1950 University Ave, Suite 200
Berkeley, California 94704

Free and open to the public, followed at 4pm with a Social Jam that includes refreshments - and beer. It would be helpful if you mark attending/watching above.

Duane R. Valz, Yahoo!
PATENTLEFT: Are patents inherently disruptive, or can they play a meaningful role in supporting innovation and incentivizing quality contributions to Open Source and Open Standards projects?

Open source projects and the “Copyleft” movement have made their mark on the software and Internet industries. To the question “Can there be viable and self-sustaining software and technology development outside the proprietary framework of copyright law?” – the past decade has shown us that the answer is a resounding “Yes”! An ongoing tension in open source and open standards projects, however, is the role that patent rights should or should not play. Microsoft’s recent patent license deal with Novell around Linux products raised a firestorm of controversy. In light of both this license deal and other concerns, the “last call” draft of GPL v3 goes further than prior versions in its attempt to neutralize the effect of patent rights on open projects. This tension is playing out in a larger dialogue regarding the proper role of patents in the software and Internet industries generally, and during an era of radical patent reform. In this talk, I will discuss: the role of patents in structuring markets and fostering innovation in those markets, how patents are used beneficially in for-profit standard setting organizations around hardware and networking technologies and explore some of the fits and misfits of patents for open development of software and Internet technologies.

Duane Valz, a graduate of UCB’s Boalt Hall School of Law, is VP & Associate General Counsel for Global Patent Strategy at Yahoo! In that role he leads a team of attorneys and engineers responsible for the company’s worldwide invention harvesting, patent filings and portfolio management. Additionally, Mr. Valz advises on IP-related litigation, licensing, regulation and strategic corporate development matters. Among his present areas of interest and research are the intersection of the copyright, trademark and patent law regimes in the creation and distribution of digital content, and evolving frameworks for distributed technology development, including the open source movement.

Official Website: http://yahooresearchberkeley.com

Added by berkeleybohemian on June 29, 2007




I wish I could be there today!