Speaker Series September 16: Wendy Seltzer "Software Patents and/or Software Development"

The Thomson Reuters ISP Speaker Series scheduled for this Friday, September 16, at 12:00 p.m. in Room 122 of Yale Law School will feature Wendy Seltzer, a Senior Fellow here at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project.  The title of her talk is "Software Patents and/or Software Development."

If anyone is interested in reading the draft before (or after), you can find it at <http://wendy.seltzer.org/drafts/seltzer-softwarepatent.pdf>
Software Patents and/or Software Development

Many contemporary treatments of the patent system begin by recognizing that patents may introduce costs and inefficiencies, but conclude that since patents serve a necessary function as incentives to innovate, we must bear and mitigate their costs.

In the case of software patents, Wendy challenges the incentive side of the equation: Patents do not provide a useful incentive to innovation in the software industry, because the patent promise ill-suits the engineering and development practices and business strategies of software production.

Even an ideally implemented software patent -- well examined, fully disclosed and enabling, properly scoped in light of the prior art -- would fail to serve the incentive functions intended by the Constitution, the Patent Act, and standard patent theory.

Wendy Seltzer is a Fellow with Yale Law School's Information Society Project, researching "openness" in intellectual property, innovation, privacy, and free expression online. As a Fellow with Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Wendy founded and leads the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, helping Internet users to understand their rights in response to cease-and-desist threats. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Tor Project, promoting privacy and anonymity research, education, and technology.

She has taught Intellectual Property, Internet Law, Antitrust, Copyright, and Information Privacy at American University Washington College of Law, Northeastern Law School, and Brooklyn Law School and was a Visiting Fellow with the Oxford Internet Institute, teaching a joint course with the Said Business School, Media Strategies for a Networked World. Previously, she was a staff attorney with online civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in intellectual property and First Amendment issues, and a litigator with Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.

Wendy speaks and writes on copyright, patent, privacy, free and open source software, and the public interest online, seeking to improve technology policy in support of user-driven innovation. She has an A.B. from Harvard College and J.D. from Harvard Law School, and occasionally takes a break from legal code to program (Perl and MythTV). She blogs occasionally at http://wendy.seltzer.org/blog/ and http://freedom-to-tinker.com/

We look forward to seeing you there.