PatCon: The Annual Patent Conference

Friday-Saturday, April 14-15, 2023

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, 375 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611


The Patent Conference ("PatCon") is an interdisciplinary forum where scholars from the fields of law, economics, business, public health, history & philosophy of science, engineering, and other disciplines can share their research. In addition, PatCon stands out in its commitment to including judges, USPTO personnel, and members of industry in order to encourage applications of scholarship in the wider world.

There is no registration fee to attend PatCon. Conference participants must pay their own travel and lodging, but all meals will be provided gratis during the conference.

Conference attendance is by invitation only.


Abstract List (pdf), alphabetically by last name

Consolidated file of Abstracts (pdf)


Friday, April 14, 2023

8:00-9:00 a.m. — Breakfast - Lowden Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 117) 

9:00-9:15 a.m.  — Welcome Remarks - Associate Dean of Research & Intellectual Life Paul Gowder and

                            co-hosts Laura Pedraza - Farina and David Schwartz. - Lincoln Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 104)

9:15-10:15 a.m.  — Opening Panel - Lincoln Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 104)

   Views on Innovation from Outside of Legal Academia 

   Moderated by Laura Pedraza-Fariña

10:15-10:30 a.m.  — Coffee break

10:35-11:55 a.m.  — Session 1

   Panel IA: Pharmaceutical Patents - Hurd Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 310)

  • Jacob SherkowInfringement by Label 
  • Shine Tu, The Long CON: An Empirical Analysis of Pharmaceutical Patent Thickets 
  • Bernard ChaoUSPTO's Lax Policy Leads To Biologic Formulation Thicket
  • Uri Hacohen, Autumn Is Coming: A Novel Liability Theory That May Kill Pharmaceutical Evergreening

   Panel IB: The Patenting Process - Hoyne Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 317)

  • Neel SukhatmeUnpacking Provisional Patent Applications 
  • Richard GrunerSeeing Innovation Differently: Scope and Meaning of Divergences in Examiner and Applicant Patent Citations
  • Chris Cotropia, Faster, Cheaper, and Better Patenting, co-authored with Colleen Chien
  • Ofer Tur-SinaiInterconnected Patent Systems: Patent Term Extensions as a Case Study 

12:00-1:00 p.m. — Lunch - Lowden Hall (Levy Mayer, LM117)

1:00-2:00 p.m. — Session II 

   Panel IIA: Patent Litigation I - Hurd Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 310)

   Panel IIB: Patents and Artificial Intelligence I  - Hoyne Hall (Levy Mayer, LM317)

  • Dan BurkCausation and Conception in American Inventorship (via Zoom)
  • John VillasenorReconceptualizing Conception: Making Room for Artificial Intelligence Inventions
  • Brenda Reddix-SmallsWhat Is the Metaverse? Who Dat? What Is Its’ Relationship to Intellectual Property?

2:00-3:00 p.m. — Session III

   Panel IIIA: Patent History - Hurg Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 310)

   Panel IIIB: Patents and Artificial Intelligence II - Hoyne Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 317)

  • Yuan Hao, The Rise of "Centaur" Inventors: How Patent Law Should Adapt to the Challenge to Inventorship
    Doctrine by Human-AI Inventing Synergies
  • Liza VertinskyWill Generative AI Change Patent Law?
  • Naama DanielRegistering AI-Generated Patents: A Revolution in Distributive Justice?

3:00-3:20 p.m. — Coffee break - Lowden Hall (Levy Mayer, LM117)

3:20-4:40 p.m. — Session IV 

   Panel IVA: Patents and Innovation Policy I - Hurd Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 310)

  • Lucy Xiaolu Wang, Is Grass Greener in the Gray Zone? Legalization and Innovation in the Cannabis Market
  • Andrew TorranceNovelty Does Not Mean Importance: An Empirical Comparison of Influence in Consolidating and Disruptive Patents
  • James HicksDo Patents Drive Investment in Capital?
  • Raymond RobertsonContraband Microchips - Patent Data, Semiconductors, and Sanctions 

   Panel IVB: Patent Doctrine - Hoyne Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 317)

4:50-5:30 — Award Presentation - Lincoln Hall (Levy Mayer, LM 104)

PatentVector logo  Lifetime Achievement Award to Rochelle Dreyfuss

    with speakers Graeme Dinwoodie and Michael Burstein

    Sponsored by PatentVector, LLC 

7:00 p.m. — Dinner 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

8:45-9:30 a.m. — Breakfast - Thorne Lobby - Rubloff 135

9:30-10:00 a.m. — Panel celebrating and remembering Dmitry Karshstedt (Neel Sukhatme, Andrew Torrance) - Rubloff, RB 175

10:00-10:30 a.m. — Coffee break

10:30-11:50 a.m. — Session V 

   Panel VA: Patent Theory - Rubloff, RB 175

   Panel VB: Patents and Innovation Policy II - Rubloff, RB 180

  • Andrew MorrissPatent Data as a Means of Evaluating Industrial Policy: Solar, Wind, and Fracking
  • Peter Lee, An Organizational Theory of International Technology Transfer
  • Christa Laser, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and NFTs
  • Jesse ThomasPatent Data as a Window to Tomorrow: Leveraging Information Networks for Data-Driven Insights Into Innovation 

11:50-12:50 p.m. — Lunch - Thorne Lobby, Rubloff 135

12:50-1:50 p.m. — Session VI 

   Panel VIA: Patent Litigation II - Rubloff, RB 175

   Panel VIB: Diversity and Inclusion in the Patent System - Rubloff, RB 180

  • Jordi GoodmanStrength in Numbers: Analyzing Group Dynamics of the Patent Gap
  • Andrew Toole, Closing the gender gap in patenting: Evidence from a randomized control trial at the USPTO
  • Colleen Chien, Organizational Barriers to Patenting: Evidence from Engineers 

2:00-3:00 p.m. — Session VII 

   Panel VIIA: Patent Institutions - Rubloff, RB175

  • Jeremy BockThe Federal Circuit’s Experimental Prism
  • Jonas Anderson, The Rise of the Super Judges: the Puzzle of Patent Trial Specialization 

   Panel VIIB: Patent Institutions - Rubloff, RB 180

3:00 p.m. — Adjourn

Conference Organizers 

David Schwartz and Laura Pedraza-Fariña


Warwick Allerton
701 N Michigan Ave