Eagle Forum Event Focuses on IP, Antitrust Nexus

By James Edwards
October 10, 2020

“Overall, both licensors and licensees seem satisfied with the clarity that the 2019 USPTO-NIST-DOJ Joint Policy Statement provides.” – Laura Peter

Laura Peter

The 2019 USPTO-NIST-DOJ Joint Policy Statement on Standard-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary RAND or FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) commitments “intended to solve [judicial] misinterpretation, and to encourage balance in our patent ecosystem, and to further strengthen patent rights,” USPTO Deputy Director Laura Peter said in her keynote at a recent IP-antitrust event. She continued:

Overall, both licensors and licensees seem satisfied with the clarity that the 2019 Policy provides…. These [and other recent USPTO] reforms ensure that all Americans can build on the ideals that our nation was founded on, and that they can reap the rewards of efforts which they have sown. A true commitment to the continued protection of our inventors will keep our country great, and stronger than ever before!

Peter delivered the remarks at an event hosted by the Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund, a conservative public policy and grassroots organization founded by the late Phyllis Schlafly, titled, “Inventing Dynamic Competition: Intellectual Property, Antitrust, and Competition” September 30 in Washington, D.C.

Experts including General Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission Alden Abbott; Kimberly Chotkowski, the Head of Licensing Strategy and Operations at mobile communications innovator InterDigital; Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President of the U.S Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center; and Josh Malone, the inventor of Bunch O Balloons and a leader of the independent inventors organization U.S. Inventor discussed the intersection of patents and antitrust with intellectual property rights during the conference.

Peter’s talk kicked off the program. She also discussed recent reforms the USTPO has made to make patents more reliable, described the critical role patents have played in America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the USPTO has facilitated efforts to speed development of COVID vaccines, therapies and diagnostics.

Both Peter and Abbott received the Phyllis Schlafly Friend of American Invention Award following their remarks. This new award recognizes leadership to strengthen the U.S. patent system and to advance reliable, enforceable patents and the exclusive right of inventors.

The dinner program featured Assistant U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim, who spoke about his New Madison Approach for antitrust enforcement when IP is involved. He explained the balance this approach takes in respecting the exclusive rights IP secures.

Delrahim discussed the Antitrust Division’s filings in a number of cases explaining to courts this understanding of the law. He described how, where standard-essential patents are concerned, oftentimes contract law or patent law apply rather than antitrust law in these cases.

After his remarks, Delrahim and Rep. Thomas Massie also were presented the Phyllis Schlafly Friend of American Invention Award.

The event was sponsored by Acacia Research Group, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, IEEE-USA, Intellectual Ventures, InterDigital, PhRMA and U.S. Inventor.

About 45 people gathered at the Capitol Hill Club for the panel discussion, a reception and the dinner.

Eagle Forum ELDF’s President Ed Martin emceed the dinner program.  Treasurer and Mrs. Schlafly’s eldest child John Schlafly shared insights on his mother’s involvement on patents and invention. Patent Policy Advisor James Edwards moderated the panel discussion.

 

Makan Delrahim

 

Kimberly Chotkowski

From left: Thomas Massie, John Schlafly, Makan Delrahim, Ed Martin, Rebekah Gantner, James Edwards

Patrick Kilbride

 

From left: Rebekah Gantner, Alden Abbott, James Edwards, John Schlafly

 

From left: Laura Peter, James Edwards, John Schlafly

The Author

James Edwards

James Edwards consults on intellectual property, health care innovation, and regulatory and policy issues. Edwards advises companies, trade associations, and conservative organizations on patent policy and is Co-Director of the Inventor's Project. He participates in the Medical Device Manufacturers Association's Patent Working Group. Edwards mentors start-ups and early-stage companies, largely in the med tech space, and is involved in several IP-centric projects.

Edwards served as Legislative Director to Rep. Ed Bryant, R-Tenn., then a member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and handled IP legislative matters. Edwards also worked on the staffs of Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C. In addition, he was an association executive at the Healthcare Leadership Council. Edwards earned a Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee, and bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Georgia.

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