November 26, 2013

Dear AIPPI-US Members,

I am very pleased to provide this update on our Division's activities since my last letter in September.  The past month was a busy one, and included our Annual Meeting on October 25 in Washington, as well as our excellent CLE Program which followed the business meeting.  During the business meeting, we received the report of the Nominating Committee from President Jeff Lewis, and voted to elect the recommended slate of Officers and Steering Committee members for the next year.  I appreciated being reelected as Chair of the Division for another year, and we extend a warm welcome to our new Officers and Steering Committee members, Wayne Sobon (President), Sharon Israel (President-Elect), Maria Scungio (Treasurer), Kevin Tottis (Secretary), Dale Nelson, Andrea Kamage, Monica Barone, Kelly Hyndman, Marc Richards, and John Carson.  We also appreciate having Phil Swain (Vice-Chair), and Ken Adamo, Rich Beem, Todd Dickinson, Josh Goldberg, Mark Halligan, Ethan Horwitz, John Osha, Joerge-Uwe Szipl, and Peter Schechter back for another year, or two in Peter's and Uwe's cases.  We are also very pleased that our Steering Committee has increased in diversity with additional women power and significant corporate presence.  Click here to read the summary report of our Annual Meeting CLE prepared by our moderator, Rob Wells.

AIPPI Amicus Committee Questionnaire:  As our first task of the year, we obtained approval and submitted a Response to a recent AIPPI Questionnaire relating to the formation of an AIPPI Amicus Committee. Our response was ably drafted by Peter Schechter, and was coordinated with the leadership of the AIPLA Amicus Committee and the AIPLA leadership.  Once the new Committee has been formally approved by AIPPI, we will be seeking volunteers from our Division to serve on this Committee.  Click here to view the response.

Monthly Steering Committee Phone Conferences:  Your Division Steering Committee will continue to hold monthly telephone conferences in the coming year on the third Wednesday of the month.  If you have issues you feel should be discussed by the Steering Committee, please let me or any other Steering Committee member know.

Managing Intellectual Property Article:  An article appeared in a recent issue of the Managing Intellectual Property magazine on our Annual Meeting.  Click here to read the article.  This was some great publicity for our Division!  Our thanks go to Kevin Tottis for his help in setting up the meeting, to Rob Wells for being such a good moderator, and to Peter Schechter and our two international speakers for making this one of our best CLE programs to date.

AIPPI-Japan Request:  The AIPLA International & Foreign Law Committee has received a request from AIPPI Japan for assistance in finding one or more volunteers to meet with a representative of AIPPI Japan who is planning a visit to Washington, DC in December. Hironobu Mizuno of AIPPI-Japan (http://www.aippi.or.jp/english/index_e.htm) is researching African IP issues, under a commission from the Japan Patent Office.  Mr. Mizuno wishes to speak with U.S. practitioners who have experience, knowledge and/or views on African IP related issues from a US perspective.
The scope of African IP related issues includes:

  • problems concerning the African IP system and/ or IP activities in Africa from a US perspective.(such as, deficiencies of use of IP law system, counterfeit products, issues of access to medicine, etc.)
  • experience, opinion, or support regarding African IP.  Mr. Mizuno plans to be in the United States for this research from December 10 to December 16.  

He is hoping to conduct a 1-2 hour face-to face meeting with suitable practitioners during his stay in US.  If anyone is able to assist, please let me know.

AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute Committee Expo:  During the AIPLA Midwinter meeting in Phoneix from January 30-February 1, there will be an "Expo" session where each AIPLA Committee will man a booth to promote and explain its committee activities.  Our AIPPI-US Division will be participating in this Expo, and we are looking for volunteers to help plan and staff our display.  Please step up and get involved in this fun activity.

Speakers for AIPLA Spring Meeting:  The AIPLA Professional Programs Committee has asked our Division to identify two speakers from our Division for the AIPLA Spring Meeting in Philadelphia (May 15-17, 2014) who can address two of the four Working Questions to be discussed at next year's Toronto AIPPI Congress.  The questions to be addressed are "Second Medical Use or Indication Claims" and "The Basic Mark Requirement Under The Madrid System."  We need to get the names to the Professional Programs Committee very soon, so please let me know if you would be interested in filling one of these speaking roles, or if you can recommend another member who might do so.

Working Questions for Toronto:  Speaking of the working questions for Toronto, it is time to solicit volunteers from our membership to help prepare our Division's reports on those questions (to be called "Study Questions" in the future by AIPPI).  We already have a few volunteers for the copyright question.  Here are the four questions for Toronto: 

  • Second Medical Use or Indication Claims
  • The Basic Mark Requirement Under The Madrid System
  • Exhaustion Issues In Copyright Law
  • IP Licensing And Insolvency 

If you or any of your colleagues who are AIPPI-US Division members have an interest in working on one of these questions, please let me know.  We will be gathering our teams soon.

AIPPI-US Trip to Asia:  Our Division had a delegation visiting Asia lead by AIPLA and AIPPI-US President, Wayne Sobon from November 11-15.  The group had scheduled stops in Japan, Korea, and China, and met with our counterpart AIPPI Groups in each country.  Seminars were held in each venue, and the group also supplied publishable articles to AIPPI Japan for its Japanese Language Quarterly Journal.  Thanks go to John Carson and Sunhee Lee and their entire subcommittee for all the hard work in planning this first time event.

AIPLA IP Practice Committee Trips:  The IP Practice in the Far East Committee of AIPLA (IPPFEC) is planning a trip next year to Korea and Malaysia, tentatively from June 9-13.  Anyone from the AIPPI-US Division who is interested in participating in this trip should contact the Committee Chair, Chris Maier at cjm@maierandmaier.com to be added to their contact list.  The AIPLA IP Practice in Japan Committee will be going to Japan during the week of April 7-11 on its annual trip.  In addition, many of the committee members plan to attend the FICPI open forum on April 10-11 in Kyoto.  Interested members of our Division should contact Chris Fildes at fildespat@teleweb.net.  Other trips are planned in 2014 by the IP Practice in Europe (March 10-14), IP Practice in China (April 14-18 or June 16-20), and the IP Practice in Latin America Committees (August 18-22), as well as the Special Committee on IP Practice in Israel.  More details will be distributed on those trips soon.

Special AIPPI New Member Incentive:  AIPPI has approved a special program for new members who join AIPPI beginning in January, 2014.  Under this program, new members will receive two years of membership for the price of one year.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to recruit other members of your company or law firm to join our Division in advance of the 2014 September AIPPI Congress in Toronto.  Please help us get the word out and inform your friends and colleagues of this attractive program.

AIPPI Committees having no member from the United States:  Last year, we succeeded in having members from our Division appointed to several AIPPI committees which did not have any member from the U.S.  These included Jacqueline M. Daspit, Assistant General Counsel, C. R. Bard, Inc., who has been appointed to Q 206 - In-house Counsel Committee, and J. Michael Martinez de Andino of Hunton & Williams, who was appointed to Q 207 - Development and IP Committee.  We are in the process of submitting several member's names for possible appointment to some other committees of AIPPI.  However, there are still a few committees with no U.S. member.  We are seeking volunteers for possible appointment to the following Committees:

  • Q 222 - Standards & Patents,
  • Q 184 - Free Trade Agreements, and   
  • Q 166 - IP & Genetic Resources/Traditional Knowledge.    

Please let me know if you would like to serve on any of these committees.  In addition, we would like to identify Division members who might have an interest in serving on the following AIPPI committees, where the current U.S. Division members already have served for a number of years:

  • Q 212 - Trademarks,   
  • Q 162 - Community Patent Regulation, and   
  • Q 132 - IT & Internet.    

Please contact me with your indications of interest.

Website and Programs Coordinators:  As we enter our second year as a part of AIPLA, we would like to work on updating and maintaining our website in a more current form.  Please let me know if you might be willing to help in keeping our website up to date and relevant.  In addition, we would like to increase the work of our Programs Subcommittee, so please volunteer if you have interest in working on setting up our meetings and programs in the coming year.

Suggestions for Workshops for Toronto Congress:  AIPPI is currently seeking topics for suitable workshops to be held during the Toronto Congress in September.  If you have good topics to suggest, or would like to moderate or speak for a workshop, please let us know as soon as possible.  A number of our members participated as speakers during the Helsinki Workshops, and it is a great opportunity to present before an internationally diverse audience.

AIPPI/AIPLA/FICPI Joint Colloquium on The Protection of Confidentiality of IP advice (PCIPA), June 27-28, 2013:  The Joint Protocol result of the very successful joint colloquium on the protection of confidentiality of IP Advice held in June have now been agreed in principle by all three of the sponsoring organizations. The text of the protocol is posted on AIPPI's website at https://www.aippi.org/?sel=publications&sub=onlinePub&cf=colloquium.  Efforts toward developing an international standard in this important area will be continuing in AIPPI committee Q199.

Mark your Calendars!  It is not too soon to mark your calendar for the 2014 AIPPI Toronto Congress, which will take place from September 14-17, 2014.  This promises to be a great meeting which is very close to home, so we hope to have a large turnout of our Division members for this meeting.  Our Division also plans to hold Division meetings/events during the AIPLA Midwinter meeting in Phoenix from January 30 - February 1, 2014, and the AIPLA Spring Meeting in Philadelphia from May 15-17, 2014.  We hope many of you can attend these events, as well. 

As you can see from above, there are many opportunities for members to get more involved in the work of our Division.  We are looking forward to another great year for our Division as we continue to grow in numbers, activity, and influence within the AIPPI family! 
With best regards, 

David W. Hill

Chair, AIPPI-US Division