The Constitution specifically vests power in Congress to grant authors and inventors exclusive rights in their writings and inventions. The first Congress passed laws setting forth the requirements and procedures for granting patents and copyrights. In these early days, copyrights were granted for registered works, and Thomas Jefferson himself examined patents as a member of President George Washington’s cabinet. As IP laws developed, however, they gave substantial deference to both the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and the Copyright Office, on matters of reviewing, granting, limiting, and defining IP rights. These agencies have come to wield significant influence over the U.S. IP regime. Recently, and notwithstanding its delegations of power, Congress has been particularly active in passing new patent and copyright legislation. Sometimes Congress specifies how the law shall be interpreted and administered, and other times it delegates this to the relevant agencies, or to the courts. By considering specific examples, this panel will examine the role of Congress, Congressional delegation, and executive agencies in crafting and administering our modern intellectual property systems.
This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Saturday, November 14, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
Intellectual Property: The Role of Congress and Executive Agencies in 21st Century IP Regimes
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Prof. Sandra Aistars, Clinical Professor, George Mason School of Law and Sr. Scholar and Director, Copyright Policy & Research, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property
- Prof. John F. Duffy, Samuel H. McCoy II Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
- Prof. David S. Olson, Associate Professor, Boston College Law School
- Prof. Arti K. Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law and co-Director, Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy
- Moderator: Hon. Thomas B. Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
The Mayflower Hotel