USPTO to Hold Conference on Database Protection and Access Issues

Press Release

Richard Maulsby
Brigid Quinn

The Commerce Department's Patent and Trademark Office will hold a one-day conference on Tuesday, April 28, 1998, on issues related to protection of and access to compilations of data. Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Bruce Lehman, will open the program at 8:30 a.m., in the Falk Auditorium of the Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The database conference is intended to bring together representatives from academia, private industry, and government for an in-depth, day-long discussion of the fundamental questions related to database protection and access. This conference is intended to help policy makers understand the wide range of issues in this important area by soliciting the advice of individual members of the public.

Conference topics will explore whether a comprehensive regime of legal protection [under copyright] is needed for compilations of data, what safeguards should exist to ensure robust levels of scientific and academic research, what market failures do exist or are likely to exist in data generation industries, and whether government-generated or government-financed data should be subject to special access rules.

Among the conference panelists and moderators are:

  • Mr. Toby Bainton, Standing Committee on National and University Libraries, London
  • Prof. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago
  • Dr. Martin Blume, American Physical Society, Washington, D.C.
  • Prof. Yale Braunstein, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Richard Corlin, American Medial Association, Chicago
  • Sir Roger Elliott, Oxford University, Oxford
  • Prof. Jane Ginsburg, Columbia University, N.Y.
  • Prof. Marci Hamilton, Cardozo Law School, N.Y.
  • Mr. C. Dean Hammond, Hammond, Inc., Maplewood, N.J.
  • Ms. Jennifer Krueger, New York Public Library, N.Y.
  • Prof. Robert Ledley, Georgetown Medical School, Washington, D.C.
  • Mr. Eric Lee, Commercial Internet Exchange Association, Washington, D.C.
  • Shira Perlmutter, U.S. Copyright Office, Washington, D.C.
  • Provost Charles Phelps, Rochester University, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Prof. J.H. Reichman, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Dr. Jorg Reinbothe, European Commission, Brussels
  • Prof. Jan Rosen, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm
  • Mr. Joel Rothstein Wolfson, Nasdaq, Inc., Washington, D.C.
  • Mr. Paul Uhlir, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.
  • Mr. Paul Warren, Warren Publishing, Washington, D.C.
  • Prof. Andreas Wiebe, Institute of Legal Informatics, Hanover, Germany