This is a huge Month for IP in Seattle. There are 4 major Events happening between the 7th and the 28th:

13th Annual Intellectual Property Institute
Seattle University CLE on Software and Piracy
Washington State Patent Law Association CLE
Music in the New Millennium

I will be live blogging from both the 13th Annual IP Institute and the Music for the New Millennium event. I will be in New Orleans for the 2009 Nonprofit Technology Conference for the other two. If anyone is interested in attending and representing the FFIP / Free Culture point of view and would like to blog about it please contact me (Brian at freedomforip.org). I will also be adding these events to the FFIP Google calendar (Along with the NOLA conference).

13th Annual Intellectual Property Institute

Date: March 7th
Event: IP Conference
Location: WA Convention Center
Cost: $225 GA, $100 for first 20 students

Speakers:
20 plus Highlights include:
Joseph Miller, Lewis and of Clark Law, speaking on recent supreme court cases
Bruce E.H. Johnson, Davis Wright Tremaine, speaking on Fair Use and the First Amendment
There is even a whole panel on Second Life and Online Liability!

The Intersection of Intellectual Property, Patent Law, and Software Piracy

Date: March 14th
Event: Software CLE
Location: Seattle University Law School

Speakers:
Judge James P. Donohue, Magistrate Judge, Western District of Washington
Katheryn Frierson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington
William J. Harmon, Senior Attorney, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA
Michael D. Stein, Partner-in-charge, Woodcock Washburn, Seattle, WA

Register Online for the SU Software Piracy CLE


Washington State Patent Law Association CLE

Date: March 19th
Event: Lunch CLE on Patents
Location: Washington Athletic Club, First Floor

Schedule
Registration 11:30 a.m.
WSPLA Business 11:55 a.m. – Noon (Please note early start)
Program and Lunch: Noon – 1:30 p.m. (Please note due to volume of material to cover, the Program will begin at noon sharp)

Cost: WSPLA Members $55 Students $35 Others: $75
Panelists:
-Dale R. Cook, Intellectual Ventures
-Scott R. Hayden, Amazon.com
-Jennifer K. Johnson, Zymogenetics
-Brian C. Park, Dorsey & Whitney

Cases Discussed:
SanDisk Corp. v. STMicroelectronics, Inc. (Federal Circuit repudiates “reasonable apprehension of suit” standard for patent declaratory judgment actions and might allow DJ actions in response to any invitation to license)
In re Comisky (Method claims that depend entirely on use of mental processes do not contain patentable subject matter)
In re Nuijten (Federal Circuit says electrical signal not a “manufacture” and therefore not patentable subject matter)
In re Seagate (Federal Circuit replaces duty of due care standard for avoiding enhanced damages with “objective recklessness” standard)
KSR Intl v. Teleflex (Supreme Court rejects rigid application of Federal Circuit’s “teaching, suggestion or motivation” test for obviousness)

Music in the New Millennium

Date: March 28th
Event: Future of Music panel talk
Location: Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 1201 Third Ave, 22nd Floor Seattle Wa
Cost: Suggested contribution of $15 (law students are free).

Speakers:
Dave Dederer Lead singer of Presidents of the United States of America and VP of Content for Melodeo
Robert Sullivan, Music attorney for Johnny Cash, Randy Travis
Dan Sheeran, SVP RealNetworks
Online Registration

Posted on January 28, 2008 in Andy Culbert, IPLS, microsoft, Seattle University Law by Brian RoweComments Off

Today at Seattle University Law, Andrew Culbert spoke on Patent Law and Trolls. Andy is associate general counsel at Microsoft in charge of patent litigation. This is the second time I have seen him speak; he was one of the session leaders at Lewis and Clark’s CLE on non-obviousness.

Andy started the presentation with some statistics from Troll Tracker, a patent blog that I highly recommend. Last year 35 Fortune 100 companies had been sued 500 times for patent infringement. This is an average of 14 times per company for patent infringement. Microsoft tops this list with 43 suits last year.

The first topic was, “Why is Microsoft getting sued?”
1. Large verdicts from juries, which are often overturned
2. Most cases are NOT filed by competitors but instead by Trolls
3. Recent trend, post-1980, to allow a liberal approach to patent claims
4. Consolidation of patents to the Federal Circuit
5. Little to no documentation for prior art on software
6. Patents w/o clear limitations (Software patents are often functional and nonspecific)
7. Integrated products which allow a relatively minor patent to claim against a large product like Windows or Office
8. Damages are astronomical in the US, $500M to $1.5B, several times larger then anywhere else

One of the most interesting parts of the talk was a list of Supreme Court cases that reflect improvements in the patent system:
Ebay — Limits on injunctions
KSR — New rules on obviousness
MedImmune — Easer to challenge patents
AT&T — Limits on territorial scope
LEG v. Quanta (Currently on review by the Supreme Court) — May expand patent exhaustion

Also from the Federal Circuit Court:
Seagate – limits on willful infringement
Nuijten /Comiskey – limits on patentablity

FFIP was able to get in one Question at the end of the talk:
What legislative changes do you think would make the most significant positive changes for the patent system?

Answer(paraphrased):
1. Changes to Damage calculations. The current damage formula allows for extremely high damage awards that encourages questionable litigation.

2. Possibly Venue reform. It is difficult to limit venue for real claimants, but reform that limits nonpracticing entity or shell cooperations could make a difference. It is just not an easy rule to craft and allow real claims to bring suits in home jurisdictions.

This was a great presentation. Thanks to the speaker Andy Culbert, The IPLS at SU who sponsored the presentation and Apollo Fuhriman, a 2L who organized the event.

Photo by: Dan Schlatter

Posted on March 8, 2007 in CLE, Free Culture, IP, IPLS, law, NPO, Seattle University, Second Life, Social Justice, video games by Brian RoweComments Off

Last year, before becoming a student at Seattle University, I attended the Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS) sponsored CLE on the intersection of Antitrust and IP. I was very impressed by the panel of speakers that included Daniel Ravicher of Public Patent and Joe Miller of Lewis and Clark’s Law School who challenged the assumptions put forward by many of the other pro-corporate-interest speakers by adding a voice for Social Justice that included alternative views of IP and the social harms of some of the policies being discussed.

This year I attended the IPLS sponsored CLE on video games and IP law, and was disappointed that the CLE did not allocate time to social justice issues related to the topic at hand. The CLE covered several topics that have a potential social justice impact such as user-owned IP in massive multilayer online games, the rating of video games, and file-sharing via peer to peer networks. I was hopping to see at least one speaker address these issues from a user’s perspective.

Unfortunately, the CLE not only ignored social justice issues but also artificially portrayed one on the most influential online communities for social justice movements, Second Life. Second Life was painted as a shallow chat and cybersex service that has squandered its IP rights by allowing its users to retain copyright on everything they create. This depiction failed to mention of some of the extremely positive aspects of Second Life. Second Life has become an online community for both academics and nonprofits who wish to reach a wider audience. This last year I attended a lecture in Second Life sponsored by Harvard’s Law School as part of their Law in the Court of Public Opinion extensions class. The lecture was free and anyone could register and participate regardless economic standing or geographic location.

On the nonprofit front, Second Life has become a gathering place for organization like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Creative Commons who advocate for users rights online and alternatives to traditional copyright. Their events last year included an interview with the highly esteemed Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner that respectfully challenged some of his proposition in his recent book “Not a Suicide Pact : The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency”. Organizations like UNICEF and Global Kids have reached out to users in Teen Second Life as a vehicle to involve teens in community outreach activism on global and local issues.

I hope next year’s CLE on IP returns to the thoughtful dialogue about social justice that brought me to SU. To help realize this goal I will be starting a chapter of the socially conscious IP student organization Free Culture. If you have interest in helping balance the prospective on IP and Social Justice that Seattle University puts forward, please feel free to contact me, roweb@Seattleu.edu or Brian@freedomforip.org.

Thank you,

Brian Rowe
1L Seattle University
freedomforip.org

PS this Letter is in the Public Domain, No copyright has been reserved.