2023 Spring Meeting
In This Section
Over 400 intellectual property practitioners joined AIPLA in Seattle for the 2023 Spring Meeting for three days of CLE, networking, and celebration. We were joined by USPTO Director Kathi Vidal, who addressed a wide range of issues from the recent ANPRM and harmonization, to DOCX, the patent Pro Bono Program, and more. Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Seattle Kraken, Lance Lopes, and former Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel at Apple, Noreen Krall, were our keynote luncheon speakers. Our top-notch CLE sessions covered hot topics in IP, including diversity in the wine industry, fair use in filmmaking, non-competition covenants in the age of remote and hybrid work, trademark and the use of AI tools, and more.
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Brian H. Batzli
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Kathi Vidal, addressed AIPLA’s 2023 Spring Meeting in Seattle.
The Spring Meeting’s Diversity Plenary showcased the Washington State wine industry and barriers to inclusion that exist for minority winemakers. The plenary was moderated by Elizabeth Dougherty, the Eastern Regional Outreach Director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and featured three experts in the industry, Melissa Hansen, who serves as the Research Program Director for Washington State Wine; Katja Loeffelholz, an IP Attorney at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty in Napa, CA; and Phil Long, the Founder and Winemaker at Longevity Wines, and President of the Association of African American Vintners.
Hansen opened by painting a picture of the current state of the wine industry in Washington. She noted that 90% of wineries in the state are small, family-owned businesses, and that much of the focus at Washington State Wine is around research, be it sustainable pet control, climate change, water usage, or recycling.
Loeffelholz walked the group through the intellectual property ramifications and requirements for producing wine, explaining that trademarks, copyrights, trade dress, and design patents all play a role in bottling wine. A winemaker must seek trademark protection for the brand name, vineyard designation, tagline or slogan, and certification and service marks. Loeffelholz noted that wineries will often hire an independent contractor to design the label and bottle, and while the winery has a license to use the copyrighted design on the bottle, the intricacies of copyright law come into play if the winery wants to produce branded merchandise, such as a t-shirt or hat.
Long closed noting the importance of IP in the business, stating that, had he not done the “correct things with IP, I wouldn't be here today doing what I do.” Long then put his product and expertise on display with a wine tasting during the Diversity Committee’s business meeting.
The takeaway from the ethics plenary- be a good, upstanding practitioner who abides by the morals and ethics of law and practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Dahlia George from the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) at the USPTO, and Judge Jacqueline Wright Bonilla of the PTAB outlined requirements for ethical practice before the USPTO and PTAB and the consequences for failure to do so.
George opened by explaining what constitutes practice of law before the PTAB and the mission of the OED, which is to not to go after practitioners for every misdemeanor or infraction, a point she emphasized throughout the hour. The goal of OED in George’s words is about “protecting the profession and the public,” because if you have a practitioner who isn't up to snuff, the public gets hurt.” On how an investigation gets opened, George explained that most complaints come to them externally, meaning the OED is not on a witch hunt for unethical practitioners. Most cases, she explained, come from opposing counsel, clients, or from within the subject's firm. Investigations begin with a Request for Information (RFI)- something George cautioned against ignoring because it allows for fact gathering from all sides. Many complaints either go away after examination or the subject will receive a confidential warning. Only serious misconduct results in going before a panel. George also noted the high standard of proof the OED must provide- clear and convincing, and cases face a one-year statute of limitations, per the AIA.
George also touched on the OED Diversion Pilot Program, noting that rehabilitation is always the first step for someone coming before the OED.
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AIPLA CLE Webinar: Shining a Light on Litigation Funding
December 13, 2023 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM | Up to 90 Mins Ethics CLE PendingJoin Emil J. Ali and Julia Haines as they shine a light on litigation funding and discuss the special implications on patent litigation. This ethics CLE will focus on the pros and cons of litigation funding, the ethics rules implicated with such relationships, as well as the recent interest and disclosure obligations in certain jurisdictions.
2024 AIPLA Virtual Corporate Practice Institute
January 9 to 16, 2024 | Up to 360 Minutes of CLETuesday, January 9, 12:00 Noon - 5:00 PM - and Tuesday, January 16, 12:00 Noon - 5:00 PM -- The Corporate Practice Institute is a virtual event will take place on the 2nd and 3rd Tuesday of January, and will consist of 60 minute Sessions with 30 minute breaks in between. Each evening will end with an online networking event. Program Coming soon! Special registration rates for in-house corporate practitioners.
2024 DEIA Colloquium
January 30 to February 1, 2024On January 30-February 1, 2024, AIPLA will be leading a Colloquium focused on “Incentivizing Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity Through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility.” We hope you can join in that dialog, 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. Look for more information and Registration materials soon, so you can join in the stimulating program, and social events at a beautiful mid-winter venue. Attendance is by invitation.
2024 Patent Prosecution Boot Camp - San Jose, CA
February 7 to 9, 2024Register today and don't miss out! The Patent Prosecution Boot Camp is a comprehensive, CLE-accredited seminar that includes instructional lecture-style sessions with practical tips on U.S. and international patent preparation and prosecution, as well as hands-on interactive workshops that will walk you through drafting claims and responding to office actions.
2024 Trade Secret Summit
March 14 to 15, 2024Save the Date! Please join the AIPLA Trade Secret Committee for the 2024 Trade Secret Summit, which is being held March 14-15, 2024 in Santa Clara, California. The AIPLA Trade Secret Summit is the leading trade secret conference in the nation, with speakers from across the spectrum of private practitioners, in-house counsel, government, and academia, as well as fantastic networking opportunities. Registration and Venue Information Coming Soon!