40 St. George Street 40 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario

ToRCHI April 29 presentation: Panel on UI patents

Date: April 29, 2008
Duration: Registration and snacks at 6:45pm; Presentation at 7:00pm
Location: Bahen Centre, Room TBA
Panelists: Gordon Kurtenbach, Jin Li, David Modjeska (moderator)
Cost: Free for members; $5 for guests


There's been a lot of talk recently about software patents, and in our area,
particularly UI patents: Are they legitimate, helpful, pleasant, efficient? The
debate rages on, while UI patents are filed in large numbers. Large corporations
are particularly active in this area.

The panel will attempt to answer some of the basic questions; outline the
process of invention and filing; and take positions on key issues. The two
panelists will be Jin Li, a User Experience Lead at the IBM Toronto Software
Laboratory, and Gord Kurtenbach, Director of Research at Autodesk. The
moderator will be David Modjeska, a free-lance Information Architect in


Gordon Kurtenbach - The Real Evils of Patents
When it comes to the subject of patents in user interface, the cliché image is
of the innocent designer being blocked, by a patent, from using something which
benefits the user. Beyond this cliché image are the complexities of creating
and using patents. In the course of being an inventor on several dozen user
interface patents, I’ve made some observations: answering the question
“what exactly did you patent?” is difficult; dramatically unique inventions
are just as hard to patent as small incremental improvements. User interface
inventions require quite a bit of savvy to appreciate and understand; doing a
good patent is much like going to the dentist—it’s not pleasant but you
need to do it.

Jin Li - Grand Ideas and Myths
A patent is a mechanism for protecting intellectual property and encouraging
innovation. For UI designer and researchers, patents provide a way to capture
expertise, foster professional growth, and generating substantial value. The
patenting process starts with brainstorming and invention; moves on to
elaboration and expression; continues to formalization and filing; and (with
luck) concludes with a patent granted by law. At IBM, patents have strategic
importance. Accordingly, the company's internal processes support inventors and
have given IBM a significant place in the IP landscape. For UX design, UI
patents don't need to block creativity, but can rather enhance and facilitate

Details at:

Official Website: http://www.torchi.org

Added by libinpan on April 14, 2008

Interested 2