Antitrust, Innovation and Patent Reform

Today, I’ll be attending, and hopefully live-blogging, or live-Twittering, about “Patents and the Commercialization of Innovation,” which is the topic of the George Mason University/Microsoft Annual Conference on the Law and Economics of Innovation. This is the second annual version of this conference, and it is being held at the Hilton Arlington, 950 North Stafford Street, Arlington, VA.

The conference this year has an impressive agenda and list of speakers and presentations — including Richard Epstein, Bruce Kobayashi, Adam Mosoff, Greg Sidak and Henry Smith. The last conference was more directly focused on antitrust and software. This conference delves into the interface with patent reform, a subject that some of the biggest tech players in Washington, including Microsoft, have championed.

Here’s the conference boilerplate:

[This conference] will address the role of patents in the commercialization of innovation—an area of significant and enduring controversy. In particular, the conference will focus on three interrelated aspects of the debate over the law and economics of patents: The intersection of patents and antitrust, particularly in technology standards; the economics of the patent system and patent reform; and the proper understanding (and implications) of patents as property.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft squares its generally hard-line (or maximalist) attitude towards copyright protection with its more liberal (or minimalist) approach to patent law! Check back here at – or on my Twitter page – for frequent updates!

Note: The George Mason University/Microsoft Annual Conference on the Law and Economics of Innovation is not affiliated with the Information Economy Project at George Mason University School of Law, a program with which I am affiliated, as the Assistant Director. See the “About” section for information about my activities.