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CONTACT: Tori Katz
August 7, 2007
(410) 466-0049
New Aspen Summit Panel Announced: Property Rights and Patent Reform
Experts Will Discuss Patent System’s Record and Implications for Patent Reform

WASHINGTON D.C. - The 13th Annual Aspen Summit, hosted by The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) will highlight critical policy challenges facing the communications and information technology sectors. A new panel announced today, "Property Rights and Patent Reform," will explore fundamental questions concerning the well-being of the patent system as a property rights regime, its effects on innovation, and the implications for patent reform.

The panel discussion will be moderated by John Duffy, PFF Adjunct Fellow and Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law at George Washington University. Experts from academia and industry will discuss conflicting views on the role and performance of the patent system.

"There is one tradition of economic thought that considers patents to be property that, like other forms of property rights, are a necessary precondition to well-functioning industries and markets," said Duffy. "Yet another view, with an equally long pedigree in economic thought, considers patents to be a form of government regulation and a troubling deviation from the general norm of free competition.  This conference panel will cast new light on this important debate by considering recent evidence about our patent system’s success (or failure) in generating reliable and valuable property rights."

These issues are especially important in light of current proposals for reform of the U.S. patent system.  The panel discussion will feature the following speakers representing viewpoints across the range of the debate:

  • John Duffy (Moderator), Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, George Washington University, and Adjunct Fellow, The Progress & Freedom Foundation
  • Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Bronwyn Hall, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
  • F. Scott Kieff, Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law, and Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
  • Michael Meurer, Professor of Law, Michaels Faculty Research Scholar, Boston University School of Law

The agenda and further details about the 2007 PFF Aspen Summit at the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen, Colorado can be found on our web site. General registration can be performed online or by contacting Brooke Glass at or (202) 289-8928. Members of the media will have their registration fees waived and should contact Tori Katz at or (410) 466-0049.

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