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FTC Announces Agenda for the Fourth Session of Its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

October 23-24 event at FTC will address innovation and IP policy

The Federal Trade Commission announced the agenda for the fourth session of its Hearings initiative, with two full days to be held at the FTC in Washington D.C. on October 23-24, 2018.

The two-day event will examine the role of intellectual property in promoting innovation from academic, economic, and industry perspectives The sessions also will examine emerging trends in patent quality and litigation, and will include the FTC’s first wide-scale exploration of copyright issues. Drew Hirshfeld, Commissioner for Patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will present a keynote address on October 24. See detailed agenda.

The Commission invites public comment on these issues, including on the questions listed below. Comments can be submitted electronically no later than December 21, 2018.

  1. Is there a role for the government in advancing or supporting innovation?
  2. What is the importance of intellectual property – all forms – in advancing, protecting, and supporting innovation? Does it differ because of industry-specific or other market-based factors, or because of the form of intellectual property?
  3. How does modern economic analysis and empirical literature view the relationship between intellectual property and innovation, and the role of government in advancing and supporting innovation? Are there differences that depend on the type of intellectual property, and the protections offered for that intellectual property?
  4. How can the FTC use its enforcement and policy authority to advance innovation? What factors should the FTC consider in attempting to achieve this objective?
  5. What are emerging trends in patent quality and litigation issues? Should these trends influence the FTC’s enforcement and policy agenda?
  6. How should the current status of copyright law and current business practices influence the FTC’s enforcement and policy agenda?

Additional sessions of the FTC Hearings initiative will be held throughout the fall and early winter. An initial list of remaining sessions and topics follows, and additional sessions and topics will be announced later:

November 1, 2018 (rescheduled from September 14)
Georgetown University Law Center’s Hart Auditorium

  • Vertical Merger Analysis and the Consumer Welfare Standard

November 6-7, 2018
American University Washington College of Law

  • Privacy, Big Data, and Competition

November 13-14, 2018
Howard University School of Law

  • Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics

The FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century will accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Request for accommodations should be submitted to Elizabeth Kraszewski via email at ekraszewski@ftc.gov or by phone at (202) 326-3087. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. Please allow at least five days advance notice for accommodation requests; last minute requests will be accepted but may not be possible to accommodate.

Hearing #4 On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century
October 23-24, 2018
FTC Constitution Center Auditorium
400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC