Just How Broken Is the Patent System? A Future Tense event.

Just How Broken Is the Patent System? A Future Tense Event.

Just How Broken Is the Patent System? A Future Tense Event.

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Nov. 26 2013 12:52 PM

Just How Broken Is the Patent System? A Future Tense Event.

America's patent system was intended to promote the creation of useful inventions, but is the system shattered? A property right granted for a limited time, patents have allowed generations of innovators to profit from their creations and, in turn, the public to benefit from thousands of new ideas and technologies. But the rise of litigious patent trolls has suffocated startups and prompted a patent-gathering arms race between technology giants. Has the balance between rewarding innovation and spreading knowledge been lost? And if the marketplace for new ideas is being diminished by overly broad and frivolous patents, what are the implications for innovation, public health, and even our environment?

Join Future Tense—a partnership of Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate—and the Open Technology Institute on Monday, Dec. 9, in Washington, D.C., from 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. for an event on what’s wrong with the patent system—and how it can be fixed. For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.



8:45 a.m. Coffee and registration

9:00 a.m. "To promote the progress of science and useful arts": Is the System Broken?

Adam Mossoff
Professor of law and co-director of academic programs, George Mason University
Senior scholar, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property


Deven Desai
Professor of law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Former academic research counsel, Google

Annie Lowery
Economic policy reporter, New York Times

9:30 a.m. The Shifting Battleground of Patent Assertion

Danny Seigle
Director of operations, FindTheBest.com


William H. Sorrell
Attorney general of Vermont

Liz Garner
Director, commerce & entrepreneurship, National Restaurant Association

Visar Berisha
Assistant professor, speech and hearing science and electrical engineering, Arizona State University

Timothy B. Lee
Editor of the Switch, Washington Post


10:30 a.m. Global Health's Challenge to the Logic of Patents

Judit Rius Sanjuan
U.S. manager, access campaign for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

Thomas J. Bollyky
Senior fellow for global health, economics, and development, Council on Foreign Relations

Joshua Keating
Staff writer, Slate


11 a.m. Coffee Break

11:15 a.m. Striking a Balance on Green Innovation

Joshua D. Sarnoff
Professor of law, DePaul University
Former consultant to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on international intellectual property, trade, and environmental issues

Daniel Ravicher
Lecturer in law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Executive director, Public Patent Foundation

Christopher Leonard
New America Foundation fellow
Author of The Meat Racket, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster

11.45 a.m. Can the Patent System Be Fixed?

Julie Samuels
Senior staff attorney and the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents, Electronic Frontiers Foundation

John Potter
President, Application Developers Alliance

Erik Lieberman
Regulatory counsel, Food Marketing Institute

Ben Lennett

Senior research fellow, Open Technology Institute

12:30 p.m. Keynote Address

Maureen K. Ohlhausen
Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

Update, Nov. 27: This post has been updated to reflect changes in the speaker lineup.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.