Lectures & Events

The Uneasy Relationship Between Innovation and Intellectual Property Protection

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Approved for 1 hour of in-person CLE credit

This lecture will explore the history of Congress’s regulation of patents and the impact these regulations had on the patent system and innovation. It will also consider how the system might be changed to recognize the diverging incentives and protections needed for different industries and the ways in which the Patent Act could reflect what will best promote the “Progress of Science” across all fields.

Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution states that Congress shall have the power “[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Congress has struggled over the years to determine the appropriate level of protection to provide inventors and the extent to which any particular level of protection will actually “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” Some argue that a patent system that aggressively protects issued patents is necessary to encourage innovation because it will incentivize innovators to invest the time, effort, and money necessary to advance science and develop new and useful products or advances. Others argue that a patent system that protects the right of others to design around patented advancements and to improve upon them –one that is less protective of the rights granted by patents– is more conducive to innovation and progress.

Congress has passed laws over the years that have swung the pendulum in favor of one view or the other, and back again. As technology rapidly advances, it becomes clear that Congress’s attempt to fulfill its Constitutional mandate with one-size-fits-all statutory schemes may need to be rethought. What may encourage innovation in one scientific field may actually hinder it in another.

Continuing Legal Education Readings
Speaker Information The Honorable Kathleen M. O’Malley
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Born in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, O'Malley received a double A.B. from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1979, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Her majors were honors history and economics she graduated in both with distinction. She received a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Order of the Coif, in 1982, where she served on Law Review and was a member of the National Mock Trial Team.

She was a law clerk to Nathaniel R. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1982 to 1983. She was in private practice in Columbus, Ohio from 1983 to 1991, first with at Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, until 1985, and then with Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, where she became a partner, with an emphasis was on complex corporate and commercial litigations, including intellectual property, securities fraud, trade secrets, shareholder's rights and large-scale coverage disputes. She was chief counsel to the Ohio Attorney General's Office from 1991 to 1993, where she was responsible, under the direction of the Attorney General, for the overall functioning and management of all divisions of the Attorney General's Office, including litigation, law enforcement, legislative activities, policy initiatives and the human resources and administrative aspects of the office. From 1993 to 1994, she was Chief Counsel to the Attorney General, overseeing the work of the office's 350 attorneys and acting as Counsel of Record in the state's more sensitive and complex legal battles.

Event Location
Moot Courtroom (A59)
11075 East Blvd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

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