Thursday, May 13, 2010

Public Workshop Will Focus on Intersection of Patent, Competition Policy

This posting was written by John W. Arden.

The Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, and the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a joint public workshop on Wednesday, May 26, on the intersection of patent policy and competition policy and its implications for promoting innovation.

In recent years, federal agencies and the courts have recognized that patents and competition share the overall purpose of promoting innovation and enhancing consumer welfare, according to the Commission.

The competitive drive of a dynamic marketplace fosters the introduction of new and improved products and processes, and high-quality patents promote investment in innovation. Delay, uncertainty, or poor patent quality can stifle innovation—as can unclear or inappropriate antitrust standards, said the FTC announcement.

Program Schedule

Opening remarks for the morning session will be delivered by Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division Christine Varney; Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David J. Kappos; and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez will open the afternoon session with introductory remarks.

The program will address (1) The Patent Backlog: The Competitive Challenges for Innovators; (2) Permanent Injunctions in the District Courts and the International Trade Commission; and (3) Standard Setting, Patent Rights, and Competition Policy.

A wrap-up discussion will be lead by Carl Shapiro, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economic Analysis at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division; Joseph Farrell, Director of the Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission; and Stuart Graham, Chief Economist for the USPTO.

The all-day workshop will convene at 9 a.m. at the USPTO’s campus at 600 Dulany Street, Madison Building Auditorium, Alexandria, Virginia. Details appear here on the FTC website.

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