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CONTACT: Patrick Ross or Amy Smorodin
November 29, 2005
(202) 289-8928
PFF Co-Hosts IP Summit in Prague
2nd Annual Digital Europe in January

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Progress & Freedom Foundation is returning to Europe for its second annual Digital Europe Summit in January when it co-hosts in Prague a day-long conference entitled "Intellectual Property and Innovation in the Digital World." Co-hosted with CERGE-EI, a joint venture of Charles University and the Czech Republic Academy of Sciences, and the Liberální Institut, a Czech-based think tank born of the "Velvet Revolution," the program will focus on both U.S. and E.U. approaches to intellectual property protection, with particular focus on patents, standard setting, interoperability and "open" platforms in the software and IT sectors.

PFF President Ray Gifford, Vice President for Research Tom Lenard and Director of PFF's Center for the Study of Digital Property James DeLong will participate in the January 17th conference at CERGE-EI, Politickych veznu 7, 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic. Among the other participants will be U.S. Ambassador David Gross, Czech Republic Minister of Informatics Dana Bérová, Czech attorney Jiri Matolin, and Martin Campbell-Kelley of the University of Warwick. Those wishing to learn more may contact PFF Vice President for Communications and External Affairs Patrick Ross at 202-289-8928 or More information can be found at our Digital Europe 2006 home page on our web site.

"European policymakers have, like their U.S. counterparts, wrestled with intellectual property in the digital age," says Gifford, "and their actions affect not only hundreds of millions of Europeans but the global digital economy. Even when property is ones and zeroes, the importance of free markets and the creativity that private companies demonstrate within them cannot be understated when policymakers pursue their classic role of defining and enforcing property rights."

Recognizing that intellectual property is a central driver of the digital economy, "Intellectual Property and Innovation in the Digital World" will examine the nexus of innovation, creation and intellectual property protection in the digital world. The conference comes as the E.U. is reexamining its Lisbon Agenda for economic growth with its i2010 initiative, seizing on the digital revolution to revitalize the economies of European nation states and make the E.U. more competitive globally. And it comes as the U.S. and E.U. approach the conclusion of global trade talks in the Doha Round, in which intellectual property protection is a central component.

CERGE-EI is an economics department jointly established by Charles University in Prague and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. It provides an American-style Ph.D. program in economics and conducts state-of-the-art research in theoretical and policy-related economics, with a particular emphasis on the transition to free markets and European integration. All courses are taught in English, and the Ph.D. degree from CERGE-EI is fully recognized in the United States.

The Liberální Institut is a non-governmental, non-partisan, non-profit think tank for the development, dissemination and application of classical liberal ideas and programs based on the principles of classical liberalism. Its focus is on the development of individual freedom, private ownership, free markets, and the rule of law. Those principles were adopted by the F.A. Hayek Club, which was formed during the "Velvet Revolution" in the fall of 1989. The F.A. Hayek Club officially became the Liberální Institut in February, 1990.

This will be PFF's second annual Digital Europe. In February of 2005, PFF co-hosted with Istituto Bruno Leoni a day-long conference in Milan on interoperability and open standards, and did several public events in Brussels with the Centre for the New Europe. In organizing these events abroad, PFF is building on its eleven-year track record in hosting the Aspen Summit, its annual gathering of the digital world's most prominent business leaders, probing thinkers and influential policymakers.

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