Innovation Speaker Series - Heidi L. Williams (Thursday, June 3, 2021)
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
Innovation Speaker Series
The Innovation Speaker Series is a school-wide faculty speaker series that brings together leading thinkers on innovation, science, and entrepreneurship from a variety of disciplines. We hope that you will join us in welcoming these talented innovators to Kellogg!

For general questions regarding the seminar series, please contact:

Featured Speaker
June 3
Reforming the Patent System

Heidi L. Williams
Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics; Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research; Professor of Law (by Courtesy), Stanford University

A fundamental question at the heart of many patent reform efforts is whether the benefits of patents outweigh their costs. While there is empirical uncertainty about the answer to that question, this uncertainty does not imply that the patent system cannot be improved. Ouellette and Williams (2020) propose three tailored reforms that we argue would improve the patent system without needing to take a stand on this fundamental question, each of which addresses a failure of the patent system to accomplish one of its stated goals: (1) disclosing accurate information about new discoveries; (2) providing notification about ownership of patent rights; and (3) providing uniform patent terms across inventions. Budish, Durvasula, Roin, and Williams (2021) provide evidence relevant to this third reform, empirically investigating the consequences of variation in effective patent terms for pharmaceutical innovation.

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