2019 Mid-Winter Institute
In This Section
In my first few months as President, I’ve come away with an incredible appreciation for the work that is accomplished by the American Intellectual Property Law Association. My position allows me to see firsthand how “good” is not enough for this Association’s leadership, staff, and volunteer members. Instead, I see how my passionate peers challenge for “greatness” in everything that they do. Serving as your President is truly a career highlight for me.
On the advocacy side, we have filed two amicus briefs in cases that should be important to our members. In mid-November, we argued in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court that awards of “full costs” under Section 505 of the Copyright Act are limited to categories that courts may tax as costs under 28 U.S.C. §1920. Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle USA, Inc., U.S., No. 17-1625, amicus brief on the merits supporting neither party, filed 11/19/2018. In December, we submitted an amicus brief to the Precedential Opinion Panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in response to the Panel’s invitation for amicus briefs on three questions related to joinder. In the brief, we argued that the circumstances in which the Director may grant a motion for self-joinder should be very limited.
Additionally, upon request, we've sent comments to the USPTO, the US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, the Acting Register of Copyrights, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Authority for Intellectual Property. This is a profound body of work in a few short months, and our committees worked through late nights, weekends, and holidays to make it possible.
One of my first initiatives as President was to venture to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I joined a panel at the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property (ASIPI) Congress and spoke about strategies for in-house and outside trademark counsel for clearing and registering new trademarks when dealing with strict time limitations. This meeting proved to be a great opportunity to network with ASIPI members and leadership, in furtherance of AIPLA’s global outreach goal. Domestically, we’ve created AIPLA’s new Special Committee on Privacy and Data Security, which is open to all members. The goal of the committee is to bring together experts and practitioners interested in privacy and data security to focus on the laws, rules, practices and judicial decisions relating to this area of the law. Not everybody immediately thinks of privacy as a branch of intellectual property. But there’s no question that intellectual property lawyers need to know about the law and keep abreast of developments.
Another goal I have is to continue and build upon the work of my predecessor, Myra McCormack, to enhance AIPLA’s regional and local reach and impact beyond our three stated meetings. We will continue to develop our well-attended local events, such as roadshows and boot camps, and we hope to partner with local IP law groups and continue our successful collaboration with the USPTO for local programming.
No matter your level of experience or years of practice, participating in AIPLA committees, online CLE, podcasts, and publications, and attending our stated meetings, is a smart career decision. Our programs have topics of interest for everyone, and our networking is second-to-none. I thank you all for your continued AIPLA membership and volunteer efforts on behalf of the IP community.
At each of AIPLA’s stated meetings the association’s board of directors joins the chairs, vice-chairs, and co-chairs of the association’s committees for a leadership meeting. But at this year’s Mid-Winter Institute the group of dedicated volunteers was joined by a special guest: António Campinos, the President of the European Patent Office (EPO).
António Campinos took up office as the President of the European Patent Office (EPO), an international organization with 38 member-states, on July 1, 2018. With nearly 7,000 staff, he leads one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Headquartered in Munich with offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna, the EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening cooperation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralized patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people.
President Campinos sat on stage alongside AIPLA President Sheldon Klein and remarked at the growing potential of intellectual property. “Innovation improves the lives of others” he said, as he elucidated the audience on the various technologies his office encounters. Furthermore, it is an economic-driver. “Over sixty-million EUs are employed by IP intensive industries,” he remarked.
For instance, “the technology for autonomous vehicles filed [this year] was twenty times that of other technologies,” he said. Even more shocking, these many patents are not being filed by the traditional car makers of today like Volvo, BMW, or Ford. Instead, these patents are being filed by LG and Samsung.
President Campinos also stressed the importance of aligning AIPLA and the EPO’s vision of patent quality. “It is important to the EPO to support filers from the US,” he said. He concluded by asking AIPLA for help in getting feedback, in order to support potential new initiatives and new approaches for the EPO.
Chief IP Counsel for Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, Anne M. Murphy, spoke about her experiences at a leading life sciences research and flow cytometry company. Anne has been with the company for more than eleven years; prior to joining Beckman Coulter, Anne spent over eight years in private practice in Minneapolis.
She began her career by working with many different clients in a variety of technologies; magnetic media, polymers, biomolecules and antibodies were all routine subjects as a chemistry and biotech patent prosecutor. “While the work was intellectually challenging,” she remarks, “I wanted more insight and influence into the broader IP strategy.”
Problem solving skills and being willing to rapidly develop new legal skills has been a critical part of her success. She’s encountered issues from past transactions, acquisitions, licenses, research collaborations going back a decade or more.
As for someone seeking a leadership role, Murphy says one of the most important aspects of the job is to have the power to positively influence others. “And don’t wait until you are a manager or senior partner to practice leadership.”
A discussion on the state of diversity and inclusion in IP law was provided in the Wednesday afternoon plenary session at the 2019 Mid-Winter Institute. Moderated by Sue Robinson, one of the first women judges in patent trials, a panel of several judges addressed how the courts are promoting diversity and how the courts can provide more opportunities for meaningful roles for diverse candidates.
Judge Bissoon, District Judge the Western District of Pennsylvania, discussed how disappointing it has been to see such a lack of diversity when presiding over IP-related cases. She’s a firm believer that having various backgrounds on legal teams leads to more effective strategies, which in turn leads to more success. “An increase in diversity is the only way to get other viewpoints,” she remarked, while a lack of diversity “can only lead to a stagnation of ideas.”
Judge Adalberto Jordan, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, said that he has seen more diversity of as of late, yet saw an unnerving lack of diversity in patent cases. He also saw a dearth of gender diversity. “Once you get to a certain level of competence, of excellence, you want to see more diversity,” he said. “And among other things, we should also have lawyers who represent their communities, because having jurors coming in to see diversity on the bench can have a profound impact.”
Judge Bowbeer, Magistrate Judge for the District of Minnesota, believed it was up to everyone to highlight the “inclusion” part of “diversity and inclusion,” especially in firms. “We have to let the young, diverse associates do the fun stuff,” she said. “Otherwise, it’s tough to keep them engaged.”
A professor of politics at NYU, and Partner at Selectors, LLC, Bueno de Mesquite spoke to an enraptured crowd about his application of Game Theory to decision-making and negotiations.
“We continue to rely on seat-of-the-pants intuition to negotiate the resolution of disputes,” he asserted. “[Yet] Scientific and technological innovation is central to virtually every aspect of life.” Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction between rational decision-makers. Therefore, there are a multitude of ways that applied game theory tools can assist decision makers, attorneys, mediators, and government leaders to shape the outcome of conflicts.
In essence, game theory view people as rationally self-interested, and uses this to find optimal strategies in negotiations, help resolve and exploit uncertainty, and create a transparent basis for informed debate.
Bueno de Mesquita’s litigation clients found that defendant clients settle, on average, for about 30%-40% less than initially anticipated. Likewise, settlement is significantly accelerated and deadlocked discussions can often be revived.
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