Volume 47, Issue 4
2015 BPLA Annual Meeting Minutes
The minutes of the 2015 BPLA Annual Meeting are produced below. They were also published in the
BPLA 2016 Winter Newsletter
. These minutes will be subject to the approval of the BPLA membership during the
2016 BPLA Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for December 7, 2016
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2016 Ⓒ Boston Patent Law Association
The Marlowe Hotel
, Cambridge Massachusetts December 1, 2015
I. Call to Order
President, Mr. Gregory Sieczkiewicz called the meeting to order at approximately 12:30 PM and welcomed those present, and introduced those on the dais to the membership including:
  • Hon. Judge Pauline M. Newman
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    , Honored Guest
  • Erik P. Belt
    , President-Elect
  • Monica M. Grewal
    , Vice President
  • Rory P. Pheiffer
    , Treasurer
  • Deirdre Sanders
    , Secretary
  • Donna Meuth
    , Immediate Past President
  • Michael Bergman
    , Board Member
  • Daniel Young
    , Board Member; and
  • Nikhil Patel
    , Board Member
II. Moment of Silence for Those Absent
Mr. Sieczkiewicz noted the passing of Mr. Philip Berestecki of Raytheon Company, and of Mr. Jesse Ehrlich, of Burns & Levinson during the membership year, and called for a moment of silence in their memory.
III. President’s Report
Mr. Sieczkiewicz noted various events and achievements of the organization during the membership year, including a breakfast with Former Director David J. Kappos, and commented generally on the strength of the organization. He thanked the membership for its support and expressed optimism regarding the Association’s future.
IV. Writing Competition
Mr. Young introduced the winners of the writing competition, noting the exceptional quality of the papers received. He described the review of those papers by a panel of judges, and complimented the winners. Awarded first place was:
Alice and the Case of the Terrible Twos
Daniel Taylor
University of Maine School of Law
– May 2015. Mr. Taylor was presented a prize of $1000. In second place was:
(Mis)appropriation Art and Attribution in the Fair Use Doctrine
John Carl (JC) Zwisler
Northeastern University School of Law
– JD Candidate 2016. Mr. Zwisler received a prize of $500.
V. Secretary’s Report
Deirdre Sanders delivered the Report of the Secretary, noting that
the minutes of the 2014 Annual Meeting
had been published in the
Fall 2015 BPLA newsletter
(Volume 46, Issue 3) on November 9th, 2015 (and distributed to the membership via e-mail). Ms. Sanders moved to waive reading of the minutes and accept the minutes as published, and the motion carried. Accordingly, the minutes of the 2014 Annual Meeting were entered into the record.
VI. Treasurer’s Report
Rory Pheiffer delivered the Report of the Treasurer, noting that the organization had an exceptionally good year. Mr. Pheiffer noted that since the previous Annual Meeting, the organization had hosted or sponsored 30 different events, led chiefly by the Case Law Club committee co-chairs Leslie Meyer-Leon and David Thibodeau. Overall, net income was $38,900.43 for the Association. Mr. Pheiffer moved to waive reading of the balance of the Treasurer’s report, and accept the report. The motion carried and, accordingly, the Treasurer’s Report was entered into the record.
VII. Keynote Speech – Remarks of Judge Pauline M. Newman
Mr. Sieczkiewicz introduced Hon. Judge Pauline M. Newman who received a spontaneous standing ovation both before and after her remarks to those present.
In her remarks, Judge Newman compared the instability and turmoil now present in the patent law to that which existed prior to the 1952 Patent Act and again prior to the formation of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She described in some detail the economic circumstances that existed during her years in private practice under the 1952 Act, and the economic displacement that prevailed after the end of the Vietnam War when the United States was faced with massive layoffs in the field of science and technology, as well as a negative trade balance for the first time in its history. Characterizing President Jimmy Carter as the “hero of the story,” she described the Federal R&D policy study he commissioned and the resulting efforts to establish a court that would provide uniformity and bring enforceability to the law of patents. She detailed her own involvement in developing the goals and objectives of the new court. She characterized these objectives, saying that the Federal Circuit was expected and intended to change the law, to provide stability and predictability where it was missing, to rehabilitate the presumption of validity and revive the Doctrine of Equivalents.
Ultimately, Judge Newman urged those present to remember that a few dedicated people can influence the course of events and encouraged all of us in the profession to take action that will bring improvement and stability out of the present turmoil in the law.
VIII. Nominating Committee’s Report
Immediate Past President Donna Meuth, who served as chair of the BPLA Nominating Committee, presented the Report of the Nominating Committee. The other two members of the Nominating Committee were Past Presidents Joe Maraia and Neil Ferraro. Ms. Meuth noted Mr. Belt’s automatic elevation, according to the rules of the Association, to the role of President. She presented the slate of nominees as follows:
  • President-Elect:
    Monica M. Grewal, Esq
  • Vice President:
    Rory P. Pheiffer, Esq
  • Treasurer:
    Deirdre Sanders, Esq
  • Secretary:
    Michael Bergman, Esq
  • Board Member:
    Daniel Young, Esq
  • Board Member:
    Nikhil Patel, Esq
    .; and
  • Board Member:
    Michael McGurk
    , Esq.
Ms. Meuth moved for acceptance of the nominations and election of the nominees. The motion was seconded and carried. Accordingly, the 2016 Board of Governors of the BPLA were duly elected.
Outgoing President Sieczkiewicz passed the BPLA presidential gavel to incoming President Belt. Outgoing President Sieczkiewicz will continue on the BPLA Board of Governors as Immediate Past President.
IX. Amendments to the Bylaws
President-Elect Monica Grewal presented Amendments to the Bylaws regarding the conditions for admission of non-attorneys to membership in the BPLA. Ms. Grewal noted that the proposed amendment had been published on the website of the BPLA on November 1, 2015 (and distributed to the membership via e-mail on the following day). Ms. Grewal moved for acceptance of the proposed Amendments, and the motion carried. Accordingly, the bylaws of the BPLA are duly amended effective December 1, 2015.
X. Remarks of the Incoming President
President Erik Belt delivered remarks focusing on the role that the BPLA holds to educate the public as to the importance of intellectual property. Mr. Belt noted the exceptional array of presentations and seminars available to the membership under the auspices of the organization. He noted, however, that recent events highlight the degree to which much of the public do not appreciate the value and importance of intellectual property to the economic and social development of the nation. Accordingly, Mr. Belt announced his intention to raise the profile of the Association in the mind of the public and called on the membership to take every available opportunity to advance public understanding of the important role that intellectual property plays.
XI. Motion to Adjourn
President Belt moved to adjourn at approximately 2:45 PM and the motion carried, concluding the 2015 Annual Meeting.
Community Calendar
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Table of Contents
President's Message by Erik Belt
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< Back
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In re Aqua Products
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Proposed Membership By-Law Change
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The 2016
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2015 BPLA Annual Meeting Minutes
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