2011 Events

12th Annual Silicon Valley Advanced Patent Law Institute

December 8-9, 2011

This annual program is organized by BCLT, the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology and the University of Texas School of Law and features two days of in-depth presentations by leading academics, practitioners and judges on the latest patent law developments. This year’s topics included reexamination, indirect infringement, joint infringement, patentable subject matter, claim construction, and developments at the ITC.

Visit the conference page for more information.

The Internet in Bello: Seminar on Cyberwar Law, Ethics & Policy

November 18, 2011

The seminar, co-sponsored with  Berkeley Law’s Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, examined legal, ethical and policy issues posed by cyber warfare.  While much attention has been paid to jus ad bellum issues – examining when and under what circumstances a cyber attack constitutes an armed attack for the purposes of self defense – relatively little discussion has focused on how cyber warfare might require new rules, or new interpretations of rules, regarding the conduct of hostilities, or the jus in bello, once armed conflict has begun. The Internet in Bello seminar provided an opportunity for scholars and practitioners to explore issues such as intelligence-gathering and other means of ‘preparing the battlefield’; neutrality before and during cyber war, starting with how to interpret in the Internet era the traditional requirement that neutral States not participating in a given armed conflict not allow the movements of troops or weapons across their territories; as well as questions relating to how cyber operations intersect with the established rule that an attack is an act of violence and the fundamental humanitarian principle of distinction, which holds that civilians should be protected against dangers arising from military operations.

Visit the conference page for more information.

Back to School: The New Patent Law Explained

October 21, 2011

The US Patent Law has been revised in major ways. On October 21, 2011, BCLT hosted a conference where professors and practitioners provided detailed explanations of the changes and discussed the impact on patent prosecution, counseling and litigation. Participants were invited to come ‘back to school’ and learn from the experts.

Audio, photos and PPT are available on the conference page.

Defense 2.0: New Strategies for Reducing Patent Risk

October 14, 2011

For many years, technology companies have accumulated large numbers of patents based on the belief that doing so ensures their freedom to operate. This freedom has come under increasing threat from both patent-assertion entities (PAEs), who have enforced their patents against a wide range of high tech companies, and the growing number of lawsuits between product companies. The secondary market has fueled both trends by funneling patents to PAEs and by enabling practicing companies to acquire large patent portfolios, most recently from Nortel and Motorola Mobility.

Companies need to rethink how best to maintain their freedom to develop and launch innovative new products and services in light of these developments. This conference was co-sponsored with the High Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University Law School and brought together professors, attorneys and other patent experts to explore new defensive strategies for navigating the evolving patent landscape in the US and abroad.

Intellectual Property Scholar’s Conference

August 11-12, 2011

The IPSC Conference is co-sponsored by BCLT, Berkeley Law; the Intellectual Property Program, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University; the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Information Technology, DePaul University College of Law; and the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology, Stanford Law School. This annual conference brings together intellectual property scholars to present their works-in-progress and to listen and discuss others’ works. The format of the conference facilitates open discussion and helps scholars hone their ideas.

Visit the conference page for more information.

Online Tracking Protection & Browsers (European Event)

June 22-23, 2011

While US regulators and legislators consider a “do not track” mechanism to allow more effective control of online collection of information, European regulators have moved aggressively to give consumers more control over their mere placement of cookies through the E-Privacy directive.  Many questions surround the confluence of US and European developments, including the scope of do not track, the implications of different implementations of do not track, the economic implications of greater consumer control over tracking and how do not track will be applied in European markets.  BCLT and the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law hosted a workshop to explore the law and technology of online tracking and mechanisms for consumer control of tracking June 22-23 in Brussels, Belgium.  Participants included FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes, The Office of Science and Technology Policy CTO Daniel Weitzner, DG Society Director Robert Madelin and technologist Ashkan Soltani.

Improving the USPTO-District Court Interface: Private Summit and Public Conference

June 6-7, 2011

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and federal district courts are the principal and inter-related institutions in the administration of the patent system, yet they are almost entirely uncoordinated and have no lines of communication.  This historic summit and workshop initiated a dialogue between the Patent Office and the district court bench intended to improve the functioning of the overall patent system.  We focused on two salient issues of great interest to both institutions: (1) the need for greater clarity in the drafting of patent claims; and (2) growth in patent re-examination.  The summit and workshop provided an opportunity for USPTO officials to communicate directly with experienced federal district judges regarding the challenges of interpreting patents and the growth and opportunities for better coordination in the re-examination of patents.

Audio, photos, PPT and background materials are available on the conference page.


Fourth Annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference

June 2 & 3, 2011

BCLT and The George Washington University Law School held the fourth annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) in Berkeley on June 2-3, 2011. The PLSC assembles a wide array of privacy law scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues and foster greater connections between academia and practice. It brings together privacy law scholars, privacy scholars from other disciplines (economics, philosophy, political science, computer science) and practitioners from industry, law firms and government. The event enhances ties within the privacy law community and facilitates dialogue between the different parts of that community (academy, government, industry and public interest).

Papers and a list of participants are available on the conference page.

National Security and Free Speech: From Wikileaks to the Pentagon Papers

April 28, 2011

BCLT partnered with KQED News, Berkeley Law, and the UC Berkeley School of Information to produce this conference on the Wikileaks saga, which brought new urgency to central tensions between speech and national security, transparency and diplomacy. The event also focused attention on how new technologies, such as cloud computing and social media, further complicate these perennially difficult questions.  The panels were followed by a free screening of “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” a documentary by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith. The event was also produced in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and PBS’s nonfiction film series POV.

Audio and photos are available on the conference page.

NELIC 2011: The New and Emerging Legal Infrastructures Conference

April 15, 2011

BCLT co-sponsored this student-driven conference on April 15, 2011 at Berkeley Law. It brought together the lawyers, entrepreneurs and technologists who are working to build the next disruptive technologies in the legal industry.

The aim of the conference was to provide a meeting point for a deep and substantive discussion about the long-term impact of these technologies, and how they might come to be broadly adapted in the industry as a whole. Topics included quantitative legal prediction, legal automation, legal finance and the design of user-facing interfaces that make it possible for laypeople to manage the law.

Visit the conference page for more information.

Beyond Piracy: Managing IP Risks in the New China

March 10, 2011

The Intellectual Property enforcement system in China has made great advances in recent years. Companies doing business still have to be vigilant to protect their own IP, but they also have to manage the risks and consequences of infringing, or being accused of infringing, the IP of others. This conference examined best practices for avoiding infringement, defending infringement litigation and developing a defensive patent portfolio in China. We also looked at such issues as whether China’s encouragement of indigenous innovation disadvantages foreign companies, the quality of Chinese patents, the use of utility models and design patents and whether “patent trolls” are emerging in China.

Audio, photos and PPT are available on the conference page.

47 U.S.C. § 230: a 15 Year Retrospective

March 4, 2011

47 USC §230 is widely regarded as the most important Internet-specific law. This symposium celebrated the 15 year anniversary of Congress’ enactment of Section 230. The symposium brought together some of the key historical figures involved in the development of Section 230 to discuss how we got where we are. The symposium also discussed some of the latest cutting-edge research about Section 230 issues. BCLT co-sponsored this event with the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University Law School.

Technology: Transforming the Regulatory Endeavour – 15th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium

March 3, 2011

Technology is increasingly harnessed in the pursuit of public goals. Firms seek to enforce property rights through digital rights management software; engineers increasingly attempt to incorporate “privacy by design” (PbD) into products, in order to “force” privacy-protective behaviors; companies turn to technology systems and computational analytics that predict operational and financial risk levels in an attempt to comply with government regulations requiring risk identification, assessment and mitigation. Thus technology is used to “regulate” individual and organizational behavior. Such regulating technologies offer powerful compliance tools. But they also raise real concerns: they can permit computer programmers to interpret legal requirements; they skew decision-making through an “automation bias”; and their lack of transparency thwarts oversight and accountability. This 15th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium addressed the effects of this phenomenon in various areas, including privacy enforcing technologies, voting and intellectual property. In addition to exploring specific contexts in which technology “regulates,” symposium panels addressed thematic issues such as the implications of technological governance for both democracy values and effectiveness concerns. They also addressed the question of who (if anyone) should regulate governance technologies, considering the role of markets, government regulators and standard-setting bodies.

Audio, photos and PPT are available on the conference page.

The 6th Hawaii Conference: Emerging Law and Policy Issues of Cloud Computing

February 19-21, 2011

BCLT collaborated with the Center for Law and Technology at the Seoul National University on an international conference on cloud computing. The panel topics were based on BCLT’s successful conference on cloud computing.

Fourth Annual BCLT Privacy Lecture: Standardizing Privacy Notices: Privacy Taxonomy, Privacy Nutrition Labels and Computer-Readable Policies

February 17, 2011

Professor Lori Faith Cranor is the director of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS) at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also Chief Scientist of Wombat Security Technologies, Inc. She has authored over 100 research papers on online privacy, usable security, phishing, spam, electronic voting, anonymous publishing and other topics. She has played a key role in building the usable privacy and security research community, having co-edited the seminal book Security and Usability (O’Reilly 2005) and founded the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS). She also chaired the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) Specification Working Group at the W3C and authored the book Web Privacy with P3P (O’Reilly 2002).

Audio and photos are available on the conference page.

Browser Privacy Mechanisms Roundtable

February 9, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission preliminary staff report, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” calls generally for privacy by design, and specifically for a do not track (DNT) system to allow consumers to better control online collection of information.  This is a challenging task, because many web interactions require a transfer of information that could be conceived of as “tracking.”  The major developers of browsers have all recently announced implementations of do not track systems.  The conceptions of DNT have different needs for implementing regulation and have different implications for businesses and consumers.  This roundtable explored the contours of the regulations needed to effectuate do not track, the technical options to implement it and the political and economic implications of do not track systems.

Photos, video and transcripts are available on the conference page.

Silicon Valley Innovation & Law Conference

January 12, 2011

This conference was cosponsored with the law firm of Covington & Burling and provided legal, policy and political insights from technology industry leaders, federal government officials and attorneys on today’s corporate, regulatory and litigation environment.