2012-13 AIPLA President Jeffrey I.D. Lewis
2012 Annual Meeting Bulletin
View the full Bulletin
It’s a bit daunting to be President of AIPLA. There are many significant issues to deal with, but the Association is lucky enough to have superb Committees that assist the Board of Directors and Officers as these issues arise. As a chemical engineer who does primarily patent litigation, many topics are outside of my “wheelhouse,” but I can always rely on great advice from the AIPLA professional staff and Committees to bring me up to speed.
So if the Committees are as wonderful as I say (and they are), you are probably wondering, “What’s so daunting?” What keeps me up at night is finding ways to keep the Association‘s over 14,000 members engaged. AIPLA is not just an “inside the beltway” organization, or one that just mails out information. AIPLA is concerned about members and issues wherever they are located. (My office is not in the DC area either, by the way. Patterson Belknap is a one-office law firm in New York.) Over the next year, I hope to reinforce that point as my fellow AIPLA Officers and I travel around the country. Our name is the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and I intend to make sure that members throughout the country, as well as international members, feel connected.
I therefore want to use this column to introduce you to two initiatives for this year that I hope will achieve this goal.
The first concerns World IP Day, an international event that AIPLA has celebrated in Washington, DC for several years. While it’s important to have our legislators and their staff on board with IP, it also is important to have the rest of America on board too. So this year we are going to start celebrating World IP Day around the country in a few key cities, with the goal of expanding the program to additional cities each year. AIPLA is going to provide the content – the speeches, slides, etc. – for AIPLA members to speak with local civic groups, state officials, school children, … maybe even garden clubs … and spread the teachings of Intellectual Property. We have a team led by Sal Anastasi, and Michael Stewart developing the materials and reaching out to local organizations, IP and otherwise, to get World IP Day as a nationwide event.
This is one part of a broader Public Education Initiative to which we are dedicated. In case you missed it, intellectual property has been getting hammered in the press while at the same time, it crept into this year’s Presidential debates and newspapers in odd ways. We need to educate the public, judges and legislators if we’re going to turn this around. AIPLA has a Rapid Response Team that does an admirable job responding to publications, but we are looking for new ways of addressing these issues and rebuilding positive public perceptions of IP. We need to preach it to the people, and that’s why World IP Day seemed like the appropriate vehicle to expand this process.
The second initiative is more personal. For the next year I will be authoring a blog in conjunction with Managing IP (www.managingip.com/blog). It will tell you what’s happening at AIPLA, discuss my travel and meetings on your behalf, and may be even include broader thoughts about intellectual property or the Association. Please read along and see what’s going on in your organization. I hope that this will make the organization more transparent and accessible to the members.
So, in conclusion I want to extend an invitation to you all. If there’s a reason for me to be in your locale to support an IP event, please let me know as soon as you can. I, or one of the Officers or staff, will try to be there. It’s vitally important to our practices and AIPLA that we keep communication open, and there’s no better way than seeing each other face-to-face.