The Catholic University of America

Ethical Issues in Patent Law
March 29, 2007

Catholic University of America

Columbus School of Law

9:00 am to 4:30 pm


Sponsored By:
Venable, L.L.P.
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P.


On March 29, 2007 the Columbus School of Law of the Catholic University of America will be hosting a symposium entitled "Ethical Issues in Patent Law." This daylong symposium will explore the various nuances of the ethical burden particular to the practice of patent law highlighted by our keynote speaker, the Honorable Paul Michel, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

There will be four panels each focusing on a different aspect of the ethical obligations faced by lawyers with such distinguished participants as the Honorable Edward Damich, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, the Honorable T.S. Ellis, III, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, David Jones, Counsel for the Senate Intellectual Property Committee, and Suzanne Michel, Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property with the Federal Trade Commission.

The day will begin with a discussion of the proposed change to the first to file system and its impact on small inventors and innovation. After a break, the day will continue with a session on litigating in various forums, including a discussion of how practitioners choose the forum in which to bring their client's suits and what factors must be evaluated in such a decision. Judge Michel will then speak over lunch. The afternoon will begin with a discussion of lobbying, legislation and the ethical limitations inherent therein. The final session of the day will include a discussion of ethical dilemmas faced by actual patent practitioners in the real world. Panelists will speak on standards-setting activities in the context of private patent/antitrust litigation and government antitrust enforcement (e.g., Rambus) and how the patent office determines what ethical violations should result in a suspension of a patent practitioner's ability to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Here at Catholic University we pride ourselves on studying social justice and its implications in the law. This symposium promises to provide a vehicle for this exploration. Virginia CLE credit has been requested for the day. For more information you can also call Professor Susanna Fischer at 202.319.5568 or Professor Elizabeth Winston at 202.319.5158.