Patent Law at a Crossroads: Bilski and Beyond

October 29, 2009

On November 9, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in Bilski v. Kappos, a case that could fundamentally alter the application and scope of U.S. patent law and be felt across the economy, from banking and e-commerce to software and pharmaceuticals.

In deciding whether to uphold the US Patent Office’s rejection of Bernard Bilski’s 1997-patent application on a process of hedging risk in commodities trading, the court will determine whether computer software and business methods are subject matter that can be patentable at all.

For more than twenty years, Columbia Law School Professor Eben Moglen has been working on issues of intellectual property and intellectual freedom. As the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) since 2005, Moglen has provided pro-bono legal services to free and open source software developers and been at the center of the debate on patent policy in the U.S.

On November 2, Professor Moglen will discuss the significance of the Bilski case and the evolution of U.S. patent law from promoting industrialization in the 19th Century to controlling the most important commodity in today’s economy, information.

Where: Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Room 423

When: 12:00 pm on November 2, exactly one week before opening arguments in Bilski v. Kappos at the Supreme Court.Contact: Lysandra Ohrstrom, SFLC Communications Director, (212) 461-1915

UPDATE: See recordings and transcript for this event here

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