David Olson is a Resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society. David’s current research interests are in the areas of software/business method patents, subject matter patentability, the law and economics of the U.S. patent system, and international regulation of intellectual property.The federal courts used to act as gatekeepers who determined which sorts of inventions (which "subject matter" in patent-speak) should be patentable and which should not. The clear theory underlying this role was that some sorts of inventions simply should not be patentable. With the advent of computer software and the information age, however, the courts faced an assault on their old tests for whether a type of subject matter should be patentable. The courts reacted to this assault by abandoning the barricades and allowing patentability for virtually any sort of invention.
David Olson will present a lecture based on his paper arguing that the courts should have kept to the barricades, and that if they won't remount them, then Congress should delegate the patentable subject matter gatekeeper role to someone who will.