January 24, 2014

Dear AIPPI-US Members,

This letter provides an update on our Division's activities since my last letter in November. There is quite a bit of news, so please be sure to read to the end.

Renewal Notice and Special AIPPI New Member Incentive:
  You should have recently received your Notice to renew your membership in the AIPPI-US Division for 2014, unless you are already paid up for this year.  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.If you haven't renewed yet, Click here to renew! Need an application for a colleague?  Click here for a new member application.

AIPPI-US Dues Decrease:  Our dues for AIPPI-US membership have been significantly reduced for 2014.  Regular members now pay $190, and young members (under 30) can join for only $70.  A new category of membership for Senior Members (75 or older) who are retired or work for compensation less than 500 hours per year is available for $125.  We do require that seniors have been members of AIPPI-US or AIPLA for at least the last 5 years.   Let's all commit to recruiting at least one or two new members (or more) from our firms and companies for the 2014 year at these reduced dues levels. 

Nominations for AIPPI Bureau and Statutory Committees:  AIPPI has informed our Division that there are a large number of vacancies on the Bureau and several statutory committees that need to be filled by election at the Toronto Congress.  There are currently members from our AIPPI-US Division serving on the Bureau (John Osha - Deputy Reporter general), the Nominating Committee (Mark Halligan), the Communications Committee (Robert Sacoff), the Membership Committee (Alan Kasper), the Finance Advisory Committee (William Ellis), and the Programme Committee (Larry Welch).  Each of these members is either serving a term that is not yet expired, or is re-electable in 2014 under the applicable governing statutes.  There is no prohibition on having more than one member from a given AIPPI National Group on any AIPPI committee, although it has been an exception in the past.  Candidates for any vacancy may be proposed by the Bureau, the Nominating Committee, any National or regional Group, or by at least 50 members of the association. 

The following positions will be vacant in 2014:  

  • Bureau: President, Vice-President, Secretary general, Reporter General, Treasurer General, Deputy Secretary General, and one Deputy Reporter General.   
  • Programme Committee: one member
  • Finance Advisory Committee: Chairperson plus three members
  • Membership Committee: Chairperson plus one member
  • Communications Committee: Chairperson plus four members
  • Nominating Committee: Chairperson plus five members

There will also be a new Statutory Committee, the Venue Selection Committee, that likely will be installed in Toronto.  The Bureau is asking for candidates for this committee to be proposed as well.  

In addition, the Bureau is seeking candidates for the positions of Assistant to the Reporter General (two), and Assistant to the Secretary General (two). This is a result of decisions by currently serving members to resign.  

If you wish to propose a candidate for any of the vacant positions or the newly anticipated committee, including yourself, please let us know as soon as possible, as our Division Steering Committee will be addressing these vacancies in the very near future.

AIPPI Amicus Brief in Alice v. CLS:  Our Division has assisted AIPPI in preparing an Amicus brief in the important Alice v. CLS case, now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.  We owe great thanks to our Vice-Chair, Phil Swain, and to Mark Halligan for their work in preparing the various drafts of the brief and coordinating them with our Steering Committee, and the relevant members of AIPPI.  The brief provides the court with significant information on AIPPI's position on the subject matter patentability of software related inventions and the global trends in this area of the law.  The case is expected to be decided in the current court term.

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

AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute Committee Expo:  During the AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute in Phoenix from January 30-February 1, there will be an "Expo" session where each AIPLA Committee will staff a booth to promote and explain its committee activities.  Our AIPPI-US Division will be participating in this Expo on Friday, January 31, and we have lined up a group of volunteers to help staff our display.  If you are attending the AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute, please stop by our table and help promote membership in our Division.

Speakers for AIPLA Spring Meeting:  The AIPLA Professional Programs Committee has arranged for our Division to provide several speakers for the AIPLA Spring Meeting in Philadelphia (May 15-17, 2014) who will 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 will also be providing a speaker on the topic "Trademarks, and Geographic Indicators, and Traditional Knowledge in Current Trade/Treaty Negotiations."   

Working Questions for Toronto: Speaking of the working questions for Toronto, it is not too late to volunteer to help prepare our Division's reports on those questions (to be called "Study Questions" in the future by AIPPI).  We already have several volunteers for the each question, but there is room for more help. Here are the four questions:

  • 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 have just received the working guidelines for these questions from AIPPI, so our teams will be getting started drafting the reports very soon.

AIPPI-US Trip to Asia:  From November 11-15, 2013, our Division sent a delegation to Asia lead by AIPLA and AIPPI-US President, Wayne Sobon.  The group made 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 and executing this first time event, which was a great success.

AIPLA Patent Treaties and International Policy Committee:  The AIPLA Patent Treaties and International Policy Committee has undertaken the task of preparing an International Issue Page for the AIPLA website.  They have asked whether our AIPPI-US Division would work together with them in preparing this page and keeping it up to date with current information.  We have indicated our willingness to assist them, and I am asking for volunteers who would like to help with this effort.  In addition, the same AIPLA Committee has asked us to plan a joint committee activity during the AIPLA Spring Meeting in Philadelphia.  Please step forward if you would like to help with this as well.

AIPLA IP Practice Committee Trips:  The various IP Practice Committees of AIPLA are planning trips during the coming year, as set forth below:

  • IP Practice in Europe - London, Paris, Munich, Geneva - Mtg with AIPPI Germany (Mar. 10-14) -- contact Laura Brutman at lbrutman@schiffhardin.com  
  • IP Practice in Israel (Mar. 23-27) -- contact Bill Mandir at  wmandir@sughrue.com 
  • IP Practice in Japan (April 7-10) - Tokyo, Kyoto - Mtg with AIPPI Japan -- contact Chris Fildes at fildespat@teleweb.net; 
  • IP Practice in China (June 9-14) - Beijing, Xian, Tianjin -- contact Pat Coyne at patrick.coyne@finnegan.com 
  • IP Practice in the Far East (April 14-18) - Seoul, Daejeon, Kuala Lumpur -- contact Chris Maier at  cjm@maierandmaier.com 
  • IP Practice in Latin America (August 18-22) - Santiago, Buenos Aires - -contact Rob Wells at  robert.wells@finnegan.com 

AIPPI-US members are encouraged to join these trips, where possible.  Please contact the relevant co-chairs of these committees as listed above to let them know if you are interested in joining any specific trips.

AIPPI Committees having no member from the United States:  There are still a few AIPPI committees with no U.S. member.  We are seeking volunteers for possible appointment to Committees Q 184 - Free Trade Agreements and Q 166 - IP & Genetic Resources/Traditional Knowledge.  Please let me know if you would like to serve on either of these committees. 

Website and Programs Coordinators:  We still need 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.

Mark your Calendars!:  It is not too soon to start making travel plans for the 2014 AIPPI Toronto Congress, which will take place from September 14-18, 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.  As noted above, our Division will also participate in the Committee Expo during the AIPLA Midwinter meeting in Phoenix on January 31, 2014, and we plan to have a business meeting during the AIPLA Spring Meeting in Philadelphia from May 15-17, 2014.  We hope many of you can attend these events, as well. 

Our Division needs your active support in the coming year, and I ask you to take advantage of some of the many opportunities to get more involved in the work of our Division.  We are looking forward to an active and successful year as our Division works toward the AIPPI Toronto Congress in September and beyond!

With best regards, 
David W. Hill

Chair, AIPPI-US Division