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Just How Broken Is the Patent System?

*Due to inclement weather, this event has been postponed until further notice. 

America's patent system was intended to promote the creation of useful inventions, but is the system broken? 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 start-ups 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?

Refreshments will be served. 

    Join the conversation online using #FTpatents
    and following @FutureTenseNow and @OTI

If you are unable to join us in person, please tune in to our live webcast of the event. No signup is required to view the streaming video. 


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, 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 Lowrey
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
US 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

11:00 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?

Erik Lieberman
Regulatory Counsel, Food Marketing Institute

Julie Samuels
Senior Staff Attorney and the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents, Electonric Frontier Foundation

Jon Potter
President, Application Developers Alliance

Ben Lennett
Senior Research Fellow, Open Technology Institute

12:30 p.m. Keynote address

Maureen K. Ohlhausen
Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

Event Time and Location

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 8:45am - 1:00pm
New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036