Reaffirming Intellectual Property Rights in an Information Age
Recorded on October 15, 2002
The Van Andel Center located at The Heritage
This year marks the bicentennial of the creation of the U.S.
Patent Office. For two hundred years, the USPTO has served as the
clearinghouse for American innovation. Indeed, intellectual
property rights -- the basic right to benefit from a product of
one's thoughts and ideas -- have played a critical role in
America's evolution into the most technologically advanced,
economically vibrant power on earth. The celebration of the legacy
of the USPTO and America's IP system comes at a time of great
challenge for the agency - and for intellectual property rights
generally. An explosion of patent filings and increasingly complex
technology threatens to overwhelm the USPTO. Patent pendency rates
now average over two years, and without significant changes to the
way they are processed, rates soon will reach three to four
At the same time, the very tenets of the U.S. intellectual
property system are being challenged, in areas ranging from the
pirating of music to the weakening of pharmaceutical patents.
Intellectual property is the principal engine for the creation of
wealth in our society, and therefore, our speaker will argue, it
deserves the same stringent protection that we afford tangible
private property. Please join Judge Rogan, a former Member of
Congress, to discuss these and other issues.