"Although I'm a lawyer, and I suspect many in the audience are lawyers, it's important to start, I think, with economics because what we're concerned about is innovation, and especially in these grave times what we can do to promote innovation. And the question that arises is to what extent do certain types of patents promote innovation. It's not about patents as an end in themselves obviously. It's a question of whether the economic goal of innovation is being promoted through patents. The empirical economic evidence on this is becoming remarkably richer, and that is a wonderful thing, thanks to the contributions of folks like these on the panel. With respect to this evidence, it's pretty clear that at least for large firms, patents most directly affirmatively promote innovation in areas like chemistry and pharmaceuticals that involve technologies that are less abstract than some of the technologies we'll be considering today."