PatCon 8, The Annual Patent Conference

Call for Papers:  PatCon 8, The Annual Patent Conference

March 2–3, 2018
University of San Diego School of Law
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Basic Information

  • Conference Website:
  • Abstract Submission Deadline:  Friday, December 15, 2017
    Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words to
  • Notification of Acceptance:  Friday, December 22, 2018
  • Final Abstracts Due:  Friday, February 23, 2018
    (If you have a full paper and/or powerpoint you would be willing to post, we would appreciate them as well for CLE purposes—but they are not required.)


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.

The Patent Conference is a cooperative effort among Boston College Law School (David Olson), the University of Kansas School of Law (Andrew Torrance), Northwestern University School of Law (David Schwartz), and the University of San Diego School of Law (Ted Sichelman).

Feel free to contact Ted Sichelman with any questions at We hope to see you at PatCon 8!


Costs and Registration

Register here.

Registration Type Cost
Premium Registration (includes all Friday and Saturday events): $295*
Premium Registration for Students/Professors (requires .edu email address): no charge
Friday-only Registration: $195*
Friday-only Registration for Students/Professors (requires .edu email address): no charge
Saturday-only Registration: $95*
Saturday-only Registration for Students/Professors (requires .edu email address): no charge

* After February 1, 2018 the price for Premium Registration will be $375; the price for Friday-only Registration will be $275; and the price for Saturday-only will be $125.

Registration for Thursday’s event is through SDIPLA.


Thursday, March 1
The opening reception is co-hosted with SDIPLA and will be held on Thursday evening, March 1, at the Marriott in Carmel Valley. Registration for the opening reception is through SDIPLA.
Friday, March 2
The opening day of the conference will feature panels of judges, USPTO personnel, attorneys, scholars, and others from industry in a dialogue on the patent system and a keynote lunch address. Download the abstracts for the Scholars Concurrent Sessions at the top right of this page.
8:30 – 9:15 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:15 – 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
9:30 – 10 a.m. Opening Keynote: Carter G. Phillips, Partner, Sidley Austin; former Assistant to the Solicitor General
10 – 11 a.m. Judges Panel: The Honorable Cathy Ann Bencivengo & William V. Gallo, Southern District of California
11 – 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Industry Panel: Counsel from Fish & Richardson, Knobbe Martens, Microsoft, Perkins Coie, Sheppard Mullin
12:15 – 1:30 p.m. Keynote SpeechAndrei Iancu, Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent & Tradmark Office (Tentatively Confirmed); Managing Partner, Irell & Manella
1:30 – 1:45 p.m. Break
1:45 – 3 p.m. Patentability of Medical Diagnostics:  Dirk van den Boom, CEO, Juno Diagnostics, former CEO of Sequenom; Brian Sun, Director, Intellectual Property, Prometheus Laboratories;  Matthew Bresnahan, Partner-Elect, Wilson Sonsini; Prof. Joshua Sarnoff, DePaul University School of Law; Prof. Jeffrey Lefstin, Hastings School of Law
3 – 3:15 p.m. Break
3:15 – 3:30 p.m. USPTO Economists PresentationAndrew A. Toole, Chief Economist; Asrat Tesfayesus, Economist
3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Scholars Concurrent Session #1

  • TBD
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Conference Dinner at La Gran Terraza, USD (by invitation)
Saturday, March 3
8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Breakfast
9:15 – 10:45 a.m. Scholars Concurrent Session #2

  • TBD
10:45 – 11 a.m. Break
11 – 12:30 p.m. Scholars Concurrent Session #3

  • TBD
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 – 3 p.m. Scholars Concurrent Session #4

  • TBD
3 – 3:15 p.m. Break
3:15 – 4:45 p.m. Scholars Concurrent Session #5

  • TBD