Live Blogging from 2011 Sughrue Symposium on IP Law in Akron, Ohio.
We are attending the 2011 Sughrue Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy today. The Symposium is co-sponsored by The University of Akron School of Law and Sughrue Mion, PLLC, and has been offered on an annual basis for the past 13 years.
We have attended the Symposium in the past, and have always found it to be very instructive. This year’s Symposium is certainly living up to our expectations. An excellent review of U.S. Patent Law developments in 2010, including recent Supreme Court and CAFC decisions, was provided in the first presentation by Donald Chisum. Robert Clarida (partner at the law firm of Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C.) has also just completed an informative, and highly entertaining, review of Copyright Law in 2009-2010.
If you happen to see us at the Symposium, feel free to say “hi” and let us know your thoughts on this year’s presentations, or IP law developments in general!
JW Update 2:15PM:
The Symposium is proving to be excellent, per usual. A very good panel prior to the lunch break including Paul Michel, Chief Circuit Judge (Retired), and Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights (Retired). Being recently retired, both Judge Michel and Ms. Peters had the freedom to exercise their 1st Amendment rights and speak their minds on the state of IP law.
With reference to patent law, in particular, Judge Michel predicts that patent legislation, at least in a limited form, will be enacted in this term. He believes that first-to-file and at least some form of new post-grant review will be part of the final legislation to be signed into law, but that fee diversion at the USPTO may not be. Judge Michel’s strongest statements, however, were reserved for the SCOTUS. Paraphrased, he opined that the vast majority, if not all, of the Supreme Court justices are anti-patent for one reason or another. Judge Michel also believes that the SCOTUS will likely weaken the presumption of validity in case of Microsoft Corporation v. i4i Limited Partnership, presently before the court.
The featured speaker at lunch was Robert Bahr, Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Mr. Bahr gave a good overview of various on-goings at the USPTO, including the guidance that has been provided to Examiners relating to the Bilski opinion, and the proposed Three Track Program.