[Fsfe-ie] Regulating Knowledge: Costs, Risks, and Models of Innovation, Brussels 9-10.11.2004

Teresa Hackett teresahackett at eircom.net
Thu Oct 7 13:39:40 CEST 2004

Regulating Knowledge: Costs, Risks, and Models of Innovation (Brussels 
9-10 November)

*FOR MORE INFO: http://en.eu.ffii.org/sections/bxl0411

*Originally presented as a mere acknowledgment and restatement of 
European Patent Office practice, the proposed EU Software Patent 
Directive has become a far-reaching debate over how software innovation 
should or should not be controlled and by whom. The two-day conference 
'Regulating Knowledge: Costs, Risks, and Models of Innovation' takes up 
this debate, providing a forum for a discussion that ultimately concerns 
the nature and ownership of our knowledge infrastructure and lies at the 
heart of the promotion and advancement of a knowledge-based economy. 
This event is sponsored by MERIT, CEA-PME, the Greens in the European 
Parliament, FFII, and the Open Society Institute.

*Tue 09 Nov 2004, Park Hotel Brussels, Av. de L'Yser 21, 1040 Brussels, 
Room Cinquantenaire.
*(to be announced)

*Wed 10 Nov 2004, European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, 1047 Brussels, Room 
ASP 1G3.*

*Panel 1 (0915-1045)
The Lisbon agenda, the economics of innovation, and patents on 
knowledge-related processes*

Policy towards software patents is especially critical element of the 
Lisbon agenda because software is an important area of innovation. 
However, software also determines how information and knowledge is 
managed across all fields of innovation and indeed in all forms of 
business and commerce. This panel will examine what economists know 
about patents and innovation, as well as the special problems related to 
patents on software.


    * Luc Soete, Director, MERIT, University of Maastricht
    * Jim Bessen, Boston University

*Panel 2 (1045-1200)
Bottom up economics: defending SMEs and the public interest*

Despite conventional arguments that patents benefit small companies, 
SMEs have opposed software patents. This panel will examine the economic 
problems of dealing with patents from SME perspectives. It will look new 
developments in the U.S. that show how patent holding companies are able 
to take advantage of ICT


    * Brian Kahin, University of Michigan, School of Information and
      School of Public Policy, formerly White House Office of Science
      and Technology Policy
    * CEA-PME
    * Rita Heimes, Director, University of Maine Technology Law Center
    * Wendy Seltzer, Electronic Frontier Foundation

*Panel 3 (1430-1600)
New developments in patent practice: assessing the risks and cost of 
portfolio licensing and hold-ups*

The SCO litigation against IBM and the proliferation of software patent 
lawsuits has focused attention on the risks that patents pose to 
software developers and users, especially users of open source software. 
At the users, including small firms and nonprofit institutions and how 
public interest groups are addressing this challenge.


    * Dan Ravicher, Public Patent Foundation
    * City of Munich*
    * Dan Egger, Open Source Risk Management
    * FFII

*Panel 4 (1600-1730 (1:30))
Informing and reforming patent policy*

There is widespread agreement that getting patent policy right is 
important to economic growth, yet there are no mechanisms in place for 
monitoring how the system is performing in practice. The controversies 
surrounding the software directive and the community patent suggest that 
existing institutions and political processes may be inadequate to the 
task of developing sound patent policy. This panel will examine options 
for making the European patent system more accountable in terms of 
economic outcomes.


    * Dominique Guellec, Chief Economist, European Patent Office*
    * Bernt Hugenholtz, Director, Institute for Information Law,
      University of Amsterdam*
    * Susana Borras, University of Roskilde*

<http://www.ffii.org/> 	<http://www.merit.unimaas.nl> 

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