Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 1 – 2:30pm
Software is everywhere – in our desktop applications, mobile phones, coffee makers, automobiles, and pacemakers – yet how to categorize it and protect the work of its authors, inventors, and coders has long been controversial. Is software patentable, copyrightable, or should some other domain of rights and property apply? As language that controls machines, generates virual worlds, and creates and solves equations, software crosses traditional boundaries. Since the emergence of computer software in the 1940s, inventors, legal scholars, attorneys, and jurists have wrangled with a number of issues. Should a coded set of instructions (by itself) be eligible for intellectual property protection, or must the software be embedded physically in some device? To protect software, should developers apply for a patent or a copyright? Who should be responsible to detect and deter software piracy and infringement, and at what scale? How do we prevent overlapping or competing claims from stifling further innovation in one of our most transformative industries?
Panelists will discuss the history and development of software IP protections while considering the concerns of inventors, corporations, and consumers.
Co-sponsor: Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School
Venue: American History Museum
Event Location: 1st Floor, West Wing, Coulter Performance Plaza