Published On: Thu, Oct 13th, 2016

Canada’s WiLAN Featured Sponsor at 2016 CPIP Fall Conference

Today’s technologically centered world, one where new breakthroughs appear with almost rapid-fire speed, demands a firm understanding of intellectual property rights and how they inspire future innovation.  It also demands the existence of organizations and forums where the state of IP rights can be discussed and debated openly and honestly.

That is one purpose of The Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP).  Part  of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, CPIP sponsors a range of academic and public policy initiatives and is focused on understanding the ever-shifting intellectual property landscape and how changes to the IP environment impacts technological, commercial, and creative innovation.   

In addition to sponsoring a number of significant research grants in the patent law and policy space, CPIP also hosts conferences every year where academics, industry leaders and knowledge experts on IP rights can gather and examine topics related to how secure IP rights foster innovation.

Founders Hall and Hazel Hall are seen at the Arlington Campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

Founders Hall and Hazel Hall are seen at the Arlington Campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

This month, CPIP held its fourth annual Fall Conference.  The 2-day conference, held October 6th and October 7th, examined a range of topics, including how secure IP rights foster opportunities in industries like the music industry, why industries with robust IP rights promote the export of and access to products and technologies worldwide, and the current issues facing intellectual property in the biopharmaceutical industry.

This year’s conference was supported by a number of businesses, including the law firms Jenner & Block and Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP, as well as Intellectual Ventures, NBC Universal, and Qualcomm, with WiLAN, the Canadian patent monetization firm, serving as this year’s featured sponsor.

WiLAN’s business model centers around helping innovators and inventors monetize their patented technology, and in addition to being the featured sponsor, WiLAN also had its Chief Technology Officer, Ken Stanwood, speak at the conference.

Bringing his subject matter expertise around wireless technology to the conference, Stanwood discussed the topic of how IP rights within wireless technology help a range of individuals from innovators in the wireless space to women in developing countries who are able to set up cellular “village pay phones” and become truly active participants in their country’s economy.  

Stanwood recently published an article on IP Watchdog where he discussed, among other topics, just how critical the patent system has been in the development of wireless technology.  In speaking at the conference, he touched on a similar topic, mentioning that more than 250,000 active patents impact today’s smartphone technology.

In addition to Stanwood, more than twenty others speakers presented at the conference, with speakers like Professor Adam Mossoff of the Antonin Scalia Law School discussing how and why economists have been claiming harm from patent litigation explosion without true evidence, and Ron Katznelson, founder and President of Bi-Level Technologies, explaining the lack of empirical evidence that patents, including questionable patents, restrict competition and innovation.

For more information on the 2016 CPIP Fall Conference, feel free to visit CPIP’s website.  CPIP’s Twitter page also offered a live tweet of the conference speakers.

Author: Adam Setterfield


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