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Law School debates historic patent reform

In reaction to Congress passing the historic Patent Reform Act on Sept. 16, the School of Law is hosting a pair of symposiums this week. They will debate the jurisdiction and implications of patent law and intellectual property rights. The reform act is considered to be the biggest overhaul of patent law in nearly 60 years.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Law School’s E.E. Tom Thompson Courtroom, the Joseph Cohen Lecture Fund will present “Do Gene Patents Kill? The Controversy Surrounding DNA Patenting,” a forum about the morality of gene patents.

Some legal commentators believe gene patents provide funding incentives for medical research, but others contend that intellectual property rights should not govern the subject.

Daniel B. Ravicher and Hans Sauer will debate the topic at the forum.

As executive director of the Public Patent Foundation, Ravicher recently joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a lawsuit that would invalidate thousands of gene patents issued by the Patent Office. He was also named one of the 50 Most Influential People in IP by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.

In opposition, Sauer is deputy general counsel for Intellectual Property for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which maintains its support for gene patents, as incentives for researchers and investors.

On Friday, Oct. 14, the School of Law will shift its analytical focus to the general effect of the Patent Reform Act at the symposium “Fueling Innovation: Hot Topics in Patent Law and Policy,” from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Thompson Courtroom.

Speakers include Christal Sheppard, who worked as counsel for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on the patent reform legislation. Mark Rohrbaugh, from the NIH Office of Technology Transfer, will also attend, along with other leading figures, including Judge Nanette Laughrey of the Western District of Missouri.

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  1. “the School of Law is hosting a pair of symposiums this week”

    You should include some inventors and other in the system stakeholders. Please contact us as below.

    They should have called the bill the America STOPS Inventing Act or ASIA, because that’s where it is sending all our jobs.

    “This is not a patent reform bill” Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) complained, despite other democrats praising the overhaul. “This is a big corporation patent giveaway that tramples on the right of small inventors.”

    “patent reform”

    Senator Cantwell is right. Just because they call it “reform” doesn’t mean it is. The agents of banks, huge multinationals, and China are at it again trying to brain wash and bankrupt America.

    The patent bill is nothing less than another monumental federal giveaway for banks, huge multinationals, and China and an off shoring job killing nightmare for America. Even the leading patent expert in China has stated the bill will help them steal our inventions. Who are the supporters of this bill working for??

    Patent reform is a fraud on America. This bill will not do what they claim it will. What it will do is help large multinational corporations maintain their monopolies by robbing and killing their small entity and startup competitors (so it will do exactly what the large multinationals paid for) and with them the jobs they would have created. The bill will make it harder and more expensive for small firms to get and enforce their patents. Without patents we cant get funded. Yet small entities create the lion’s share of new jobs. According to recent studies by the Kauffman Foundation and economists at the U.S. Census Bureau, “startups aren’t everything when it comes to job growth. They’re the only thing.” This bill is a wholesale slaughter of US jobs. Those wishing to help fight this bill should contact us as below.

    Small entities and inventors have been given far too little voice on this bill when one considers that they rely far more heavily on the patent system than do large firms who can control their markets by their size alone. The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors. Congress tinkering with patent law while gagging inventors is like a surgeon operating before examining the patient.

    Please see for a different/opposing view on patent reform.


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