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'PatCon'--The Patent Conference

may 11-12, 2012

The PatCon logo

On May 11-12, 2012, Boston College Law School hosted "PatCon 2," The Patent Conference. The conference brought together over 40 scholars of patent law and innovation from around the country.

Conference Highlight:

Patent Law and Business Panel
Watch video below

A new patent law, the America Invents Act, was signed into law on September 16, 2011. Part of the law has already taken effect, and other parts will not take effect until 2013. Because the new law doesn’t affect previously filed patent applications, businesses will spend the next twenty years operating under both.

Business models related to patents portfolios have also been evolving in these uncertain economic times, as some companies look at more aggressive ways to monetize their patents, while others form holding companies to collect patent portfolios with the goal of monetizing the portfolios via licensing or lawsuits. Some refer to these “non-practicing entities” as “trolls.” 

In the meantime, the Supreme Court has increased its review of patent cases, and has overturned a number of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

What’s an innovation company to do when it comes to decisions on R&D and legal strategies regarding innovation and patents? Hear from five senior in-house counsel at Boston area innovation firms as they share their personal views on these matters.


Al Brunett, Chief Patent Counsel, Vecna, Inc.
Diane Ferguson, Deputy General Counsel, VCE
Tony Gomes, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Citrix Systems, Inc.
Krish Gupta, Sr. Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, EMC Corporation
Bart Newland, Vice President and Chief IP Counsel, Biogen


About the Conference

PatCon is a cooperative effort among four institutions deeply committed to the evaluation and development of patent law in our modern economy--Boston College Law School, the University of Kansas School of Law, the Chicago-Kent College of Law, and the University of San Diego School of Law. PatCon is structured as an annual conference where patent scholars in law, economics, management science, and other disciplines can share research.

In 2010, the founders of PatCon, (BC Law professor David Olson, Dave Schwartz, Ted Sichelman, and Andrew Torrance) realized that the growth and importance of research in the area of patents required an exclusive forum that would enable participants to share their research with other experts and explore links across the legal and business side of patents.