Sixth Annual IP Scholars Forum Focuses on Patent Law Reform


On Friday, Oct. 28, The University of Akron School of Law's Center for Intellectual Property and Technology hosted its Sixth Annual IP Scholars Forum. This year's topic was Patent Law Reform.  Participants from throughout the United States and as far away as Australia came to Akron to discuss the changes to patent law resulting from the America Invents Act (AIA), which was signed into law on Sept. 16, 2011. 

Participants at the Forum discussed their general thoughts on whether the AIA constituted reform in the right direction or whether the reform would be ineffective. Throughout the day, the participants discussed specific changes made by the AIA, including the role of supplemental examination, the move from a first-to-invent system to a first-to-file and first-to-disclose system, and whether the new rules on tax strategies and business methods will prove to be beneficial. These issues were discussed in the context of the legislative process, case law interpreting the 1952 Patent Act, and the underlying policies for the existing rules and the reforms.

Although there was disagreement by the scholars on specific issues, the consensus was that the AIA was less sweeping than reported, failed to solve most of the important needs of the patent system, and is likely to spur confusion and interesting legal arguments for several years to come.

The IP Scholars Forum is an annual event held each fall. The forum’s purpose is to bring together a small group of prominent scholars for intensive, high-level discussions on cutting-edge issues of common interest. Papers are not formally presented at the forum. Instead the event focuses on free-flowing discussion based on the forum topic, and the papers are submitted to later appear in symposium format in the Akron IP Journal.

For more information about the Akron Law Center for Intellectual Property and Technology, visit .

About The University of Akron
The University of Akron is the public research university for Northern Ohio. The Princeton Review listed UA among the “Best in the Midwest” in its 2011 edition of Best Colleges: Region-by-Region. Approximately 29,300 students are enrolled in UA’s approximately 300 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina and Holmes counties. For more information, visit

About The University of Akron School of Law
The University of Akron School of Law promotes justice, the protection of individual liberty and the rule of law through commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. A regional school of national impact, the law school features renowned programs in intellectual property, professional responsibility and trial advocacy, and is home to one of four Constitutional Law Centers in the United States, established by the U.S. Congress in 1986.To learn more, visit