Software Patents in Practice: Talk by Andre Merizzi & Alistair Forster

Monday, March 20, 2017 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm

TITLE: Software Patents in Practice

SPEAKERS: Alistair Forster and Andre Merizzi, Merizzi Ramsbottom & Forster

HOST: Andy Warfield

ABSTRACT: There has long been tension between software creation and its protection as intellectual property. Whether and how to protect software continues to be a hot topic globally and we would like to invite students and faculty to discuss the legal framework underlying this tension. While we plan on discussing the legal issues surrounding software and patents, we also have significant experience working with start-ups and research institutes and so we can also speak to the practical realities of obtaining patent protection for technologies originating from an academic setting, software-based or otherwise. Lastly, we will also discuss career opportunities that exist in the field of patents and IP, especially for computer scientists who are interested in exploring a somewhat unconventional career path.

Talk overview:
1 - What is a patent, why do we have them? 2 - Tension with software - should software be patentable? 3 - The law in Canada and abroad (including a brief review of how we got where we are) 4 - Alternative protection (copyright, trade secret, open source licensing) 5 - Practical and strategic considerations for both software and research-based technology 6 - Career opportunities for computer scientists 7 - Discussion


Andre Merizzi, Partner & Patent Agent, Merizzi Ramsbottom & Forster

André holds a graduate degree in physics from the University of Ottawa, focusing in semiconductors, optics, solid state and laser physics. His aptitude for all-things-science and drive to secure market-relevant claims for his clients has led André to advise clients in a gamut of highly technical fields, from ICT and software start-ups to universities, government and medical research agencies and established high-tech companies. An esteemed expert in Canadian patents, André advises foreign associates in the prosecution of Canadian patent applications. He is an active participant and committee member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and is a current instructor for the Patent Agent Training Course and a member of the Patent Agent Examination Board for three years.

Alistair Forster, Partner & Lawyer, Merizzi Ramsbottom & Forster

Before joining MRF, Alistair worked as chemical engineer, practiced patent law in a national intellectual property law firm, and served as in-house counsel for a number of technology-based organizations. He has worked with clients to build, defend, and license patent portfolios, as well as to defend against patent assertion claims. Alistair has published articles on patent strategy and other technology-law matters, lectured on intellectual property at the University of Ottawa, and appeared before the Federal Court of Canada on patent matters.

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