2024 DEIA Colloquium

2024 DEIA Colloquium

January 30 to February 1, 2024


Sheraton Old San Juan
100 C. Brumbaugh

San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico, United States



Fee: $695
Registration closes January 30, 2024 at 12:00 AM

Register Now

On January 30-February 1, 2024, AIPLA is partnering with IPIC, ASIPI, and INVENT TOGETHER to lead a Colloquium focused on “Incentivizing Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity Through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility.”  We hope you can join in that dialogue, which will include presentations by IP offices, IP associations, law firms, corporations and universities.  They will share their insights on the issues facing their organizations and the unique approaches they employ to maximize inclusion in the innovation ecosphere.  As a result of our discussions, the Colloquium will develop a Statement of Principles as a culmination of the panel sessions and workshops.  Please join us for this stimulating program and social events at a beautiful mid-winter venue. 


Draft Agenda - subject to change - speakers highlighted below




Tuesday, January 30

Welcome Reception - 6:00 - 8:00 PM -Sheraton Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Wednesday, January 31

Full Day: 8:00  AM - 5:30 PM

Topics include:

  • Opening Plenary - Keynote and Panel - US and International IP Offices - Diversity in the Innovation Ecosystem
  • What is Diversity?
  • What Does the Data Show?
  • Personal Reflections on Diversity in the IP System
  • Looking at the Professionals Through a Diversity Lens
  • Afternoon Breakout sessions and Workshops Delving into the Day's Discussions

Delegate Dinner - 6:00 - 9:00 PM - Off-Site

Thursday, February 1

Half day - 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM - Topics include:

  • Looking at the Innovators and Creators Through a Diversity Lens
  • Workshop - Developing and Drafting the Statement of Principles

Sponsorship Opportunities Available! Please contact Lisa Beller at lbeller@aipla.org for more details.


Sheraton Old San Juan
100 C. Brumbaugh
San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Room rate: $269 per night plus taxes and a $35 amenities fee.  HOTEL GROUP RATE CUT OFF Extended to January 19!

IMPORTANT: If you plan on coming early or staying beyond, we strongly recommend that you call the hotel directly at (787) 289-1927 or email them directly as reservations@sheratonoldsanjuan.com.

Book your group rate for DEIA COLLOQUIUM - use this link if booking check in on 1/30 and check out on 2/1.


Many thanks to our partnering organizations:


Invent Together



Sponsored in part by









  • Afshar, Mimi

    North Carolina Central University Law School | Professor and Director of Patent and Trademark Law Clinics

    Mimi Afshar, Professor and Director of Patent and Trademark Law Clinics, North Carolina Central University Law School, Durham, NC Professor Mimi Afshar is the Director of the NCCU Intellectual Property Clinic, and the supervising patent attorney for the Patent Clinic. Prof. Afshar brings almost 18 years of combined private-practice and outside counsel experience to NCCU’s Intellectual Property department, including her experience as a chemical engineer in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Awakessien Jeter, Ukeme

    Taft Stettinius & Hollister | Partner

    Ukeme is a partner in Taft’s Intellectual Property practice group, where she focuses on negotiating and structuring intellectual property licenses, options, and related agreements. From startups to major corporations, she helps companies whose core assets are intellectual property and investors who want to invest in them, identify, finance, and monetize the technologies, processes, products, and brands that will create the most value for them.
  • Carpenter, Megan

    UNH Franlin Pierce Law School | Law School Dean

    Megan M. Carpenter is dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Dean Carpenter is an internationally known expert in intellectual property, with particular interests in entrepreneurship, branding, and the arts. Prior to joining UNH Law, Dean Carpenter was founder and co-director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property at Texas A&M University School of Law, where she also served as Professor of Law and Faculty Director of three intellectual property and entrepreneurship-related clinical programs.
  • Collette, Elias

    Canada IP Office | Director General for Innovation, Science and Economic Development

    Elias Collette is the Director General of the Corporate Strategies and Services Branch at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). As a leader, Elias combines a people-first and data- driven approach to CIPO’s mandate to ensure that Canadians unlock the benefits of IP. Prior to coming to CIPO, Elias worked in the Chief Information Office Branch at the Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Real Property Branch at Public Services and Procurement Canada.
  • Crane headshot200 Crane, Sharon

    Rothwell Figg | Partner

    Sharon E. Crane, Ph.D.’s practice specializes in post grant trials at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), litigation, and patent prosecution and opinions for clients in the biotechnology area.
  • Fechner, Holly 200 Fechner, Holly

    Covington & Burling LLP | Partner

    Holly Fechner is a Partner at Covington & Burling LLP and Executive Director of Invent Together. Invent Together is dedicated to understanding the gender, race, and other diversity gaps in invention and patenting, and supporting public policy and private initiatives to close them. Nationally ranked by Chambers, Fechner is co-chair of Covington’s technology industry group and received the 2019 American Lawyer Magazine "Dealmaker of the Year" award. Fechner formerly served as Policy Director for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and Chief Counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. She graduated from Oberlin College and received her law degree from the University of Michigan.
  • Garcia, Maria

    Berken IP | Partner, Head of Trademark Development

    María Aurora is a Partner of BERKEN IP and Head of the Trademark Department., Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her practice comprises trademark law, copyright, domain names, internet matters, publicity, promotions, negotiation and drafting of franchising and licensing contracts.
  • Garlock, Vince Square200 Garlock, Vincent

    AIPLA | Executive Director

    Vince Garlock is the Executive Director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), a national bar association dedicated to improving the domestic and international IP laws and providing the highest quality of services and programs to its members. Vince is involved in various aspects AIPLA management, and is particularly involved in the shaping, development and communication of policy initiatives.
  • Garner, Melvin Garner, Melvin

    Leason Ellis | Partner

    Melvin Garner’s practice includes all phases of patent, trademark and copyright litigation and procurement involving various technologies. The technologies include laser applications, video circuits, telecommunications (particularly cellular phones), optics (including lenses for photolithographic equipment), sintered materials, office products, medical devices, and computer hardware and software (including gaming systems).
  • Huntington, R. Danny

    Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck PC | Partner

    R. Danny Huntington is a partner with Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, PC in Washington, D.C. He is involved in all phases of intellectual property law, including United States and foreign patent prosecution, litigation in the Federal and State Courts, licensing, and general client counseling. He has extensive patent interference experience, with particular expertise in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
  • Lamb, Loreto

    Intellectual Property Institute of Canada | Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Stakeholder Relations

    Loreto Lamb is a seasoned professional based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with over two decades of expertise in stakeholder relations, networking, and communications strategy. Loreto holds a key role at the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), where she is dedicated not only to promoting the value of intellectual property for business but also to leading Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives. A fervent advocate for positive and sustainable impacts, Loreto has been instrumental in steering IPIC towards becoming an award-winning organization. Her efforts in EDI have successfully implemented principles, practices, and programs aligning seamlessly with IPIC’s culture.
  • Lewis I.D., Jeffrey

    Foley Hoag | Partner

    Jeffrey I. D. Lewis is a partner at Foley Hoag, resident in the firm’s New York office, and an AIPLA Past President. A chemical engineer and registered patent attorney, Jeff concentrates on patent and trademark litigation, counseling and licensing, as well as other intellectual property and general litigation. He regularly represents plaintiffs as well as defendants – both at trial and on appeal – in a range of technology-related sectors with a focus on pharmaceuticals, chemicals, mechanical/medical-device, biotechnology and life sciences. He also has represented pharmaceutical innovators in numerous Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) patent litigations. Jeff has appeared in several dozen cases before the U.S. federal district courts, and has argued numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • Lord, Miriam

    US Copyright Office | Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Public Information and Education

    Miriam Lord is the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Public Information and Education for the United States Copyright Office. Lord oversees the Office of Public Information and Education (PIE), which provides authoritative information about copyright law to the public, implements the Office’s communications plan, publishes comprehensive written and audiovisual materials, develops education and outreach programs and strategic collaborations, and responds to public inquiries about Office policies and practices. She is an expert copyright attorney and one of four legal advisors to the Register of Copyrights.
  • de Mattos Siqueira, Joana

    Montaura Pimenta Machado & Vierira de Mello | Partner

    Joana de Mattos Siqueira is partner and part of the firm’s trademarks team. With more than 20 years of experience acting an attorney in Intellectual Property, her practice involves all procedures for registration of trademarks before the INPI, including opposition and other administrative petitions, as well as strategic analysis for complex trademark issues, with the aim of avoiding litigation, where possible.
  • Wallace-200 Martin Wallace, Valencia

    USPTO | Deputy Commissioner for Patents

    As Deputy Commissioner for Patents, Ms. Martin Wallace manages and leads the Patent Organization’s efforts related to international IP harmonization and oversees patent examining functions in Technology Centers that examine the technologies of communication, mechanical engineering, manufacturing and medical devices and processes and design.
  • Mueller, Lisa

    Casimir Jones | Casimir

    For over twenty-five years, Lisa has provided strategic counsel on complex patent issues to clients in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemistry sectors. She brings an in-depth knowledge and extensive experience to her work advising clients on the global patent protection, freedom to operate and validity of blockbuster drugs they aim to produce and distribute. With a background in chemistry and biology, Lisa provides advice on the full spectrum of global intellectual property portfolio management including patent prosecution, opposition and other post-grant proceedings, and diverse regulatory matters.
  • Mueting photo200 Mueting, Ann

    Mueting, Raasch Group | Founding Shareholder

    Ann M. Mueting, Ph.D., J.D., is a founding shareholder of the firm Mueting Raasch Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which began in 1995 and represents Fortune 500 companies, biomedical firms, universities, various mid-size and startup companies, as well as individual entrepreneurs. Ann is a patent attorney practicing in the areas of patent prosecution, due diligence, and related opinion work with emphasis in chemical and biotechnology patent law.
  • Murata, Jason

    Axinn | Partner, Intellectual Property Ligitation Group

    Jason Murata is a partner in the intellectual property litigation group and chair of Axinn's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Jason’s practice involves all aspects of pre-trial, trial and appeals, with a particular focus on the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical, technology, consumer products and food industries. He also bring his extensive litigation experience to bear on complex issues relating to managing companies’ IP strategies. Within AIPLA, Jason is a co-leader of the DEI Task Force in the Diversity in IP Committee, and a co-chair of the IP Practice in Japan Committee
  • Nunez, Rosa

    Foley Hoag | Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

    Rosa Nuñez is responsible for developing, implementing, leading and championing proactive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and programs, in alignment with Foley Hoag's overall strategic plans. Rosa is a strategic partner to the firm’s Executive Committee and also a co-chair the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.
  • Pittaluga, Martin

    Pittaluga Law | Partner

    Martín is a partner in the Firm. He advises and represents several multinational corporations in intellectual property matters in Uruguay, in particular in the field of trademark litigation and on a wide range of contracts and business deals. He has served as President of the Uruguayan Association of Industrial Property Agents (AUDAPI) and currently chairs the “ASIPI Futuro” Commission of the Inter-American Intellectual Property Association (ASIPI) and coordinates that Association’s Pro Bono Commission. He is also Chair of the Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee of the Famous and Well-Known Marks Committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA).
  • Rios, Roberto

    ASIPI | Patent Agent

    A registered Patent Agent with the USPTO and has over 23 years of experience in the area of patents, including been a former Patent Examiner for the USPTO. He collaborates as an expert consultant through seminars and training workshops for professionals in Latin America with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), and the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property (ASIPI), among others. He is the director of the patent area and coordinator of international services for Puerto Rico and the United States at the law firm Hoglund & Pamias, PSC and is the current President of the Patent Committee at ASIPI.
  • Rowan, Steve

    European Patent Office

    Stephen joined the EPO in January 2019 as Vice-President for DG1 – Patent Grant Process. He is responsible for the entire Patent Grant Process, from the receiving of applications up to and including opposition and the grant of the patent. This area also includes Quality and Business and User Services. Located in The Hague, Steve Rowan is Site Manager for the branch of the EPO, which is the largest international organization in the Netherlands. Before joining the EPO, Stephen Rowan held a number of senior leadership roles in the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom. These included the position of Director of Registered Rights, responsible for the end to end processing of patent, trademark and design applications and the associated tribunal functions. Stephen joined the UK IPO in March 1991 and, in addition to his operational roles, sat as a Principal Hearing Officer and worked on a range of policy issues covering industrial property and copyright. He was Head of the UK Delegation to the Beijing and Marrakesh Diplomatic Conferences and was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (2004) and HM Treasury (2006) - working on the Gowers Review of IP. He has an LLB (Hons) from the University of the West of England.
  • Schmid headshot200 Schmid, Amy

    Wenderoth | Partner

    Amy Schmid is a partner at Wenderoth, and co-chair of the chemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical group. Prior to joining Wenderoth in 2004, Amy was a Patent Examiner at the USPTO, handling applications in the Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry Technology Center. Amy’s practice focuses on preparing and prosecuting patent applications, managing and prosecuting applications within worldwide portfolios, and assisting foreign clients with obtaining patent protection in the US.
  • Sheppard 200 Sheppard, Christal A.

    University of Nebraska College of Law | Law Professor

    Dr. Christal Sheppard has over 3 decades of science, intellectual property law and policy experience covering a large proportion of the IP ecosystem. Her experience includes serving as chief counsel of patent and trademarks in the United States House of Representatives, as the first Director of the first USPTO Regional Office, as a member of the Administration's Public Patent Advisory Committee, and in the International Trade Commission’s General Counsel’s Office. Currently she is Lecturer at University of Nebraska College of Law, and has served as a Distinguished Fellow at the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center.
  • Spector, Elaine

    Harrity & Harrity LLP | Partner

    Elaine is a partner at Harrity & Harrity LLP and co-chair of Harrity’s Diversity Committee. She is the first female partner in the firm’s history. She is dedicated to improving diversity in the field of patent law through her numerous diversity leadership roles. She is vice chair of IPO’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, is an active member of ADAPT (Advancing Diversity Across Patent Teams), and recently became a Board member of U.S. IP Alliance. She is also an Advisory Board member of Patent Pathways, a non-profit formed by her firm to increase diversity in the patent field. Elaine hosts Driving Diversity, a weekly vlog sharing diversity-related tips and FAQ’s, as well as quarterly webinars in a series called Diversity Dialogue as part of Harrity’s Diversity Channel.
  • Swedlow, Bea

    Honigman | Co-Managing Partner

    With wide-ranging litigation experience, Bea Swedlow has a particularly strong focus on litigating patent, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, copyright, and false advertising matters. She represents major clients from such industries as software, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, higher education, consumer goods, retail, and internet/social media. Bea also advises right holders in a broad range of industry sectors, including fashion, consumer products, food and beverage, and retail on strategies to strengthen IP protection and enforcement, assisting owners of iconic brands with their patent, trademark, and copyright needs.
  • Watson, Robert

    Mewburn Ellis LLP | Partner

    Robert Watson is a partner at the leading European IP firm, Mewburn Ellis LLP. He has over 25 years advising on patent work with particular experience in the pharmaceutical and industrial chemistry sectors. His extensive experience in the pharmaceutical sector focuses on working with clients engaged in drug discovery and development. He has advised on the protection of numerous drugs from initial discovery, many of which are in clinical trials, and two of which is approved in many jurisdictions, and on strategies to further protect these commercial drugs across the globe. He also advises on design protection.
  • Whitaker-200 Whitaker, Mark

    Morrison & Foerster | Partner

    Mark Whitaker is the co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Intellectual Property Litigation practice group, with more than 30 years of experience crafting legal strategies in high-stakes patent and trade secret litigation.
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