PUBLISHED:January 21, 2011

Rai participates in government roundtable on technology standardization

Duke Law Professor Arti Rai participated in a high-level roundtable discussion on the government’s role in standard-setting for new technology sectors in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 25. The discussion, sponsored by the Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), featured top officials from the government and leading policy strategists.

Rai, Duke’s Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law, discussed government participation in private sector standard-setting, and the subsequent adoption of standards by government agencies.

“The federal government is interested in the ways in which it can help to develop standards in areas that potentially implicate government and national interest, like the smart grid, cyber security, and health information technology,” said Rai, who served as the administrator of the Office of External Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 2009 to 2010.

Rai’s research on innovation policy in areas such as green technology, software and drug development touches on concerns about the intersection of government standard-setting and patent infringement. “Patents and standards have historically had a very interesting relationship,” she said.

Rai's academic research on innovation policy has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals and law reviews, including Nature Biotechnology, PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and the Columbia, Georgetown, and Northwestern law reviews. She is the editor of Intellectual Property Law and Biotechnology: Critical Concepts (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2011) and also has co-authored a casebook on law and the mental health system.