“BEYOND BOSTON” Some of you may recall the famous “
Bostonian’s View of the World
” posters, in which the world ends at Rte. 128. At the Boston Patent Law Association, however, we like to take a more global view and look beyond 128 . . . and even 495. Indeed, we are always looking for ways that our local intellectual property community can influence the national debate on innovation and intellectual property rights currently taking place in Washington and around the country, particularly in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Congress, and the Supreme Court.
The BPLA will get another chance to interact with Washington
on June 1 at the annual judges’ dinner
. We will
Judge Kimberly Moore
of the
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
with the
BPLA’s Distinguished Public Service Award
, and I have asked Judge Moore to address the BPLA at that time. I hope you will come to help honor our federal judges and hear Judge Moore’s remarks. The dinner will be held at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in the Seaport district. Details on sponsorship opportunities, registration, and logistics will follow shortly.
From left to right: Keith Toms, BPLA Activities and Public Relations Chairperson and Partner at McCarter & English; Michelle Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO; Bridget Petruczok, USPTO, Deputy Chief of Staff; and Bill Scally, Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Photo courtesy of USPTO.
President's Message
April 2016 -
Erik Belt
McCarter & English LLP
To that end, the BPLA recently hosted Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO,
Michelle Lee
, along with other USPTO officials, during
a reception at District Hall in the Seaport district on March 30
. Close to 100 BPLA members attended. The reception was the BPLA’s chance to make its views known to the USTPO, and the assembled crowd certainly did just that, asking Director Lee questions about USPTO policies and practices and, importantly, sharing their frustrations with her regarding those same policies and practices. I got the sense that Director Lee was genuinely concerned and appreciated the feedback. We are, after all, the USPTO “customers,” and Director Lee wants happy customers. Director Lee spoke in particular about
improving patent quality
fostering innovation
. Anything we can suggest that will improve quality and innovation will be considered. I thus ask that if you have suggestions that the USPTO should hear, please let us know. The BPLA will continue to make its collective views known so that we can also foster innovation at the national level.
Finally, I am sure that you have seen, as I have, that patents have been under attack in recent years. For example, a bill recently filed in the Senate, identified as the
Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act of 2016
, seeks to limit venue in patent infringement cases. One new provision will confine infringement actions to “where the defendant has committed an act of infringement of a patent in suit and has a regular and established physical facility that gives rise to the act of infringement.” A provision like this will make it substantially harder and more expensive to enforce patents, particularly for small businesses and solo inventors. Indeed, a provision like this could mean that some infringers, such as foreign companies, could not be sued anywhere in this country. Any law that makes it more expensive or more difficult to enforce patents ultimately weakens patents and thus the incentives to innovate. I thus urge all of you to speak up, make your voices heard in Washington so that the nation’s leaders understand that they should leave patents alone for a while. The BPLA will certainly be doing so in its official capacity. You can also get involved with the BPLA’s
Amicus Committee
, which is seeking volunteers to submit amicus briefs in current Supreme Court and Federal Circuit cases that will shape patent law for years to come,
the Patent Office Practice Committee
, which periodically submits comments related to proposed rules changes, or the Legislative Task Force, which is working to evaluate the best ways to respond to proposed changes in the law, like the aforementioned Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act of 2016. If you want to get involved in any of these initiatives, please feel free to contact the Amicus Committee at
, the Patent Office Practice Committee at
, the chair of the Legislative Task Force,
Doug Doskocil
, or me at
Table of Contents
2016 Ⓒ Boston Patent Law Association
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Table of Contents
President's Message by Erik Belt
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Message from the Editor-in-Chief
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Alice: Making Step Two Work
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Grant Submissions and Novelty: A Catch-22 for Startups
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When are Method/Device Hybrid Claims Indefinite?
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Update on the Patent Pro Bono Program of New England and Call For Volunteer Attorneys!
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Saved by the Date? Is Your Pre-AIA Patent Still At Risk for AIA Post Grant Review?
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6th annual Invented Here! Announcement
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BPLA Sponsors the New England Innovation Award Program of Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE)
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Report on the Giles Rich Moot Court Competition
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BPLA Writing Competition Accepting Entries
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Annual Judges' Dinner
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IP Roundtable with Chief Judge Saris
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Significant changes to the rules related to european trademarks ¡v three things you should know
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What/where/when/why/how do I include this sequence in a sequence listing?
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Members on the move
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Member Companies and Firms are Encouraged to Utilize BPLA’s Career Center
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