May 2009 FTC Hearings

FTC Hearing

These hearings examined the operation of IP and technology markets in different industries: how and why companies buy, sell and license patents; how patents support innovation and technology transfer; what aspects of the patent system create difficulties when seeking freedom to operate; and how the potential of patent litigation affects the operation of IP markets.
               

Moderators from the FTC included:

Suzanne Michel: Assistant Director for Policy and Coordination, FTC
Bill Adkinson: Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Policy Studies
Bill Cohen: Deputy General Counsel for Policy Studies
Erika L. Meyers: Attorney, Office of Policy & Coordination, Bureau of Competition, FTC
Joel Schrag: Bureau of Economics, FTC


         
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Panelists examined how patents facilitate technology transfer, whether markets for technology and IP operate efficiently and transparently, and what can be done to improve their operation.

Henry Chesbrough: PDF
Bronwyn Hall: PDF
Robert P. Merges: PDF
Rosemarie Ziedonis: PDF
  
Audio Part II
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Experts from academia and the bar addressed the extent to which the patent system adequately fulfills its notice function -- for example, ensuring that firms seeking to develop or license innovative technologies can obtain clear and timely information regarding the existence and scope of relevant patents and patent applications. Specifically, panelists considered how various patent law doctrines and patent examination procedures affect notice, including (1) legal standards such as rules of claim construction and standards governing indefiniteness, written description, and enablement, and (2) examination practices and procedures, including notice available from information supplied by applicants and examiners, the use of continuing applications, and the publication of applications. Panelists also discussed the extent to which the sheer number of potentially relevant patents and patent applications hinders effective notice and considered whether any adjustments to the patent system are warranted.
          
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This panel discussed trends in damage awards, the current standards governing patent damages, and their impact on patent value and innovation. It examined various approaches to damages calculation and the evidence used in assessing damages, particularly in the context of reasonable royalty determinations. This panel also explored permanent injunctions in patent cases in the wake of the Supreme Court's eBay decision and the impact of recent changes to the doctrine of willful infringement.
                           
Audio Part II
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