Preventing patent abuse: Prospects for reform
Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy
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Event Summary

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Patent litigation reform aimed at curbing the detrimental effects of patent-troll behavior is making its way through Congress. At an AEI event on Thursday morning, Noah Phillips, chief counsel for Senator John Cornyn, laid out the provisions of the Patent Abuse Reduction Act, citing a study that found that nonpracticing entities — firms that hold patents but do not produce products or services — cost the US economy at least $29 billion every year.

In a panel discussion following Phillips's keynote, Verizon's Gail Levine explained how patent-troll behavior is very problematic because it works as a tax on innovation. Todd Moore of TMSOFT called for increased transparency, improved patent quality, and changes to the US fee-shifting structure. Julie Hopkins from Tydings & Rosenberg stressed the need for a nuanced approach, emphasizing that certain provisions in the bills currently under consideration — provisions such as heightened pleading requirements — are concerning.

Qualcomm's Laurie Self stressed that patent reform needs to be carefully designed to avoid making legitimate patent infringement claims more difficult. John Ellenthal of Patent Properties concluded that the biggest problem facing America's patent system is the fact that all deals seem to be made in courtrooms, and stressed the importance of building a well-functioning patent marketplace.
--Guro Ekrann

Event Description

In May 2013, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Patent Abuse Reduction Act, which calls for enhanced pleading requirements, fee shifting, limits on discovery, and the joinder of real parties in interest in patent cases. Senator Cornyn’s bill and several other patent reform measures are currently being considered in the US Senate. 

Join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy to hear from Senator Cornyn's Chief Counsel and a panel of experts on the issues being debated in the Senate and the prospects that Congress will send patent legislation reform to the president’s desk during 2014.

To register for this event, please email Tara Kroll at [email protected].

Agenda

8:45 AM
Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM
Introduction:
James K. Glassman, AEI

9:05 AM
Keynote Address:
Noah Phillips, Chief Counsel, Office of Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

9:30 AM
Panelists:
Jon Ellenthal
, Patent Properties Inc.
Julie Hopkins
, Tydings & Rosenberg LLP
Gail Levine
, Verizon
Todd Moore, TMSOFT
Laurie Self, Qualcomm
Lawrence Waugh, Calavista

Moderator:
Michael Rosen, AEI and University of San Diego

10:30 AM
Adjournment

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Guro Ekrann at [email protected], 202.862.5882.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Jon Ellenthal is the CEO and vice chairman of Patent Properties, an intellectual property company that develops and commercializes patents and other intellectual property assets created by the research and development lab Walker Digital LLC. He is also the president of TEDMED LLC and a partner in the company, which runs an annual innovation summit for health and medicine. For the past five years, Ellenthal served as the CEO of Walker Digital and was responsible for all business operations, research and development, and Internet Protocol portfolio licensing. He also oversaw the finance, legal, and administration divisions. Previously, Ellenthal was the CEO of Synapse Group Inc., a direct marketing subsidiary of Time Warner that is responsible for more than 30 million customers and 2 billion pieces of consumer promotion each year.

James K. Glassman is a visiting fellow at AEI, where he works on Internet and communications policy in the new AEI Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy. Glassman rejoined AEI in August after having served as under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, during which time he led America’s public diplomacy outreach and inaugurated the use of new Internet technology in these efforts, an approach he christened “public diplomacy 2.0.” He was also chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent federal agency that oversees all US government nonmilitary international broadcasting. Most recently, Glassman was instrumental in the creation of the George W. Bush Institute, where he remains the founding executive director. Before his government service, Glassman was a senior fellow at AEI, where he specialized in economics and technology and founded The American, AEI’s magazine. In addition to his government service, Glassman was a former president of The Atlantic, publisher of The New Republic, executive vice president of US News & World Report, and editor-in-chief and co-owner of Roll Call.

Julie Hopkins is a partner at Tydings & Rosenberg in Baltimore and is the chair of the firm’s intellectual property group. A registered patent attorney, she represents domestic and international clients in patent counseling and procurement. She helps clients patent, protect, and commercialize inventions in numerous areas including pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, consumer products, and business methods. She also practices trademark prosecution, registration, and enforcement, with a particular emphasis on the searching and clearance of brand names, logos, slogans, and trade dress. Hopkins's litigation experience includes trademark, unfair competition, copyright, and patent infringement actions in the US District Courts. She has represented clients both in appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Federal Circuit and in trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. She has published numerous articles in publications such as The Hill’s Congress blog, IP Watchdog, United Press International, The Denver Post, the Austin American-Statesman, and Re/Code. Hopkins recently spoke on patent reform at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival and on Capitol Hill.

Gail Levine is vice president and associate general counsel for intellectual property and federal regulatory affairs at Verizon. She is responsible for shaping the company’s patent policy program, leading its Federal Trade Commission initiatives, and coordinating its advocacy on the Internet of Things. Until 2011, she handled antitrust and patent issues as assistant general counsel at Verizon. She serves on the council of the antitrust section of the American Bar Association (ABA) and chaired the intellectual property working group of the ABA antitrust section’s 2012 Transition Task Force, which offered recommendations to the Obama administration on antitrust and consumer protection issues.

Todd Moore is an app developer, technology host, and published author. He created the popular smartphone app White Noise, which has been recommended by celebrities including Dr. Oz, Savannah Guthrie, and Maria Menounos and has been downloaded by millions of customers. His book “Tap, Move, Shake” (O’Reilly Media, 2012), which features a foreword by Steve Wozniak of Apple Inc., shows how anyone can publish their ideas to the iTunes App Store. Moore also gives tech advice at mobile conferences and on his weekly Tech 411 podcast.

Michael Rosen is a visiting fellow at AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy and an intellectual property attorney with Fish & Richardson in San Diego. His work is focused on patent litigation and strategic counseling across a variety of technological areas. He is also an adjunct professor of law at the University of San Diego School of Law and a regular contributor to The American, Politico, and The Weekly Standard. Rosen’s work also appears in publications including Reuters, National Review Online, Commentary magazine, and a variety of San Diego–based newspapers and online outlets.

Laurie Self is vice president and counsel of government affairs at Qualcomm Inc., where she specializes in intellectual property law and related policy matters. She represents Qualcomm before Congress and a number of US government offices as well as within various professional and advocacy groups. She also supports Qualcomm’s strategy and initiatives to promote strong intellectual property rights in China and other emerging markets and to combat counterfeiting and gray-market mobile devices and components. Her particular focus is to ensure that US intellectual property and trade policies provide the necessary protections and incentives to support Qualcomm’s research and development–driven business model. Before her arrival at Qualcomm in July 2012, Self was a partner at the firm Covington & Burling, where she chaired the firm’s intellectual property practice group.

Lawrence Waugh is a former US Navy carrier pilot and cofounder of Calavista Software, a software development firm that uses its licensed proprietary and patented development tools and testing services to help other companies improve the quality of software delivery. Before founding Calavista, he was recruited by Trilogy Software in Austin and spent seven years working with various enterprise software companies in development and consulting roles ranging from individual contributor to vice president of engineering. During that time, he became passionately concerned with software quality and the development processes and tools that promote it.

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AEI Participants

 

James K.
Glassman
  • James K. Glassman is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on Internet and communications policy in the new AEI Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy.

    A scholar, diplomat, and journalist, Glassman rejoins AEI after having served as under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, during which time he led America’s public diplomacy outreach and inaugurated the use of new Internet technology in these efforts, an approach he christened “public diplomacy 2.0.” He was also chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent federal agency that oversees all US government nonmilitary international broadcasting. Most recently, Glassman was instrumental in the creation of the George W. Bush Institute, where he remains the founding executive director.

    Before his government service, Glassman was a senior fellow at AEI, where he specialized in economics and technology and founded The American, AEI’s magazine, which he led as editor-in-chief until his departure from AEI in 2007.

    In addition to his government service, Glassman was a former president of The Atlantic, publisher of The New Republic, executive vice president of US News & World Report, and editor-in-chief and co-owner of Roll Call. As a columnist for The Washington Post, Glassman wrote about political and economic issues. He was also the host of CNN’s “Capital Gang Sunday” and of PBS’s “TechnoPolitics.” In 2000, he cofounded TCS, a technology and policy website. His most recent book is “The Secret Code of the Superior Investor” (Crown Forum).


    Glassman has a B.A. in government from Harvard College where he was a managing editor of The Crimson.


     

  • Email: [email protected]
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