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2014-2015 Annual Report

2015 Annual report logo for web 10.28.15.jpg

president message.jpgIn reflecting over the past year, I’ve strengthened my belief that AIPLA is the premiere IP association domestically and internationally. AIPLA plays a significant and active role in IP advocacy, global outreach, public education, and service to our membership.  The work we do, the services we offer, and the positions we take generally originate from the efforts of our more than 50 committees. This year, I have been on the email list for all of our committees and I continue to be impressed with all their activities and initiatives.   
AIPLA is an individual member organization, and during my Presidency I made member service one of my top priorities.  I wanted to particularly focus on our local outreach efforts. While several of our committees already have local outreach systems in place, I hoped to see these offerings for our members expand around the country.  From my view, our Committees and their members stepped up to the plate. Two of our biggest local outreach programs, World IP Day Celebrations and the Women in IP Global Networking Dinners, broadened their reach, hosting events in more locations in 2015 than ever before.
Working with our IP Law Associations Committee, AIPLA conducted a successful online program as part of our Front & Center Series on Patent Demand Letters and legislative developments at the state level.  We publicized this program to regional and local groups throughout the country.  It was a great way to get the word out about an important and evolving topic and, hopefully, this will be a good model for future programs. 
Our roadshows also are an important part of what we do and provide a unique way to bring AIPLA’s offerings closer to you. This year we hosted 16 roadshows and seminars around the country, including collaborations with the USPTO and WIPO, as well as the ABA-IPL and IPO.  
At such an important time for our profession, I would be remiss not to mention the advocacy efforts of AIPLA. From decisions in the courts to happenings at the USPTO and the US Copyright Office, to activities on the Hill and beyond, the IP field has been evolving at a rapid pace.  Our substantive law committees work tirelessly to keep up with and respond to these changes, allowing AIPLA to continue to play a very active role in advocacy initiatives. From engaging in legislative activities on Capitol Hill, to interfacing with the USPTO, the Copyright Office, other agencies, to filing amicus briefs before the courts, and engaging with other IP offices globally, AIPLA is working hard to ensure our voice is being heard.
Finally, while we are first and foremost a US-based organization, we can and do have an influence on IP worldwide, which is important in our global economy. We have about 15 committees focusing on global outreach and I’m very proud of their efforts and of all that AIPLA is doing in the international arena.  AIPLA is well regarded nationally and internationally.  That speaks volumes of all my predecessors, all of our leadership, our committees and our top-notch staff. 
Thank you to our membership, committee leaders, Board of Directors, and talented Staff for the opportunity to work with you and serve the Association as President over the past year.  It has been the experience of a lifetime and one that I will never forget!
        Sharon A. Israel