How to Fix Patents: Trolls, Innovators, & Reform
The Constitution calls for a patent system to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
Unfortunately, our current patent system frequently stifles innovation the Constitution sought to protect, and at an economic cost of tens of billions a year.
So-called “patent trolls” are entities that hoard overly broad patents, but do not use them to make goods or services. Instead, these entities maliciously threaten small businesses, inventors, and even consumers through rampant and costly litigation abuse.
Since litigating a single patent case costs several million dollars, and plaintiffs have the advantage in court, most targets of patent trolls are forced to settle even when the infringement claim against them is spurious.
Join our panel of experts, including an alleged patent troll, for a discussion of how to make the patent system work better.
Intellectual Property Practice Chair & Partner
Tydings & Rosenberg LLP
Julie A. Hopkins is a Partner at Tydings & Rosenberg, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland and is the Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. She practices all aspects of intellectual property law, domestically and internationally, and has over a decade of intellectual property experience. Ms. Hopkins graduated from Smith College with a degree in Biology and holds a Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.
Ms. Hopkins practices trademark prosecution, registration, and enforcement in the United States and worldwide, including searching and clearance of brand names, logos, slogans, and trade dress. Ms. Hopkins also represents clients in trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. She is a registered patent attorney and represents domestic and international clients in patent counseling and procurement. She helps clients patent, protect, and commercialize inventions in numerous areas, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, consumer products, and business methods. Ms. Hopkins' litigation experience includes trademark, unfair competition, copyright, and patent infringement actions in the U.S. District Courts where she successfully asserted and defended against infringement claims on behalf of her clients. She also represented clients in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Federal Circuit.
Ms. Hopkins has a passion for and is intimately familiar with the needs of start-up biotechnology and high technology companies. Prior to joining Tydings, she taught at the Maryland Intellectual Property Legal Resource Center (MIPLRC) with the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. The Center, located in the Mtech Technology Advancement Program (TAP) business incubator in College Park, Maryland, provides legal services to emerging companies and entrepreneurs in the field of intellectual property law.
Ms. Hopkins has published numerous articles addressing patent reform as it relates to non-practicing entities in publications such as The Hill Congress Blog, IP Watchdog, United Press International, and The Denver Post.
Ms. Hopkins serves on the Boards for the House of Ruth Maryland and the Smith College Club of Baltimore. She is an officer with the Maryland State Bar Association IP Section and serves as the chair of the Programs Committee. She is a member of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, International Trademark Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association, and the IP Section of the American Bar Association.
Lee Carosi Dunn is Senior Counsel at Google's legal and policy office here in Washington, DC focusing on technology issues and regulatory policy before the United States Senate and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Prior to her work at Google, Lee spent close to ten years working for Senator John McCain (R-AZ) as his General Counsel in his Senate office and as counsel for the Senate Commerce Committeewhen the Senator served as Chairman of the committee. While on the committee staff, Lee focused on telecommunications and media issues. Lee also worked for former FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell and at the law firm Dow, Lohnes and Albertson representing Cox Communications, Nextel and Media General. She served as a judicial clerk for the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Virginia after graduating The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law, cum laude. Lee spent her years before law school working for one of the regional bell operating companies, US West Communications, as an operations and planning manager. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a major in Sociology and can rewire a telephone jack.
R Street Institute
Reihan Salam is a senior fellow with the R Street Institute, heading up research for forthcoming studies about carbon taxes, nuclear power and congestion pricing and road usage.
A contributing editor at the National Review and lead blogger for National Review Online’s The Agenda, Reihan most recently served as a policy adviser at e21. He is also a columnist for Reuters Opinion; a contributing editor at National Affairs; and co-author, with Ross Douthat, of “Grand New Party: How Conservatives Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.”
Previously, Reihan served as a fellow with the New America Foundation; a columnist for The Daily; an associate editor at The Atlantic; and a producer for NBC Universal’s The Chris Matthews Show. He started his career as a reporter-researcher at The New Republic before stints as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations and as an editorial researcher for New York Times columnist David Brooks.