October 2009

An Amicus Curiae Brief in support of the respondent was filed by the American Bar Association on Friday, October 2 in the Bilski v. Kappos case before the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with patent-eligible subject matter.

The brief was drafted by Thomas Goldstein and the ABA-IPL Amicus Briefs Committee, in coordination with the ABA Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs.

The ABA brief agrees that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reached the correct result in upholding the USPTO’s rejection of this claim, and that the claim sought to patent abstract ideas or mental processes in violation of existing Supreme Court precedent. “Patent law should not interfere with the exercise of human intellect by granting a monopoly on processes in which thinking is central.”

While supporting this result, the ABA brief urges the Court to reject the rigid test announced by the Federal Circuit for determining patent eligibility, which would permit a patent for a method or process only if it is tied to a particular machine or transforms an article into a different state or thing.

The brief opposes such an application of patent law “in a manner that articulates fixed and specific requirements that adversely affect yet-to-be conceived but deserving inventions in emerging or unknown technologies,” urging instead that the Supreme Court continue to determine patentability incrementally.

This brief was the culmination of Section efforts to develop and promote ABA policy on the issue of patent-eligible subject matter. The policy on this matter was adopted by the ABA House of Delegates at the ABA Annual Meeting in August.

Complimentary CLE, Courtesy of ABA-IPL

ABA-IPL is now offering complimentary CLE credit for Section members. Two sessions from the 24th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, Software Development & Licensing: Cloud Computing Issues and Mock Appellate Argument at the U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have been converted into CLE accredited podcasts. To download these podcasts and learn about other CLE offered from the Section, visit the Section homepage. To learn more about your state’s rules and regulations for MCLE accreditation, visit the ABA MCLE webpage.

ABA-IPL Nominating Committee Welcomes Suggestions

The Nominating Committee, appointed by Section Chair Don Martens, welcomes suggestions of members for nominees for the 2010-2011 ABA year for the offices of Chair-Elect, Vice Chair, Secretary, Financial Officer, Publications Officer, Membership Officer, Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates (term expiring in 2013), and four new members of Council for four-year terms expiring in 2014. Under the Section Bylaws, Section Chair-Elect Marylee Jenkins will automatically assume the office of Section Chair on September 1, 2010.

The nominees will be voted on at the Section’s business meeting, Saturday, August 7, 2010, at the ABA Annual Meeting at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco.

Please contact the Chair or any member of the Nominating Committee, set forth below, before December 31, 2009 with your suggestions:

E. Anthony Figg, Chair
Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, PC
Fax: 202-783-6031

Pamela Banner Krupka
Krupka Law Group, P.C.
Fax: 310-889-1995

Lisa Dunner
Fax: 202-403-3030

Ralph Oman
Fax : 202-261-3333

Mark Whitaker
Fax : 202-318-8723

Sign up to be a voting member of your committee today!

Become an ABA-IPL Committee Voting Member

Take advantage of an opportunity to participate in developing Section policy and sign up as a voting member of your committee. Voting members will be asked to study the policy issues of the committee and vote on the reports in a timely and responsive manner. Any lawyer member of a committee is welcome to sign up to be a voting member of the committee.

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Details of Committee Voting Membership:

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  • The committee rosters, including the roster of voting committee members, will roll over to subsequent years. There is no need to re-subscribe as a voting committee member with each new Association year.
Please remember to notify the ABA if your email address changes. You can do this yourself by logging in to your “myABA” page on the ABA website. Find the link at the top of any page in the ABA website.

Volunteer Opportunities: Judicial Intern Opportunity Program

The Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP) is seeking to expand its partnership with the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law. JIOP is a full-time six-week minimum summer internship program which is open to all first- or second-year minority and/or financially disadvantaged law students who want to do legal research and writing for state and federal judges.

The mission of JIOP is to provide opportunities to students who are members of racial and ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the profession. The program also provides opportunities to students with disabilities, students who are financially disadvantaged and students who identify themselves as gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgendered.

ABA-IPL assists the program through interviewing, funding and fundraising. All ABA-IPL members are encouraged to volunteer to conduct screening interviews, to locate judges willing to host interns in program cities, and to assist in the fundraising efforts so the beneficial work of the program may continue and grow.

Chair of the ABA-IPL JIOP effort is Stephen Spears ( spearss@howrey.com). All ABA-IPL members interested in helping to screen interviewers for applicants, locating host judges or assisting with fundraising are encouraged to contact Mr. Spears to discuss these options and other ways in which they may best support JIOP.

Internships for students with an intellectual property law focus will be offered in Chicago, Los Angeles, Texas and Washington, DC.

Applications for the Summer 2010 Judicial Intern Opportunity Program are now being accepted for second-year law students. Applications for first-year law students will be accepted December 1st, in accordance with NALP guidelines. Students can indicate their interest for specialized intellectual property law positions on their application. These specialized slots are limited and any student applying to the program with a request for specialization will also be considered for the general litigation internships.

The program is administered by the ABA Section of Litigation, which has partnered with both the Section of Antitrust Law and the Section of Intellectual Property Law to support JIOP both financially and with member and volunteer support. Over the past eight years, the program has grown exponentially. It started with 58 students and 40 judges in two cities and now provides screening interviews with nearly 600 program applicants, from which 195 interns are assigned to 165 judges in eight locations. This past summer ABA-IPL was able to place a total of 14 interns specializing in IP with federal and state judges.

Committee Activities

Special Committee on Promotion and Marketing Law holds roundtable program on both coasts

To effectuate its 2009 goal of exploring the legal aspects of environmental marketing law claims, the ABA Special Committee on Promotion and Marketing Law conducted a series of roundtable discussions on the east and west coasts involving regulators, practitioners, and advocacy on the developing subject.

The committee-sponsored roundtables in June 2009 in New York City and in September 2009 in San Francisco. Both events featured lively and interactive discussions focused on the FTC’s Green Guides, state and local legislation and enforcement actions, and recent National Advertising Division decisions from both the legal and business perspective. Special guests included Len Gordon, the Northeast Regional Director of the Federal Trade Commission, David Mallen of the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, Laura Zuckerman, California Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General, Environment Section, and Gay Browne, Founder and CEO and Elizabeth Harrington, VP of Strategic Alliance for Greenopia.

The New York roundtable was co-chaired by Adam Solomon of The Lustigman Firm, P.C. and Terese Arenth of Moritt Hock Hamroff, LLP and hosted at Winston & Strawn.  The San Francisco roundtable was chaired by Tanya L. Forsheit of the Information Law Group and Tsan Abrahamson of Cobalt, LLP and hosted by Coblentz, Patch, Duffy, & Bass.

The committee is planning a similar program for next year.

Latest Online Data, Transactions & Security Committee Newsletter
Now Available

Volume 2, Issue 1 of the ABA- IPL Online Data, Transactions & Security Committee (711) and ABA Section of International Law Information Services, Technology & Data Protection Committee joint newsletter is now available online. Serving as the Editor in Chief of the substantive newsletter is ABA-IPL’s Matt Asbell, Ladas & Parry LLP. The ABA-IPL committee is chaired by R. Mark Field, Evans, Petree, Bogatin P.C. Vince Cogan, SVB Financial Group, is the Vice-Chair.

Check the committee website for the full newsletter collection.

Young Lawyer Fellows Program Renewed

The Section Council, at the recent ABA Annual Meeting, renewed its commitment to the Young Lawyer Fellows Program. The program was started in 2004 to develop future participation and leadership within the Section by providing young lawyers with opportunities to participate in key meetings of the Section.

Participants in the Young Lawyers Fellows Program attend the ABA Annual Meeting, ABA Mid-Year Meeting and Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference for three consecutive years, as well as attending any stand-alone meetings of their committees. They report to the Council of the Section and the Council of the YLD on an annual basis about their experience as Fellows.

Candidates must be active members of the Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) or ABA-IPL Young Lawyers Committee (“YLC”), or active members of the YLD who have aged out (age 36 or older or more than 5 years after first admission to bar) within the past three years. In selecting Fellows, the following criteria are considered:

  • Participation and leadership in the ABA Young Lawyers Division
  • Membership and prior participation in the Section of Intellectual Property Law
  • Prior participation in the YLD Intellectual Property & Internet Law Committee
  • Prior participation in the ABA-IPL Young Lawyers Committee
  • Prior participation and involvement in other ABA offices and committees
  • Determination, commitment and enthusiasm

The Section is committed to promoting diversity among its membership. Not only will the Section consider law firm size, practice area, and geographic location of the applicants, but will also place a special emphasis on ensuring that the participants represent diverse racial, gender, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

The Young Lawyer Fellows coordinate with the YLD Liaison’s efforts to provide broader exposure of the benefits of Section membership to the YLD, including developing plans for joint social and substantive events and programs at the ABA Annual Meeting, as well as YLD meetings.

In addition, the senior Fellows act as mentors to new Fellows and other YLD members who join the Section and organize an annual Fellows alumni event to be held each Spring at the Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference.

Current Young Lawyer Fellows are:
Annette Reimers (2007-2010)
Christina Scelsi (2009-2012)
Sharra Brockman (2009-2012)

Two additional fellows will be selected by July 2010 for three-year terms (2010-2013). The following year, two more will be selected for three-year terms, (2011-2014), and thereafter, with a full compliment of six Young Lawyer Fellows each year in rotating terms, two additional will be selected.

Application materials will be posted on the Young Lawyer Committee webpage soon.

ABA-IPL 25th Annual and ABA Annual Meeting 2010

More than just continuing legal education... a unique IP experience

Mark your calendar—
Watch for complete conference and registration information on our website as it becomes available.

25th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference

Special 25th Anniversary activities planned, including a gala dinner on Friday, April 9! Mark your calendar and plan to attend this signature gathering of prominent intellectual property lawyers.

 New in 2010– tours offered for spouses, families and guests.

April 7-10, 2010
Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel
Arlington, Virginia

2010 commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, which will be held April 7 - 10 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

25 years of providing quality CLE programming on the most recent developments in IP law.

Gain a year’s worth of CLE credits during the conference’s two and one-half days of quality IP programming with pre-eminent moderators and speakers at the forefront of IP law. A complete list of CLE programs and events will be available soon at www.abanet.org/intelprop.

There will also be special networking opportunities for young lawyers, women in the profession, and corporate counsel. And once again, the conference will feature the popular special evening reception at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s historic Dolley Madison House.

ABA Annual Meeting & ABA-IPL Section Programs

August 5-8, 2010
InterContinental Hotel
San Francisco , California

Offering a comprehensive slate of CLE sessions including committee roundtables, as well as a variety of networking activities, tours, and events.