If the growth of the internet taught us anything, it is that not everyone welcomes exciting, disruptive technologies. Impacted industries like film and music demanded that Congress protect them from the internet. In the near future, companies disrupted by the widespread adoption of 3D printing could set off a new wave of DRM and intellectual property (IP) expansion. To understand how this might happen, first you need to understand how IP law applies to things that can be 3D printed. Can you copyright a hammer? Can you patent a sculpture? After explaining how IP applies to objects coming out of a 3D printer, this talk will highlight steps being taken to protect 3D printing from being strangled in Washington, DC.
Software patents have a mixed reputation. They make some millions, are labeled a scourge by others, and are generally just overlooked or misunderstood by the general public. In the end, it's an open question whether they drive innovation or hamper it.The panel will discuss patent issues as relating to startups and emerging technologies. Topics covered include: Whether acquiring patents makes sense, issues about building on third-party platforms, the growth of patent litigation, and the relationship between patents and innovation; relying on real-world examples when possible.Julie Samuels of EFF will discuss an emerging trend of suing startups over patents. Ruben Rodrigues of Foley & Lardner LLP will discuss when startups might consider patents, when not to, and different perspectives on patents and innovation. Having reported on "patent trolls" for NPR, Laura Sydell will discuss her impressions of the patent system and its effect on innovation.
9th–13th March 2012