Table of Contents
Open Community Calendar >
Message from the President Rebecca M. McNeill
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Message from the Editor
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Minutes of the Annual Meeting
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Annual Symposium
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BIPLA Annual Writing Competition
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MTAS and the Common Law of Bailment
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2023 BIPLA Comment on Expanding Criteria for Admission to Practice
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2023 BIPLA Comment on Patent System Robustness and Reliability
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Members on the Move
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A Look At The Legal Intersection Of AI And Life Sciences
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Optimising prosecution strategy for patent term extensions in Europe
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What is the current threshold for support of a patent claim in New Zealand?
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The Top Ten TTAB Decisions of 2022
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List of Officers and Board of Governors
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Job Listings
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2023 Ⓒ Boston Intellectual Property Law Association

Minutes of the Annual Meeting

By Valarie Rosen, Cabot Corp
Wednesday, December 7, 2022, The State Room, 60 State Street, Boston
I. Call to Order and President’s Report
President Keith Toms called the meeting to order at 12:10 and welcomed all those in attendance. President Toms presented welcoming remarks, in which he expressed gratitude for being able to meet in person, recognized and welcomed past presidents of the Boston Patent Law Association, and recapped events that had returned to in-person format over the course of the year. He thanked the committee co-chairs for their efforts in staging events during 2022. He also emphasized the need to increase membership, for example, by increasing the Association’s outreach to non-patent practitioners.
II. Report of the Open Naming Committee
President Toms introduced Professor Peter Karol to provide the report of the Open Naming Committee. Professor Karol summarized the process of the Open Naming Committee. An invitation was sent to the entire membership in the spring. Interested members met multiple times throughout the late spring and summer. They began by developing selection criteria for the new name, e.g., connection to the organization’s mission, ease of transition, and availability. The committee brainstormed about 11 candidate names and variations and documented the pros and cons of each. After preliminary due diligence, including searches on USPTO registration and domain name availability, two finalists were selected. Compumark searches were ordered on both BOSTON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW ASSOCIATION and IP LAW ASSOCIATION OF BOSTON. The committee ultimately voted unanimously to recommend BOSTON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW ASSOCIATION based on its clarity; alignment with full scope of organization mission; ease of transition from similar former name and retention of organizational good will; and successful clearance search. The committee also secured the domain name.
President Toms described the voting procedure (paper ballots, with some votes submitted by proxy), and called for a motion to amend the Bylaws of the Association to change the name of the organization from the Boston Patent Law Association to the Boston Intellectual Property Law Association. The motion was made and carried and the vote was carried out by secret ballot, officiated by Past President David Conlin and counted by Past President Conlin and Activities Chair Wyley Proctor.
III. Secretary’s Report
President Toms introduced Secretary Derek Roller. Secretary Roller moved to waive the reading of the minutes from the 2021 BPLA Annual Meeting, which had been made available to the membership on the organization website. Motions to waive the reading and approve the meeting minutes were made and carried. The minutes from the 2021 BPLA Annual Meeting were accepted.
IV. Treasurer’s Report
Secretary Roller introduced Treasurer Emily Whelan. Treasurer Whelan reported that in 2022 the organization had income of $167,720.46 and expenses of $168,612.18, for a loss of $891.72, with $165,684.91 in remaining assets. Treasurer Whelan offered to share copies of the financial documents with the members. Hearing no requests, Treasurer Whelan requested motions to waive the reading of the balance of the Treasurer’s Report and to accept the Report, which were made and carried. The Treasurer’s Report was accepted.
V. Writing Competition
Treasurer Roller introduced Board Member David Mello to announce the winners of the BPLA’s Annual Writing Competition. Board Member Mello announced that the BPLA selected as the first place paper “Treating Non-fungible Tokens as Digital Goods Under the Lanham Act” by Andrea McCollum a 3L and a Senior Editor of IDEA: The Law Review of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law and, as the second place paper, “MTAs and the Common Law of Bailment: Minimizing Misunderstanding, Avoiding Dispute, Managing IPR, and Accelerating Innovation” by Brittany Reeves, a 3L and Daniel Webster Scholar at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law and a Senior Editor of IDEA: The Law Review of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property.
VI. Pro Bono Awards
Board Member Mello introduced Immediate Past President and Pro Bono Committee co-chair Daniel Young to present the Pro Bono Award. Past President Young announced that the BPLA selected Andrew DeVoogd of Mintz Levin to receive the award in view of his extensive pro bono practice on behalf of immigrants, domestic violence victims, and the LGBTQ+ community. Kevin Amendt of Mintz Levin accepted the Award on Mr. DeVoogd’s behalf as he was unable to attend.
VII Keynote Speech
President Toms introduced Arthur Daemmrich, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. In his remarks, entitled “Places of Invention: Innovation Clusters Past, Present, and Future”, Dr. Daemmrich introduced the Lemelson Center and discussed the history of geographically centered innovation clusters from the Renaissance to modern times. Dr. Daemmrich concluded his remarks by presenting a brief quiz on the origin of several modern innovations. Following Dr. Daemmrich’s presentation, President Toms facilitated a question-and-answer session and presented him with a Patriots Plate.
VIII. Nominating Committee Report and Election
President Toms introduced Immediate Past Present and Pro Bono Committee co-chair Daniel Young. Immediate Past President Young noted the automatic elevation, according to the rules of the Association, of Rebecca McNeill to the office of President. Mr. Young presented the slate of Officers that had been approved by a unanimous vote by the Nominating Committee, consisting of himself, and Past Presidents Michael Bergman and Deirdre Sanders:
President Elect: Josh Dalton Vice President – Emily Whelan Treasurer – Derek Roller Secretary – Valarie Rosen Board Member – David Mello Board Member – Kevin MacDonald Board Member – Keith Wood
Immediate Past President Daniel Young requested a motion for acceptance of the nomination of the Officers and Board Members and election of the nominees, which was made and carried. Thus, in accordance with the Bylaws of the Association, the 2023 Board of Governors of the BPLA was duly elected.
IX. Report of the Vote on the Bylaw Amendment
Outgoing President Keith Toms introduced Past President David Conlin to present the results of the vote to amend the Bylaws. Past President Conlin indicated that the vote was 110 for and 10 against, clearing the 2/3 threshold required to carry. Thus, the Bylaws were amended and the name of the Association became Boston Intellectual Property Law Association.
X. Outgoing President’s Remarks
Outgoing President Toms remarked on the significance of the vote and expressed his hope for consensus in the organization going forward. He thanked Activities Chair Wyley Proctor, the McCarter & English firm as a whole and McCarter colleagues Caitlin Ahern, Alyse Pashman, Ronak Mistry, Alex Thornton, Jennifer Webb, and Courtney Tobin for their support. He also thanked Past Presidents Lee Bromberg, Erik Paul Belt, and David Conlin for their mentorship, Association Administrator Constance Brennan and the entire Board for their support, and Incoming President Elect Josh Dalton and Incoming President Rebecca McNeill for their encouragement to pursue the name change.
XI. Remarks of the Incoming President
Immediate Past President Toms introduced Incoming President Rebecca McNeill. President McNeill thanked Mr. Toms for his service and presented him with a Patriots plate. She thanked the membership for their support and noted the 99 year history of the Association. She laid out a plan to build community and fellowship over the year now that we are returning to in person events and invited the audience to attend an upcoming meeting of the Patent Office Practice Committee.
XII. Adjournment
President McNeill moved to adjourn at 1:35 and the motion carried. Networking time was provided following the meeting for a further 30 minutes or so.