University of Pittsburgh
March 21, 2012

New York University Law Professor Rochelle C. Dreyfuss to Deliver March 22 Pitt Lecture About Current Issues Surrounding Patents

The event is part of the Pitt School of Law and its Innovation Practice Institute’s Annual Distinguished Innovation Law Lecture
Contact:  412-624-4147


PITTSBURGH—As an abundance of innovative ideas and inventions fill our markets, discussions regarding intellectual property and patents—sole rights granted to inventors by the government to make use of, license, or sell their inventions for a set time period—have taken center stage in the news and in policy making. To further those discussions, Rochelle C. Dreyfuss, the Pauline Newman Professor of Law at New York University (NYU), will give a lecture titled “Are Patents Good for Science?” at 4 p.m. March 22 in Room 409 of the Barco Law Building, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. A reception will follow the free public event, which is being presented by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and its Innovation Practice Institute.

An expert in the relationship between law and science, intellectual property, and patent law, Dreyfuss will speak about the increasing complexity of the patent ecosystem, the impact of the burgeoning patent system on basic science, and other strategies for facilitating knowledge production. She will further explore critical assumptions by President Obama, who has emphasized the importance of innovation in social welfare and suggested that patenting and job growth are intimately related.

Dreyfuss also will look at the political economy of patent lawmaking, considering the potential impact of the recently passed Leahy-Smith American Invents Act on scientific research. The act passed with strong bipartisan support on Sept. 16, 2011, and was described as “the most significant reform of the Patent Act since 1952.”

Currently serving as codirector of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy at NYU, Dreyfuss has previously served as a Thomas Christian Fellow at Oxford University, the Yong Shook Lin Visiting Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the National University of Singapore, and the Harry M. Cross Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Washington’s School of Law. She earned her BA from Wellesley College, an MS from the University of California at Berkeley, and a JD from Columbia Law School.

The Innovation Practice Institute at Pitt Law is a collaboration between the law school, the practicing bar, and local innovators and entrepreneurs that re-imagines how the legal profession can advance regional economic development by using cutting-edge research, new classroom models, hands-on mentoring of law students, and community engagement.

For those seeking credit, the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board has approved this lecture for one hour of substantive credit. Preregistration is requested for the credit and costs $25. To register for credit, contact Lila Steffy at 412-648-1305 or

For more information about the lecture, visit the Pitt Law School Web site at




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