Evaluating Software Patents

March 19, 2009
@ Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado at Boulder

Post-Event Coverage

See post-event blogging from Pierre de Vries and Eric Schmidt.

Co-sponsored by the IP Section of the Colorado Bar Association

Over the last several years, the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit have taken a number of steps suggesting that the law governing software patents is still very much in flux. In terms of the scope of patent law's reach (Bilski) to applicable remedies (Ebay), the courts have taken seriously concerns about the state of the patent system and its impact on innovation the software and information technology sectors. At the same time, Congress--spurred by a coalition of IT firms--has considered a number of reform measures geared to address concerns that the patent system is rewarding bad patents and encouraging inefficient litigation.

In this conference, we will evaluate both the premises underlying the call for a fundamental reform--and, indeed, the possible abolishment of--software patents as well as some specific suggestions for changing how patents are granted and how patent litigation operates. In particular, we will evaluate whether software patents should exist at all, whether patent litigation serves a constructive role in facilitating innovation and commercialization of new technologies, and whether patents play an important role in spurring the development of new technologies and enabling start-up firms to attract financing. It will conclude with a roundtable of three leading commentators on the role of patents and innovation.

Welcome
3:00pm - 3:10pm
  • Phil Weiser
    Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation
    National Economic Council
The Debate Over the Proper Scope of Patents
3:10pm - 4:10pm
  • John Duffy
    Armistead M. Dobie Professor of Law
    University of Virginia School of Law
  • Damien Geradin
    Professor of Competition Law and Economics
    Tilburg University
  • Kevin Luo
    Associate General Counsel
    Microsoft
  • Michael Meurer
    Professor of Law
    Boston University
  • Timothy Scull
    Partner
    Merchant & Gould P.C.
The Realities of Patent Litigation: A Search for Truth or Leverage for Patent Holders?
4:10pm - 5:10pm
  • Natalie Hanlon-Leh
    Partner
    Faegre Baker Daniels
  • Mark Lemley
    William H. Neukom Professor of Law
    Stanford University
  • Sean Murphy
    VP of Government Affairs
    Qualcomm
  • John Posthumus
    Partner
    Greenberg Traurig
Break
5:10pm - 5:20pm
Patents, Start-up Companies, and Financing Decisions
5:20pm - 6:20pm
  • Michael Crawford
    Partner
    Q Advisors
  • Jason Haislmaier
    Partner
    Bryan Cave LLP
    Adjunct Faculty
    University of Colorado
  • Jason Mendelson
    Managing Director
    Foundry Group
  • Sean O'Connor
    Associate Professor of Law
    University of Washington
  • Bill Vobach
    Partner
    Townsend and Townsend and Crew, LLP
Roundtable Discussion: Software Patents in Perspective
6:20pm - 7:00pm
  • John Duffy
    Armistead M. Dobie Professor of Law
    University of Virginia School of Law
  • Mark Lemley
    William H. Neukom Professor of Law
    Stanford University
  • Michael Meurer
    Professor of Law
    Boston University
Reception
Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig
7:00pm - 8:00pm