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CONTACT: Patrick Ross or Amy Smorodin
July 28, 2005
(202) 289-8928
Patent Issues Examined at Aspen Summit
Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, Intellectual Ventures CEO, to Give Keynote

WASHINGTON D.C. - Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, co-founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, and former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft, will give the keynote luncheon address on Tuesday, August 23rd at The Progress & Freedom Foundation's 11th Annual Aspen Summit, the premiere event for policymakers, academia and executives. This year's theme, "Building a Digital Ownership Society" permits attendees to discuss and debate issues of importance to the technology community, including patents and innovation, the subject of multiple events.

At the heart of a patent lies an invention, and in his address, Dr. Myhrvold will focus on the topic of "invention as the next software." The address promises to be a perceptive look at the importance of supporting invention as a stand-alone activity. Much as the technology industry eventually embraced software as a product that had value without the constraints of hardware, Dr. Myhrvold believes invention will follow the same path. Intellectual Ventures is a private firm that nurtures innovation and invention by investment. As the founder of Microsoft Research and the holder of 14 patents, with many more pending, Dr. Myhrvold has personal knowledge of the role of patents have in encouraging and promoting innovation.

Aspen attendees will first have the opportunity to explore patent issues at an informal working dinner on patents August 22nd, one of a series of dinners organized to provide a relaxed atmosphere for casual, off-the-record discussion. Led by PFF's Jim DeLong, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for the Study of Digital Property (, guests will have an opportunity to talk with policymakers and subject experts from Congress and the private sector. Scheduled to participate are PFF Adjunct Fellow and owner of the intellectual property management firm Technology, Patents & Licensing (TPL) Dr. Charles Eldering; Laurie May, Senior Project Advisor for the National Academy of Public Administration; and Morgan Reed, Vice President for Public Affairs for the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). Representing the Congressional perspective are Rich Beutel and Dan Horowitz, both from the U.S. House Committee on Small Business. Committee Chairman Donald Manzullo (R-Illinois) has demonstrated an active interest in patent reform.

Prior to Dr. Myhrvold's address, attendees will hear insightful debate on patent issues during the panel presentation "Patents and the Structure of Innovation," moderated by PFF Senior Adjunct Fellow Solveig Singleton. The panel will address such questions as: Do patents help to shape technology institutions and business strategies? What role do patents play in financing, mergers and acquisitions? Will businesses begin to specialize in either innovation or production? How does this affect the international business community? Panelists include John Duffy, Professor, George Washington University; Marshall Phelps, Vice President for IP & Licensing, Microsoft Corporation; and William C. Rooklidge, President, American Intellectual Property Law Association.

Details about the 2005 PFF Aspen Summit, scheduled for August 21st - August 23rd, can be found on our web site and registration can be performed online. Media as always are welcome to attend for free, and should contact Patrick Ross or Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928, or and, respectively.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation