A Letter to Our AIPLA Community

Written June 5, 2020

In his April 16, 1963 "Letter From Birmingham Jail," Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Nearly six decades later, the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others—and the protests around the world in response to these tragedies­—are a call to action for us all.  

As members of the AIPLA community, we must together seek positive change. We must support those seeking to improve our nation and live up to America's ideal of "Equal Justice Under Law" — the phrase carved in stone over the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court. The continued inequitable treatment of African-Americans and other communities of color is intolerable. We must reflect on how our actions demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion through discussion, education, and implementation. And we must all find ways to come together, and no longer be torn apart.

As set forth in our Diversity Mission Statement adopted more than a decade ago, AIPLA has long believed that a diverse membership is essential to accomplishing our goals. Now, more than ever, we celebrate that diversity and renew our dedication to equity and inclusion. AIPLA will continue to seek out effective means to remove barriers to under-represented groups in our own organization, in the IP community, in legal education, and in the innovation ecosystem as a whole. As a leading IP bar organization, we will look for ways that we can better support diverse inventors and creators and help ensure access to intellectual property protection for their work.  We will continue to build a welcoming community where all have the opportunity to succeed, personally and professionally.

We stand with those fighting racism and inequality in all its forms. In the coming weeks, the AIPLA Diversity in IP Law Committee will host a Wellness Check of our members. Watch for details. We encourage you to participate as we connect and support each other. As one of the founding organizations, AIPLA continues to support the efforts of the Foundation for Advancement of Diversity in IP Law (established in 2001 as the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation) in its efforts to cultivate and support greater diversity and opportunity in the IP legal community. Learn more about their programs here: https://www.diversityiniplaw.org.  

Our AIPLA community has come together to support one another as professionals and as fellow human beings in the face of the global pandemic. In our unwavering commitment to equal justice and boundless opportunities for all, we stand together with our members, friends, and colleagues in the IP community and beyond to condemn racism. Let's take this moment to deepen our commitment to and our support for one another. 

Be well and be kind to all.


Barbara A. Fiacco

AIPLA President