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2016 Mid-Winter Meeting

Denise W. DeFranco

In my first few months as AIPLA President, I have gained a greater perspective of the breadth of work accomplished by this organization and its members, and I continue to be impressed by the hard work and dedication of our volunteer members. 

On the advocacy side, we have filed three amicus briefs to the Supreme Court,sent letters to Congress on two intellectual property bills, submitted four sets of comments to the USPTO, and commented to the governments of Singapore, Korea, India, and China on IP related proposals. This is a profound body of work in a few short months, and our committees worked through late nights, weekends, and even holidays to make it possible. I don’t say this to discourage you from getting more involved in AIPLA’s policy work, but rather to demonstrate how many opportunities there are to make your voice heard within AIPLA. I don’t foresee things slowing down anytime soon, and I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities.  

I am quickly learning how strong of a voice AIPLA has around the world, and I am delighted that Chen Wang has joined AIPLA’s staff as the new Deputy Executive Director for Regulatory Affairs. She started in January after serving as Deputy Chief IP Counsel at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company where she monitored the development of domestic and international IP laws, represented the company in various fora speaking on IP issues, as well as interfacing with IP officials from the USPTO, the White House, USTR, and non-US patent offices on IP policy issues.  She was ready to hit the ground running since she has been an active member of AIPLA since 1999, serving as a committee member, as a committee leader, and on the Board of Directors. ​

Industry Trilateral Picture.jpgAIPLA's Delegation to the Industry Trilateral Meeting in Feburary 2016. Pictured: Front - Chen Wang and Denise DeFranco. Back - Dave Hill, Lisa Jorgenson, Anthony Venturino, Samson Helfgott, and Alan Kasper.​

Chen couldn’t have come on board at a better time, as we are seeing increased opportunities to participate in international intellectual property policy discussions through AIPPI-US, formal written comments on proposed IP policies, meetings with the IP5 and Trilateral Patent Offices and industry groups, delegation trips to different regions of the world, and more. 

As I noted in my Annual Meeting Report, I hope to place some focus on AIPLA publications during my year as President. I am excited that after over two years of hard work, AIPLA’s latest treatise is launching this month. The creation of Patents After the AIA: Evolving Law and Practice serves a key component of AIPLA’s vision and mission to serve its members and the profession to the fullest extent possible. Not only does the book itself provides practical analysis and guidance for patent practice following the enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, but the authors are also working with AIPLA staff to develop a series of webinars on several topics covered in the book. These webinars will be available to AIPLA members in the coming months. 

This treatise simply could not have been possible without the dedication, commitment, and generosity of the authors, each of whom volunteered their time and each of whom agreed to donate all royalties generated from this book to AIPLA. I am dedicated to ensuring that we can create more opportunities for AIPLA members to author publications, while putting the infrastructure in place to increase the number of books and other practical resources offered by AIPLA.  The newly created Special Committee on Publications has undertaken this mission, and is currently seeking recommendations from members for possible book ideas and potential authors.

Thank you all for your continued service to AIPLA. ​