Protecting Creations of the Mind: Examining Issues in IP

Jun 06, 2006Jun 08, 2006
B-339 Rayburn House Office Building


Session One: Tuesday, June 6, 2006 
Patent Reform in Congress and the Courts 
Professor John Duffy 
Professor of Law
George Washington University 

Click Here to view Dr. Duffy's powerpoint presentation.

Session Two: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 
Orphan Works 
Mr. Jerry Brito
Legal Fellow
Mercatus Center at George Mason University 

Click Here to view Dr. Brito's powerpoint presentation.

Session Three: Thursday, June 8, 2006 
International IP Issues 
Professor Mark Schultz 
Assistant Professor of Law
Southern Illinois University

Click Here to view Dr. Schultz's powerpoint presentation.

Over the years, Congress has developed a complex legal system protecting intellectual property.  The laws created provide inventors with incentives by granting them exclusive property rights and legal protection to their ideas, concepts and innovations.  However, some argue that these rights have become prohibitive of further innovation.  At what point do the intellectual property rights of one begin to stifle the ability of another to create by denying access to past works? 

Furthermore, how has this restricted access affected intellectual property at the global level?  Some developing countries adamantly oppose intellectual property rights that prevent essential medicines from being duplicated or widely disbursed.  While others embrace the notions of exclusive rights in order to preserve cultural traditions and garner economic success.  Policymakers are left questioning how the law might best be structured so as to overcome this dichotomy and best promote innovation and productivity in countries around the world.

To help sort through these questions, the Mercatus Center presented a three-day course that will developed an economic framework for analyzing some of the current debates surrounding intellectual property. Participants gained a greater understanding of questions such as:

  • What are the incentives created by current and proposed patent and copyright law?
  • What are orphan works? How do their copyright protections affect future innovation?
  • How does IP play out in the dynamic between developed and developing countries? Does stricter IP protection necessarily mean harm?