PUBLISHED:October 22, 2018

Rai, Frakes discuss innovation and intellectual property policy at Federal Trade Commission hearings, Oct. 23-24

Professors Arti Rai and Michael Frakes will take part in the Federal Trade Commission’s Hearings Initiative on Oct. 23 and 24 at the FTC’s Constitution Center facilities in Washington, D.C.

The two-day event, titled “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century,” will examine the role of intellectual property in promoting innovation from academic, economic, and industry perspectives; examine emerging trends in patent quality, and litigation; and include the FTC’s first wide-scale exploration of copyright issues.

Rai, the Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law and co-director of the Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy, will speak in the opening session, titled “An Overview of Innovation and IP Policy,” on Oct. 23 at 9:45 a.m. An internationally recognized expert in intellectual property law, innovation policy, administrative law, and health law, Rai focuses her current work on theoretical and empirical analyses of patent eligibility doctrine and on patent institutions, including the Patent Trial and Appeals Board created by the America Invents Act of 2011. From 2009 to 2010, she served as the administrator of the Office of External Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Rai will base her testimony, in part, on a recent CIP white paper titled “Righting the Research Imbalance.”

Frakes, a scholar of health law and innovation policy who holds a secondary appointment in Duke University’s Economics Department, will participate in a hearing titled “Economic Perspectives on Innovation and IP” on Oct. 24 at 3:15 p.m. His empirical research in innovation policy centers on the relationship between the financing of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and key aspects of its decision-making. He also serves as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

USPTO Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld will present a keynote address on Oct. 24.

The series of FTC hearings are designed to examine whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to the commission’s competition and consumer protection enforcement priorities, according to its website. The website states that the public events, in conjunction with the public comment process, will provide the FTC with a broad and diverse range of viewpoints and stimulate evaluation of key enforcement and policy issues.