Thursday, October 11, 2018

FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection

I mentioned recently that the Federal Trade Commission is in the process of holding a series of Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century, and that I would be participating in the hearing on Innovation and Intellectual Property Policy on October 23.  The Commission has now posted its press release and agenda.  From the press release:
The Federal Trade Commission announced the agenda for the fourth session of its Hearings initiative, with two full days to be held at the FTC in Washington D.C. on October 23-24, 2018.
The two-day event will examine the role of intellectual property in promoting innovation from academic, economic, and industry perspectives The sessions also will examine emerging trends in patent quality and litigation, and will include the FTC’s first wide-scale exploration of copyright issues. Drew Hirshfeld, Commissioner for Patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will present a keynote address on October 24. See detailed agenda.
The Commission invites public comment on these issues, including on the questions listed below. Comments can be submitted electronically no later than December 21, 2018.
  1. Is there a role for the government in advancing or supporting innovation?
  2. What is the importance of intellectual property – all forms – in advancing, protecting, and supporting innovation? Does it differ because of industry-specific or other market-based factors, or because of the form of intellectual property?
  3. How does modern economic analysis and empirical literature view the relationship between intellectual property and innovation, and the role of government in advancing and supporting innovation? Are there differences that depend on the type of intellectual property, and the protections offered for that intellectual property?
  4. How can the FTC use its enforcement and policy authority to advance innovation? What factors should the FTC consider in attempting to achieve this objective?
  5. What are emerging trends in patent quality and litigation issues? Should these trends influence the FTC’s enforcement and policy agenda?
  6. How should the current status of copyright law and current business practices influence the FTC’s enforcement and policy agenda?
Additional sessions of the FTC Hearings initiative will be held throughout the fall and early winter. An initial list of remaining sessions and topics follows, and additional sessions and topics will be announced later . . . .
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On a personal note, I would like to note that today marks the publication of the 1,000th post on this blog.  Milestones like this are arbitrary, but I still feel like celebrating a bit . . . .

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