Silicon Valley Raises Voice On IP Reform
Professor Mark A. Lemley is quoted in a Law.com article about a fundraiser held in the Silicon Valley for Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Leahy heads a committee that is expected to reintroduce patent law reform legislation. Law.com writes:
Silicon Valley's most powerful lawyers crowded into Symantec Corp. CEO John Thompson's tony Woodside, Calif., home on Feb. 17 for a fundraiser for a Vermont senator -- and it wasn't because they've suddenly become interested in maple syrup.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is expected to reintroduce a patent reform bill as early as today, according to people familiar with the matter. So it's no surprise that a who's who of tech general counsel -- Cisco Systems' Mark Chandler, Intel's Bruce Sewell, Google's Kent Walker -- and a phalanx of patent litigators paid $1,000 to down wine and hors d'oeuvres with the senator. A small group, committed to raising $10,000 for Leahy, got to stay for dinner.
"He's chair of the judiciary committee, and patent reform is an area of great interest to Silicon Valley," explained Mark Lemley, a Stanford Law School IP professor, who was in attendance, but didn't stay for dinner.
"Most of the real problems identified in [the previous] bills have been solved in the courts," Lemley said.
Lemley said Silicon Valley's political involvement is much greater than a decade ago.
"I think if you compare this connection between the Valley and D.C. to 10 years ago, the difference is really dramatic," he said.