Patent and Open Source Panel

Panel: Bridging the Gap Between Patent and Open Source

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 1:30 pm Griswold 110, Harvard Law School

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Luis Villa is currently the 'senior geek in residence' at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, working on a variety of software projects, including the h2o project and internal tools. Prior to that, he was at Ximian and Novell, working on Linux-based desktop projects with global teams of hackers. His projects included the Evolution PIM, the GNOME 2.0 release (in collaboration with Sun), and the Ximian and Novell Linux Desktops. Outside of the Berkman Center, Luis remains involved in Free Software, serving on the GNOME Foundation's Board of Directors and the Fedora Project's Advisory Board.

Luis's undergraduate education was at Duke University, where he majored in political science and computer science (neither of which are a science, of course.) While at Duke, Luis attended over one hundred basketball games while wearing a devil mask, and co-authored Extreme Mindstorms: An Advanced Guide To Lego Mindstorms.


Marian Underweiser is Intellectual Property Counsel for IBM Corporation. She is responsible for all aspects of IP legal support for IBM’s corporate business functions. Ms. Underweiser is also a founding member of IBM’s IP legal strategy and policy committee. In this latter role she has led in formulating, expressing and executing IBM’s public policy on a broad spectrum of IP matters. Her recent work in this area includes authorship of IBM’s amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court case of eBay v. Mercexchange, formulation and deployment of the patent quality projects undertaken by the USPTO and Open Source Software Communities, as well as development of numerous proposals for legislative reform of IP laws in the US and abroad. Within IBM Ms. Underweiser has played a pivotal role in managing the IBM legal department’s transition from a proprietary product-based business to one focused on services, open-source and open standards, lecturing based on the numerous internal position papers she has authored on these subjects. Previously, Ms. Underweiser served as a member of IBM’s IP licensing function where she led IP negotiations for many of IBM’s major transactions including divestitures and high profile patent and technology licensing matters. Prior to joining IBM, Ms. Underweiser was a litigation associate at Kenyon & Kenyon.

Ms. Underweiser is a graduate of Harvard University where she received her AB in Physics in 1983. She received her PhD in Physics from UCLA in 1992, and her JD from Columbia Law School in 1997. She is admitted to practice law in New York, and is registered to practice before the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Professor Michael Carroll received his A.B., with general honors, from the University of Chicago and his J.D. magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. He also was elected to the Order of the Coif. While in law school, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the American Criminal Law Review. Following law school, he worked for approximately one year as an associate attorney at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C. and then clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Joyce Hens Green. He later clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge Judith W. Rogers. He returned to Wilmer after completing that clerkship. At Wilmer, he practiced in the intellectual property and e-commerce areas. He also has co-taught a copyright class at Georgetown University Law Center. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Creative Commons, Inc.

Dan Ravicher is Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization that represents the public's interests in the patent system, and most particularly the public's interests against the harms caused by wrongly issued patents and unsound patent policy; Legal Director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), a not-for-profit legal services organization that provides pro-bono legal representation and other law-related services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software, and a registered patent attorney. Prior to founding PUBPAT and co-founding SFLC with Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia Law School, Mr. Ravicher was associated with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP, and Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, LLP, all in New York, and served the Honorable Randall R. Rader, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.. Mr. Ravicher received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the Franklin O. Blechman Scholar for his class, a Mortimer Caplin Public Service Award recipient and Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, and his bachelors degree in materials science magna cum laude with University Honors from the University of South Florida. Mr. Ravicher has published numerous legal articles and given dozens of presentations regarding both Free and Open Source Software legal issues and patent law and is an Adjunct Professor of Patent Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Diane Peters, OSDL's first general counsel, has advised the non profit organization for more than 4 years. She is responsible for all of the organization’s global legal operations and affairs, including overseeing the Patent Commons Project and working with the U.S. Patent Office on patent quality reform with specific emphasis on the Open Source as Prior Art Initiative ( Prior to joining OSDL, Diane practiced law at Ater Wynne LLP in Portland. Before joining Ater Wynne, she worked with firms in Buenos Aires, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. In her private practice, Diane advised trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations on nonprofit, corporate, and anti-trust issues and counseled clients on software licensing issues. She also worked closely with emerging growth technology companies on corporate finance and intellectual property matters.

Diane holds a number of board and advisory board positions, including board director for Software Freedom Law Center. She earned a B.A. in political science from Grinnell College in 1986, and a J.D. from Washington University School of Law in 1989, where she served as an executive editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly.