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A Message from the AIPLA President
 

As I reflect on my year as AIPLA president, there’s no question what topic dominated the IP landscape-- the America Invents Act (AIA).  We all know the most extensive reform of patent laws in this country did not come about easily. AIPLA and a number of our members and staff worked tirelessly on this legislation for many years and through many Congresses.  After we took a quick breath to congratulate ourselves on the passage of this historic legislation last September, we got to work on implementing and educating about the dramatic changes coming under the AIA. 

 

Even before the USPTO published any proposed rules relating to the AIA, we participated with the IPO and ABA-IPL Section on a so-called Committee of Six Experts (COSE) to draft detailed procedures for the statute’s new post-grant review proceedings.  The USPTO then issued no less than 19 sets of proposed rules to implement the various provisions of the AIA.  The amount of work to draft and respond to these many proposals was staggering, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Special Task Force on AIA Rulemaking and to our COSE representatives for their extraordinary efforts.   We are also indebted to our educational committees for their many timely educational programs covering all aspects of the AIA.

Since my practice area is focused on trademarks, I would be remiss if I did not mention a few of the things we did through our Trademark Committees:  submitting comments on ICANN’s release of new gTLDs; considering possible amendments to the Lanham Act, including well-known marks and remedies; working to correct an error in the Trademark Dilution Revision Act; and participating in roundtable discussions and working groups with the USPTO on various issues including the future plans for USPTO ID-Class Practice and a plan of action for the Office’s Trademark Litigation Study.

We have also been active on the copyright front, most recently filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court Kirtsaeng case, which involves copyright owners’ rights to bar importation of foreign-made copies vs. purchasers’ rights under the first sale defense.

Finally, I feel a little like the “Where is Waldo®” cartoon.  Activities are literally exploding around the globe in all aspects of IP.  I accompanied Todd Dickinson and many AIPLA members on visits to governments and counterpart organizations in the Far East, Japan, China, Australia, Europe and South America to strengthen working relationships and tackle common IP issues.  We have accomplished quite a bit in the international arena and look forward to future meetings.

It has been a rewarding year, and a privilege serving as your president.