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Federal Agencies to Hold Workshop on Promoting Innovation

innovationThe Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will hold a joint public workshop on the intersection of patent policy and competition policy and its implications for promoting innovation.

The workshop will address ways in which careful calibration and balancing of patent policy and competition policy can best encourage incentives to innovate.

“We will benefit from working together with our PTO and FTC colleagues to ensure that the United States is using patent and competition policy that maximizes the potential for innovation, which is the primary driving force of economic growth in the 21st century,” Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney said.

Under Secretary of Commerce David Kappos said as innovation is the only sustainable source of America’s competitive advantage, the relationship between intellectual property is of paramount importance.

“This conference is designed to explore the relationship between competition policy and intellectual property policy and how it fosters innovation” he said.

The first morning panel will look at how challenges posed by the patent backlog impact the competitive strategies of patent applicants and innovators. The second morning panel will examine the effect of the Supreme Court’s 2006 opinion in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange L.L.C. on permanent injunctions for patent infringement in district courts and at the U.S. International Trade Commission. The afternoon panel will evaluate the role of patents in connection with industry standards and the impact such standards have on competition. The workshop will conclude with reflections on the panel discussions by the chief economists of the department’s Antitrust Division, the FTC, and the USPTO.

Varney, Kappos and federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will deliver opening remarks at the morning session of the workshop. FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez will open the afternoon session.

The event will take place May 26, 2010, at the USPTO’s campus at 600 Dulany Street, Madison Building Auditorium, Alexandria, Va. The general public and press are invited to attend and view the proceedings. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

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