Monday September 18, 2006

Taking Bill Gates' Idea to Market

Bill Neukom, the lawyer who guided Microsoft through many of its legal challenges, will be part of a School of Law event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers receiving a patent for their 'flying machine.'

WHAT: A Century After the Airplane Patent: The Lawyer's Role in Innovation

WHERE: Mathias H. Heck Courtroom, Keller Hall, UD School of Law

WHEN: 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5

Bill Neukom, the lawyer who guided Microsoft through many of its legal challenges, including the case against Apple Computer, will lead a panel discussion on the lawyer's role in innovation. Neukom is the president-elect of the American Bar Association.

The event recognizes the 100th anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright receiving a patent for their "flying machine" and the lawyer's role in assuring technological advances in society. The Wright brothers' lawyer was Harry Toulmin of Springfield, Ohio.

The event is free and open to the public. Continuing legal education credit is available. Please contact Lee Ann Ross at 937-229-3793 or for CLE registration.

Other panelists, who will discuss hardships of the patent process, include:

John Doll, patent commissioner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Doll is responsible for all aspects of the patent-granting process for the United States, more than 5,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $970 million. Doll will cover the regulatory point of view.

Larry McKinney, judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana: Ronald Reagan appointed him to the seat vacated by William Steckler in 1987. Before that, McKinney served as a deputy Indiana attorney general and circuit judge in Johnson County, Ind. McKinney will provide a judge's view of what happens when problems surrounding technology reach the courts and the role of judges in dispute resolution.

Jesse Jenner, partner, Ropes and Gray: Jenner has been lead counsel in more than 100 lawsuits, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Clients include Ford, Georgia Pacific, Lucent and Pitney Bowes. Ropes and Gray is the successor law firm to Toulmin's practice. Jenner will discuss private intellectual property counsel's view of lawyers and innovation.

John Duffy, professor, George Washington University School of Law: A one-time clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Duffy is an author of a patent law casebook.

Also, the National Aviation Heritage Area will unveil a statue of Toulmin at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in Springfield. A flyover by the Wright B flyer highlights the ceremony. For more information on that event, call Dave Lightle at 937-477-1703.

The UD and George Washington University schools of law, the Aviation Heritage Foundation, the American Bar Association's intellectual property and air and space law sections, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, Ropes & Gray and the Turner Foundation are sponsoring the UD event.

The Turner Foundation, with support from the National Aviation Heritage Area, will host the Springfield event.

For more information, contact Lisa Kloppenberg at 937-229-3795 or Lee Ann Ross at 937-229-3793.