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.
The Debate Over the Proper Scope of Patents
The Realities of Patent Litigation: A Search for Truth or Leverage for Patent Holders?
Patents, Start-up Companies, and Financing Decisions
Roundtable Discussion: Software Patents in Perspective
Colorado Bar Association IP Section