Judicial Advocacy

AIPLA files amicus briefs in cases that are important to its members, following a long tradition of judicial advocacy. Those briefs are accessible by clicking the relevant year of the case in the navigation column on the left side of this page.

The AIPLA Amicus Committee receives many requests from parties in litigation for the Association's amicus support, and the Committee considers and recommends to the Board of Directors the best cases for AIPLA to join and urge its positions on the cutting edge issues of the law. Although AIPLA welcomes the views of the parties to the dispute, the AIPLA amicus positions are the product of independent consideration by the Committee and the Board of Directors, based on the law and an their understanding of policy and legal questions in dispute.



Interested in Requesting AIPLA Consideration for Amicus Support?

For more information on how to request AIPLA's consideration for amicus support and to learn more about the process, please click HERE.

Learn More About the Amicus Committee Leadership


For information about the Amicus Committee and it's current leadership, please click HERE.

Click the tabs below to explore some of AIPLA's judicial advocacy:

2021
  • UNICOLORS, INC., v. H&M HENNES & MAURITZ, L.P., Docket No. 20-915, amicus brief filed 8/10/2021

    August 10, 2021

    <p>On August 10, 2021, AIPLA filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case, <em>Unicolors, Inc., v. H&amp;M Hennes &amp; Mauritz, L.P</em>. (Case No. 20-915). The brief notes that the Ninth Circuit decision in the case increases the risk to copyright owners in that any erroneous legal conclusions set forth in a copyright application may have draconian repercussions, and if upheld, will likely increase the costs and burdens of copyright litigation. Two courses of action are suggested, including reversing the Ninth Circuit’s decision and recognizing the inherent power of district court judges to determine whether an allegation that a registrant has knowingly included inaccurate facts is reasonably plausible before referring a case to the Register of Copyrights.</p>
  • EZAKI GLICO CO. v. LOTTE INTERNATIONAL AMERICA CORP., Docket No. 20-1817, amicus brief filed 7/29/2021

    July 29, 2021

    <p>On July 29, 2021, AIPLA filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case, <em>Ezaki Glico Co. v. Lotte International America Corp.</em> (Case No. 20-1817). The brief addresses the Third Circuit’s conclusion that product design trade dress is functional, and therefore not protectable, if it is “useful.” The brief also questions the Third Circuit’s displacement of what remained of the traditional rule with principles of the separate doctrine of aesthetic functionality. Moreover, because trade dress is typically associated with ubiquitous products (especially the trade dress that is copied), it is likely that a trade dress owner would be forced to defend its trade dress in the Third Circuit under the new rule.</p>
  • MINERVA SURGICAL, INC., v. HOLOGIC, INC., et al., Docket Nos. 20-440, amicus brief filed 3/1/2021

    March 1, 2021

    AIPLA's amicus brief generally supports keeping the doctrine of assignor estoppel without supporting either party’s position, but allowing for certain exceptions consistent with the findings in Westinghouse Elec. &amp; Mfg. Co. v. Formica Insulation Co., 266 U.S. 342, 348 (1924). The brief distinguishes assignor estoppel from the doctrine of licensee estoppel that was abolished in Lear, Inc. v. Adkins, 395 U.S. 653 (1969), and also outlines the profound risks and cloud of uncertainty around assigned patents that might occur should the Court abolish assignor estoppel.
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Judicial Advocacy Archives

To see amicus briefs filed by AIPLA from previous years, please click here

Recent Advocacy

  • AIPLA Endorses Judge Leonard P. Stark for Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

    December 21, 2021

    <p>On December 16, 2021, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) submitted a letter to Chair Richard J. Durbin and Ranking Member Charles E. Grassley of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in support of Judge Leonard P. Stark’s nomination of Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The letter outlined the Association’s White Paper (“Recommendations Regarding Nomination of Judges to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit” dated September 2018), concluding that Judge Stark not only meets the criteria, but would bring essential experience to the Court. The letter provides an enthusiastic endorsement of Judge Stark, urging the Senate to move forward with his confirmation.</p>
  • USPTO Indefinitely Delays Implementation of the Voluntary Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Certification

    December 21, 2021

    <p>On December 16, 2021, The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indefinitely delayed implementation of the voluntary continuing legal education (CLE) certification for registered patent practitioners and individuals granted limited recognition to practice before the USPTO in patent matters. The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) assembled a joint committee task force to ensure that the proposed rules did not disproportionately impact patent agents and other practitioners for whom CLE self-certification would be a significant burden and/or legal risk, and to ensure that practitioners were made aware of requirements for the registration statement and the CLE self-certification.</p>
  • AIPLA Submits Joint Letter to House of Representatives Expressing Concern Regarding Resource Appropriation for USPTO

    December 6, 2021

    <p>On December 1, 2021, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) submitted a joint letter to House Committee members Chair DeLauro, Ranking Member Granger, Chair Cartwright, and Ranking Member Aderholt expressing concern regarding resources appropriated to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in FY 2022. The joint letter urged the House to pass a funding measure that reflects the intent of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to fund the USPTO at a level equal to fee collection estimates. </p>
  • AIPLA Urges Senate to Confirm Katherine (Kathi) Vidal as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

    November 30, 2021

    <p>On November 30, 2021, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) submitted a letter to Chair Richard J. Durbin and Ranking Member Charles E. Grassley of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in support of Katherine (Kathi) Vidal’s nomination of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The letter outlined components of the set of criteria that AIPLA used to address the needed qualifications for an individual appointed to serve as the leader of the USPTO, concluding that Ms. Vidal possesses such qualifications.</p>
  • AIPLA Submits Joint Letter to House Committee on Ways and Means Regarding Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights at the Border

    November 10, 2021

    On November 10, 2021, AIPLA, alongside nine other entities, joined on a letter to House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady regarding enforcement of intellectual property rights at the border.&nbsp;The letter expressed concern with the flow of counterfeit goods across the United States border, calling for stronger, more effective trade enforcement and information sharing with the private sector. The letter encouraged support for pending legislation, including key provisions which will clarify CBP’s ability to share information with rights holders.