Provided below is a quick overview of the AIPLA Committees, what they do, and the volunteer opportunities offered. To get involved, locate AIPLA committees that interest you, visit their microsite(s), attend their meetings, meet the Chairs and Vice-Chairs, and volunteer to help out on a project and/or become a Target Substantive Committee (TSC) Liaison.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Committee promotes and provides continuing legal education opportunities that address procedures, methods, and approaches to resolving intellectual property disputes which may be used as alternatives to litigation, including mediation and arbitration. The Committee maintains a Registry of Neutrals who are available to act as mediators and arbitrators in intellectual property disputes.
Members of the Committee are appointed by the President-Elect of AIPLA. The Committee identifies cases having significant issues that may impact IP law or practice, consider requests for amicus participation from others pursuant to the committee's rules of procedure, recommend to the Board of Directors that AIPLA file amicus briefs in appropriate situations and obtain authors for such briefs.
Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy
The Committee addresses legislative, judicial, and enforcement issues relating to the problems facing trademark and copyright owners in addressing the problem of counterfeiting and piracy of their intellectual property. The Committee has several working groups that address these topics. The committee coordinates its efforts with other organizations to strengthen the IP communities' voice in strengthening US laws and regulations in an effort to combat counterfeiting and piracy.
The Committee focuses on competition issues involving intellectual property in the United States and worldwide. In recent years, the Committee has especially focused on issues pertaining to standardization of technology, generic pharmaceuticals, and actions by the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. The committee has participated in amicus briefs on competition issues, and publishes a newsletter for each AIPLA meeting with articles contributed by its members.
The Committee strives to be an active resource and open forum for biotechnology patent practitioners. Topics of interest (controversial or otherwise) are covered in various forums such as the committee's website and CLE programs at the stated meetings. The Committee also serves as a resource for AIPLA when positions relevant to biotechnology are taken. Recent examples of such assistance include commenting on the USPTO’s proposed rule changes regarding Markush claim practice and biological deposit practice, and assisting in directing AIPLA for positions on proposed legislation, such as the Becerra bill, which sought to prohibit the patenting of genetic material.
The Committee has a unique practice area focus from which it considers all areas of patent practice. Members consider and discuss aspects of patent law as they affect chemical-based technologies, including chemical manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. The Committee has extensive subcommittees with focuses ranging from judicial and administrative decisions to USPTO practice, from corporate practice to international practice.
The Committee is responsible for considering laws, regulations and practices providing or affecting rights relating to copyrights. The Committee also works to inform the membership about recent important judicial decisions in the copyright field and all phases of activity of the Copyright Office of concern to the profession or the public. Most recently, it has worked with the AIPLA staff and the Electronic Business, Automation & Harmonization of Standards Committee to educate people about the Copyright Office’s new online copyright registration process.
The Committee develops programming and disseminates information relating to intellectual property law and practice that is particularly useful to corporate lawyers. The Committee will continue to explore ways to encourage participation in AIPLA by more corporate lawyers. In addition to programming at Stated Meetings, the Corporate Practice Committee is focused on several initiatives for this association year.
Diversity in IP Law
The Committee is working to increase the number of diverse students that enter into the IP profession. Towards this goal, the Committee is reaching out to minority engineering students through a reception at the Annual Meeting. The Committee will also look to partner with engineering schools to reach diverse students throughout the year, through programs hosted at the individual schools. Second, the Diversity in IP Law Committee is working to increase the presence of its members on other Committees and as speakers at the various AIPLA meetings.
The Committee focuses on the education of law students and professionals about intellectual property. One of its main activities is presenting the three-day AIPLA Practical Prosecution Training for New Lawyers Program ("Boot Camp") every August in Alexandria, Virginia. This program, which is directed to patent practitioners and law students with less than two years experience, has extensive hands-on training in all aspects of patent prosecution. The Committee also works closely throughout the year with other Committees such as the Law Students and Young Lawyers Committees to present interesting programs to a cross-section of AIPLA members.
Electronic and Computer Law
The Committee strives to be an active resource for electronics and computer IP practitioners. The committee has been involved in planning plenary and committee sessions at stated meetings, electronic roundtables, the annual Partnering in Patents meeting held jointly with the USPTO, and electronic and computer USPTO group director lunches and telecons. The Committee also sponsored a meeting of AIPLA members with the FTC and DOJ on technical standards, and invited other Committee leaders to join us in working with the USPTO to acquire helpful patent statistics relating to patent quality. The Committee also provides insight to the Amicus Committee, the Board of Directors, and recently the IRS on matters such as the patentability of software and patent reform for tax saving methodologies.
The Committee focuses on investigating new emerging technologies and analyzing the technology from both a scientific and legal standpoint. The Emerging Technologies Committee also presents educational programs at each of the scheduled AIPLA meetings. Current topics of interest being investigated by the committee include: Nanotechnology, Pharmacogenomics, Open Source, Web 2.0/3.0, Biomedical Issues, Second Life, Alternative Fuels and Alternative Energy, Customized Stem Cells and Connectomics, and Climate Change Technology.
Membership in the Fellows is by election by the AIPLA Board. The Fellows focus their activities on mentoring and on special projects brought to them by the Board and other AIPLA Committees.
Food and Drug
The Committee provides a forum for education and professional development in the area of regulatory/FDA law and, in particular, how it intersects with IP law.
The Committee considers design patent, trade dress, and copyright laws, rules, regulations and judicial decisions applicable to the protection of industrial designs. Recent activities have included preparation of amicus briefs on behalf of AIPLA in conjunction with the Amicus Committee and resolutions pertaining to legislation and international treaties for adoption by AIPLA. The Committee also remains active in educational opportunities, including the annual Design Day at the PTO and CLE sessions at AIPLA meetings.
International and Foreign Law
This Committee has several responsibilities including coordinating with other Committees of the AIPLA on international IP matters that are relevant to the jurisdiction of such Committees. The International & Foreign Law Committee also frequently works with other Committees to jointly develop programs on areas having a wide appeal to members on domestic and international issues, such as global portfolio development and enforcement, continuing harmonization efforts and IP actions before the WTO. The Committee also reviews and provides comments on international issues for the Board of Directors and the Executive Director.
The Committee, in response to requests, arranges seminars and lectures domestically and in foreign countries in order to educate those nations on the US intellectual property law system. This Committee also coordinates its activities with the other foreign law Committees.
International Trade Commission
The Committee has been active both in planning and presenting programs to AIPLA and with projects related to Section 337 practice before the ITC. The Committee provided comments to the ITC with respect to its recent Rules revisions, which have now gone into effect. Currently, there is an effort underway to develop recommendations for facilitating the streamlining of proceedings to meet the statutory mandate of having cases decided at the earliest practicable time.
IP Law Associations*
Members of the Committee are appointed by the President-Elect. The Committee works to increase the cooperation and information sharing between AIPLA and regional and local intellectual property law associations across the United States. The Committee maintains a database of the leaders of the regional and local IP associations and provides regular updates on AIPLA activities to the regional and local associations across the United States.
IP Practice in China
The Committee works to establish and maintain relations with professional societies in China whose members are interested in intellectual property law. The Committee's members study Chinese law and practice and report on issues of interest to the AIPLA Board of Directors and membership. The Committee also provides information on US intellectual property law to any interested party in China, if called upon to do so. In addition, the Committee organizes regular trips to China.
IP Practice in Europe
The Committee is an active group of attorneys and agents from the US and Europe that get together for information exchange about European practice. Mainly Europeans inform the US attorneys about the latest developments in European patent and trademark practice. Last spring the Committee organized a good will trip to London and Munich for information exchange with European bar associations, governmental agencies and courts.
IP Practice in Israel
This Committee serves as a resource, forum, and network for AIPLA
members with a personal and/or professional interest in IP laws and
systems in Israel. The Committee's mission is to establish and maintain
relations with IP associations in Israel and study and report on issues
of interest to the AIPLA Board of Directors and membership. The
Committee also provides information on US intellectual property law to
any interested party in Israel, if called upon to do so.
IP Practice in Japan
The Committee works to establish and maintain relations with professional societies in Japan whose members are interested in intellectual property law. The Committee's members study Japanese law and practice and report on issues of interest to the AIPLA Board of Directors and membership. The Committee also provides information on US intellectual property law to any interested party in Japan, if called upon to do so. The Committee holds a 1.5 day pre-meeting prior to the Annual Meeting in October and the Mid-Winter Institute in January. In addition, the Committee organizes an annual trip to Japan.
IP Practice in Latin America
The Committee focuses on intellectual property issues involving Mexico, Central America and South America. The Committee seeks to inform and educate practitioners interested in the increasingly IP-active Latin American region via Committee Educational programs at stated meetings and other fora. The Committee is also taking steps to expand ties with IP organizations in Latin America.
IP Practice in the Far East
The Committee serves as a resource, forum, and network for AIPLA members with a personal and/or professional interest in the IP laws and systems of Asian countries, with an emphasis on South Korea and India. The Committee’s mission is to establish relations with IP associations in those countries, study and report on the IP laws and practices of those countries, and provide information on US IP law and practice to interested parties from those countries. The Committee convenes a combined business and educational meeting at each of the three stated AIPLA meetings, regularly sends delegations to and accepts delegations from Asian countries, and seeks to collaborate with other Committees.
Law Practice Management
Bi-annually, this Committee is responsible for publishing the AIPLA Economic Survey, which is a highly popular reference for annual incomes, attorney fees, and professional and demographic characteristics of IP attorneys and agents. This Committee also strives to educate on issues pertaining to managing a law practice. These issues may vary from partner-level management issues to associate-level management issues. Some recent programs addressed sexual harassment in the work place and becoming a partner.
This Committee addresses the needs of law students and recent graduates primarily through developing and implementing programs of specific interest to law students, such as Career Panels, aimed at further encouraging student participation in all aspects of AIPLA.
Members of the Committee on Legislation are appointed by the
President-Elect of AIPLA. The Committee assists the Association's
advocacy efforts by developing in-depth proposals and ensuring
thoughtful and timely responses to proposed legislation. Its role is to
act on ongoing initiatives when requested to do so and to be proactive
in helping to develop a legislative agenda, following the Board's
direction. Members of the Committee include representatives from
AIPLA's substantive committees in all IP areas (patents, copyrights,
trade secrets, designs, trademarks, etc.).
Licensing and Management of IP Assets
The Committee considers the laws, regulations, and judicial decisions which affect the ownership, transfer and sharing of IP rights and technology. To this end, the Committee: (1) develops and shares information on procedures for holding, transferring and sharing rights in IP enabling IP owners to identify IP assets and needs, measure and extract additional value from that property, analyze impediments to valuing IP assets as compared to tangible assets, develop benchmarking tools and procedures for overcoming any impediments, and (2) recommends ways to assist in mining IP portfolios, managing those portfolios and managing royalty and revenue streams associated with those portfolios.
This Committee provides support to the efforts of many other Committees as well as the AIPLA Board to expand membership and increase active meaningful participation by AIPLA members. The Committee oversees the Target-Substantive Committee Liaison program and has started a Solo/Small Firm Practitioner Subcommittee which will offer programs and networking opportunities to these practitioners. In addition, the Committee provides ongoing support to the Women in IP Law Committee in the planning of the annual regional women’s dinner as well as to the Law Students Committee in planning law student receptions around the country.
The Committee is designed to form and support voluntary mentor/ mentee pairs within the organization. Mentors and mentees are paired primarily based upon substantive interests and then, if desired, upon geographical location. Pairings usually are made after the stated meetings, although the Committee is always looking to pair mentees waiting for mentors. Applications for mentors and mentees are welcome at any time. The aim of the mentoring relationship through this Committee is to help mentees become more involved in AIPLA. The Mentoring Committee has subcommittees, including the Pairings Subcommittee and the Evaluations Subcommittee.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The Committee addresses the role of IP issues in negotiating and executing business combinations.
This Committee provides educational and networking opportunities to new lawyers in the association through the stated meetings and receptions. In addition, the Committee serves as a central resource to communicate with other committee chairs and members of AIPLA's Board to provide new lawyers with opportunities to get involved in the association. New Lawyers Committee members are active participants in planning substantive programs for the stated meetings, co-authoring CLE papers with corporate counsel, judging and administering the Giles Rich Moot Court Competition and the Watson Writing Competition, volunteering to cite check and provide legal research to the Amicus Committee, and assisting with finalizing AIPLA's Model Jury Instructions for Patent Cases.
The Committee provides high-quality, affordable CLE programs. The Committee develops and prepares technological options and vendors to work with other AIPLA committees to identify, develop and provide, efficiently and effectively, online program content to AIPLA members. The Committee also helps other AIPLA Committees use online media as an avenue for program delivery and information dissemination to Committee members and AIPLA as a whole.
The Committee provides committee members with information of importance to patent agent practitioners, promotes the interests of patent agents within AIPLA and the patent community, and represents the interests of patent agents on issues before the Board of Directors of AIPLA. The Committee has been active in providing input to the AIPLA Board on recent USPTO rules change proposals including the scope of work agents may perform in connection with patent prosecution, agent/client privilege, and agent/attorney partnerships.
Patent Cooperation Treaty Issues
The Committee's most visible work is the PCT Road Shows, which are offered each summer; but the committee is also constantly active in promoting and identifying possible improvements and enhancements to the PCT system. The Committee sponsors resolutions and pursues informal liaison with Offices around the world. Committee members help plan the next Road Show and can get involved in the other outreach and training activities of the Committee.
The Committee evaluates the extent to which the constitutional purpose of Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, regarding the rights of inventors, is being achieved and reports its findings to the Board of Directors with recommendations for any changes in statute, rule, regulation, or practice which may better achieve this purpose. To fulfill its charge, the Committee routinely works with policy, litigation, legislative, and prosecution experts, including in-house counsel at small to major corporations and outside counsel at boutique and general practice firms. The Committee has numerous subcommittees and is always looking for volunteers who want to get involved.The Committee has numerous subcommittees and is always looking for volunteers who want to get involved.
The committee focuses on a variety of issues touching on patent
litigation including judicial decisions, laws, and regulations. To that
end, the Committee presents programs at virtually every AIPLA meeting, often
spearheaded by its various sub-committees, which include damages and
subject-matter eligibility, as well as diversity and professional
programs. The Patent Litigation committee also actively considers and
promotes changes via legislation, rule amendments, or through court decisions,
making recommendations to the AIPLA Board. Finally, the committee—through
a dedicated sub-committee—drafts and revises the AIPLA Model Patent Jury
Patent-Relations with the USPTO
This Committee focuses on all phases of patent activity of the USPTO as it affects patent policy, practice and procedure. It serves as a resource to the membership and AIPLA Board to consider impacts of legislative initiatives, analyze USPTO proposals for changes in patent practice, draft position papers for the AIPLA Board, and interacting with USPTO officials on matters of mutual interest and concern. We make our best efforts to have a USPTO official present at all Committee meetings to respond directly to concerns of practitioners.
The Committee plans the main educational tracks of the Annual and Spring AIPLA Meetings (“Stated Meetings”). Each Stated Meeting includes educational content that establishes AIPLA as the leading educational provider in the intellectual property area. The Committee identifies and recommends to the Board of Directors the educational programs to be conducted during the Stated Meetings. The educational programs must be relevant, timely and presented by well-qualified and diverse speakers. In order to plan the educational tracks, the Committee selects coordinators who will locate and identify a moderator and speakers who will present the selected programs. The Committee meets during each AIPLA meeting and has conference calls throughout the year to plan and organize the educational tracks.
Professionalism and Ethics*
This Committee is appointed by the President-Elect of AIPLA to promote the education of AIPLA members and the public about professionalism and to keep under constant scrutiny the Code of Professional Responsibility of the organization.
The PTAB Trial Committee involves issues of patentability,
derivation, inventorship, and priority. This Committee tracks and
reports all significant decisions and trends in the US Patent and
Trademark Office and the Federal courts bearing on formal and
substantive aspects of USPTO PTAB Patent Proceedings. The
Committee studies existing issues/problems of formal and substantive
Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) law. Committee members also
examine proposed legislation and rule changes relating directly or
indirectly to formal and substantive aspects of practice
before the PTAB.
This Committee is appointed by the President-Elect of AIPLA. It has responsibility for responding to requests from the AIPLA Executive Committee and Board to report to the Board on the qualification of certain individuals being considered as candidates for office both in the Executive Branch, such as the USPTO, and the Legislative Branch, such as the US Copyright Office, as well as in the Judicial Branch, such as the Federal Circuit.
This Committee operates in cooperation with the AIPLA, its representatives and others in the IP community to develop and promote a theme and simple consensus message to effectively communicate the value of intellectual property as a protectable resource for advancing creativity and innovation, and to distribute education materials on this topic to target audiences, in person and over the world-wide web. Subcommittees have been formed that focus on teaching audiences ranging from youth education to the internet to the judiciary and Congress.
Special Committee on Judges
This Special Committee serves as a resource, forum, and network for AIPLA members who are currently judges.
Standards and Open Source
This Committee considers the
laws, regulations, and judicial and administrative decisions which affect
collaborative technology development. In particular, the Committee
considers matters relating to industry standards and open source software
issues as they relate to intellectual property in any form. The Committee
develops and shares information on policies and current practices for participating
in standards setting organizations and software development communities in
which participants share intellectual property rights to develop standards and
software respectively. The Committee also develops and shares information
on policies and current practices involving the use and promulgation of
intellectual property rights incorporated in technology standards and open
source software. The Committee makes recommendations to the AIPLA Board
of Directors relating to industry standards and open source software.
Trade Secret Law
The Committee considers the laws, practices, and judicial decisions relating to unfair competition (excluding matters primarily involving trademarks and trade names), including the protection of trade secrets and other data maintained in confidence, interferences with contractual relationships, trade libel and slander. Committee members report and make recommendations to the AIPLA Board of Directors on these issues. The Committee also currently has a number of active subcommittees that are involved in a wide variety of projects in this practice area, including the following: (1) preparation of a report on the merits of a federal trade secrets statute; (2) development of a set of sample trade secrets litigation forms to be posted on committee website; and (3) creation of a set of model forms for the trade secrets practitioner, also to be posted on the Committee website.
This Committee monitors, reports, and submits comments on significant developments in the area of trademarks and the internet. The Committee represents AIPLA’s interests as a member of the Intellectual Property Constituency of ICANN, attending regular teleconference meetings and participating in email discussions. It also represents AIPLA as on observer at meetings and online discussions of the Coalition for Online Accountability. The Committee also monitors and may become involved in internet-focused legislation that may impact trademark owners, as necessary. Another area of interest is UDRP cases and court cases involving trademarks and the internet, such as cases involving the use of others’ trademarks in keyword-triggered search engine advertising.
This Committee is responsible for monitoring, reporting on, and providing recommendations to the AIPLA Board and the USPTO regarding US trademark law and legislation. The Trademark Law Committee also functions as the oversight committee for the other trademark-related committees, each of which provide input and support to the Professional Programs Committee regarding trademark content at AIPLA meetings.
The Trademark Litigation Committee is dedicated to education, outreach, member service, and advocacy. The Committee strives to provide helpful tools and reports to educate AIPLA members and the public regarding judicial and administrative decisions relating to the litigation of trademark, trade dress, trade name, domain name, and unfair competition disputes, as well as changes to statutes, rules, and regulations. The Committee coordinates its activities with the Trademark Law Committee. The Committee is particularly active in identifying and reporting on important trademark decisions; creating resources for members, such as an on-line circuit-by-circuit reference of decisional law and standards; and making recommendations to the Amicus Committee regarding the cases in which the organization should become involved and the positions it should take.
Trademark Treaties and International Law
This Committee is primarily responsible for monitoring, reporting on, and providing recommendations to the AIPLA Board concerning international trademark developments and treaty amendments. It also actively participates in proceedings of WIPO’s Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Madrid Protocol.
Trademark-Relations with the USPTO
This Committee, which works closely with the Trademark Law Committee, focuses on various aspects of interpartes proceedings before the USPTO, specifically the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB"). The Committee tracks TTAB decisions as well as changes to the rules of procedure and other aspects of TTAB administration. It also provides comments through the AIPLA Board to the PTO regarding TTAB rules and various decisions. For example, the Committee has been actively monitoring fraud decisions in the TTAB and has provided a set of resolutions, which the AIPLA Board adopted, defining the organization's position on the issue. The Committee is also planning a semi-annual update on TTAB cases, available to AIPLA members through the committee microsite. This Committee also is responsible for monitoring, reporting on, and providing recommendations to the AIPLA Board and the USPTO regarding new developments and proposed rule changes at the USPTO.
Women in IP Law
This Committee’s Mission is inspiring and empowering women
in IP to reach their potential. The Women in IP Law Committee strives to be a
leader in the awareness and understanding of women’s issues in IP. We
develop content to facilitate our members’ professional development and to maximize
a truly balanced and inspired life. Most importantly, we are committed to
creating a community of empowered, connected members that support and celebrate
one another. The Women in IP Law Committee concentrates its activities in four
focus areas: Retention and Advancement, Outreach, Personal and Professional
Development, and Presence and Branding. Opportunities for committee
involvement can be found on our AIPLA microsite.