss their respective views on whether the patent system today is properly securing property rights in new innovation.
Listen to a Podcast of the Teleforum.