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Heimlich Maneuver on Operation Choke Point?

Free Lunch Podcast featuring Pete Patterson
Pete Patterson, Devon Westhill August 28, 2017

On August 16, the Department of Justice issued a letter repudiating the Department’s participation in an initiative known as “Operation Choke Point” during the Obama administration. Operation Choke Point sought to deprive members of disfavored industries, such as payday lenders and firearms dealers, of the right to access the banking system. The call will discuss Operation Choke Point, the Department of Justice Letter, and litigation against federal agencies who have participated in Operation Choke Point.

Featuring: 

  • Pete Patterson, Partner, Cooper & Kirk, PLLC

Is There a "Death Squad" at the U.S. Patent Office?: Examining the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

Free Lunch Podcast featuring Josh Malone, Kristen Osenga, and Brian O’Shaughnessy
Josh Malone, Kristen Osenga, Brian O’Shaughnessy, Devon Westhill August 21, 2017

In 2011, Congress created a new administrative tribunal in the U.S. Patent Office with the power to cancel previously granted patents, called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).  The PTAB was created to provide an efficient and inexpensive administrative process for eliminating low-quality patents – what are called “bad patents.” Despite its laudable purpose, the PTAB has earned a reputation among some as a prime example of regulatory overreach.  The PTAB’s critics cite a wide range of concerns including inadequate due process protections and bias against patents.  A former federal appellate chief judge even referred to PTAB administrative judges as “patent death squads.”  So, is the PTAB indeed harming the property rights that have helped to drive the U.S. innovation economy for over 200 years or, is it functioning as intended?  What are the concerns of its detractors?  If these concerns are valid, does the PTAB need simple reform or more?

This teleforum is held in conjunction with the Monday, August 14 release of a paper authored by members of the Regulatory Transparency Project’s Intellectual Property Working Group.  The paper is called “Crippling the Innovation Economy: Regulatory Overreach at the Patent Office.”  This paper, which discusses this new administrative tribunal at the Patent Office, is available for viewing and download at RegProject.org.

 

Featuring: 

  • Josh Malone, Inventor, Bunch O Balloons 

  • Kristen Osenga, Professor, University of Richmond School of Law 

  • Brian O’Shaughnessy, Partner, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP 

  • Devon Westhill, Director, Regulatory Transparency Project (Moderator) 

Bureaucracy in America

Free Lunch Podcast featuring Joseph Postell
Joseph Postell, Devon Westhill August 11, 2017

Administrative agencies, and extensive regulation of the economy, have always existed in America.  But from the founding to 1900, agencies were constrained by basic principles of representation, separation of powers, and judicial review.  In his new book, Bureaucracy in America: The Administrative State’s Challenge to Constitutional Government, Professor Joseph Postell explores American history, from the Revolutionary War to the present, to answer such questions as: What is the administrative state; Is it compatible with the basic principles of American constitutionalism; How have American thinkers and statesmen answered these questions in the past; What has changed since then; and, Do these changes pose a threat to our constitutional system?

Sign up for Regulatory Transparency Project updates at RegProject.org.

Cardiac Arrest: A Cautionary Tale

Free Lunch Podcast featuring Howard Root
Howard Root, Devon Westhill August 03, 2017

Howard Root started Vascular Solutions, a medical device company, from scratch. Fifteen years later, his Minnesota company had created over 500 American jobs and developed more than 50 new medical devices that saved and improved lives.

But in 2011, the federal government accused Howard of marketing medical devices for unapproved uses – a practice prohibited by the FDA.  Howard professed his innocence from the beginning but, when prosecutors set their sights on Howard and his company, there was no guarantee that he would save his company from closing or himself from prison.

5 years, 121 attorneys, and $25 million in legal fees later, his life’s work and freedom rested in the hands of 12 strangers in a San Antonio jury room.  Would Howard and his company be vindicated by the verdict, or had he made the biggest mistake of his life by challenging the federal government?

Sign up for Regulatory Transparency Project updates at RegProject.org.

IoT: Rise of the Machines?

Free Lunch Podcast featuring Paul Rosenzweig and Suhail A. Khan
Paul Rosenzweig, Suhail A. Khan, Devon Westhill July 28, 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of various devices to the Internet. The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing in prominence almost exponentially.   Today, manufacturers are creating products with cyber capabilities that range from life-critical systems such as cars or medical devices, to more prosaic, even whimsical products like internet-connected toasters.  The expansion of connectivity brings with it risks to security and privacy.

How should those risks be addressed?  Is this a case where the market will provide a solution?  Or is this one of those instances where regulation is required?  Are manufacturers liable for insecure products?  If not, who pays when something goes wrong?

Sign up for Regulatory Transparency Project updates at RegProject.org.