NAPP eNews™/APR/2017

NAPP eNews™ for April 2017

Dear NAPP Members and followers, 

I hope this find you well, and your practices are thriving. If you are reading this as a new member, or are simply new to the patent profession, my goal is to provide updates on current patent issues important to patent practitioners.

Retention of Members
Last month I commented on this topic and asked if anyone has thoughts on how NAPP may retain more members, we would love to hear from you. We heard loud and clear from some members that our Patent Practice Forum™, running on an email platform, was outdated. One member said he was “horrified, yes horrified” that we were using an email based system and not a more modern platform.

At our board strategy meeting March 22-23, we discuss this issue at length. In addition to the already–reported fact that our Member Benefits Committee is beta testing new platforms, and plans to make a formal recommendation to the NAPP board at our April 13 board meeting, we formulated an action plan to follow-up with new members as well as former members. Who will do that? was the main question. We realized that NAPP needs a Member Engagement Committee, and so I will be making a motion to form such a committee. As president it is my responsibility to staff committees, although the committee chair decides who is and who is not a member of their committee, subject to board oversight. If you have ideas or personal experience with other organizations, especially if they have had this problem and improved this metric, we would appreciate your thoughts and volunteer time on this new committee. If you are interested in chairing the Member Engagement Committee, please let me or another board member, or our ED John Meidl know. Committee work is the preferred route to board membership.

Professional Development Committee
The board also decided that NAPP needs a Professional Development Committee. I will be making a motion to form such a committee. One reason is that we need someone, the chair of this committee, to coordinate all NAPP professional development offerings. NAPP is planning to present webinars, for example, and it would not be prudent to present webinars on topics just before the Annual Meeting & Conference that will be addressed by speakers at the AMC. The current Annual Meeting & Conference Committee, currently chaired by Lisa Adelson, will become a sub-committee of the Professional Development Committee. This does not mean we are dis-satisfied with Lisa and the AMC Committee work; it simply means we need to coordinate these efforts.

Thanks to Jim Thompson, VP of Capitol Hill Management Services, for facilitating our board strategy meetings and guidance on strategic issues, and John Meidl our ED for his help and guidance.

Board Elections
NAPP has 9 board members. Each year 3 come up for re-election during the Annual Meeting & Conference (AMC). This is termed a “staggered board”, which many organizations have. Under NAPP Bylaws, the newly formed board meets, usually shortly after the Annual meeting during which elections are held, and the board elects the NAPP officers (president, VP, treasurer, and secretary). I have touched based with several members encouraging them to run for the board. Even if you do not win this year, by going through the process we will know you better, and you can run again.

Atlanta Patent Practice Professionals (P3) Social Event
 On March 14 NAPP sponsored and NAPP members Anne Fahrni, David Ladner and I attended this inaugural event, held at the Atlanta Tech Village, an innovation incubator. Anne is one of the founders of the Atlanta Patent Agents Club (PAC), along with Scott M. Frank, Head of IP, AT&T, and Yuri Eliezer, a patent attorney in Atlanta. As of this writing I cannot tell you the exact number of attendees, but it was well north of 50, mostly patent agents. Prof. David Hricik of Mercer Law School, a noted IP ethics lecturer, gave a presentation. Afterwards, I presented a discussion of NAPP and commented briefly on In re Silver, the Texas case currently before the Supreme Court of Texas concerning the existence of the patent agent privilege.

The best part, however, was the interest in NAPP expressed to me by walk-ups. Many agents are considering opening their own practice and/or partnering with attorneys. This is still a controversial area, despite the Sperry v. Florida decision of the US Sup. Court in 1963! There are those, especially attorneys that still raise ethics and legal questions. There have also been some excellent discussions on the Patent Practice Forum, and I thank all members that have shared their experiences and research, such as Keegan Caldwell.

Annual Meeting and Conference
Please consider attending the 2017 AMC in San Jose July 27-29, 2017. The theme will be “Uncharted Frontiers”, reflecting that we are under the new Trump administration, as well as 35 USC 101, 112, and the written description requirement, especially for design patents. Thanks to Lisa Adelson and her Committee for their work thus far. Speakers are being contacted and the hotel has been selected (Marriott San Jose downtown). Registration is open!

If you have non-member or former member friends, we offer a 1-day option for $295. This is meant for new practitioners to try-out NAPP, and for former members to renew interest in NAPP. This includes all meals and social activities held that day. Member students and faculty members pay $75 for the full conference, while non-member students and faculty may register for $95. For full details, including hotel, airports, cancellation policy, and more, click here:

If you have interest in being an Annual Meeting & Conference Sponsor/Exhibitor, please go to AMC San Jose Exhibitor site.

Employment Opportunity
Our corporate secretary, practitioner member, and IEEE member Dan Beinart received the following inquiry from a recruiter. Feel free to contact Mr. Kramer on your own.

“I’m a legal recruiter in the DC area and I’m working with a national law firm that is seeking registered patent agents with a EE or other types of engineering background. The firm that I’m representing has offices throughout the US and the patent agents can essentially work in any of their US offices. They also have a Patent Agent to Patent Attorney program where they offer to pay a patent agent’s entire law school tuition in the event that they want to transition from being a Patent Agent to a Patent Prosecution Attorney. 
I look forward to hearing from you.” 

Kevin M. Kramer
Kramer Executive Search

1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 772-2045
[email protected]

On this date in history….
“A tool which can be operated successfully by comparatively unskilled labor and which will require little attention from the operator.”

On April 24, 1917, US Patent 1,223,359 for a “TOOL FOR TREATING STONE, CONCRETE, AND OTHER MATERIALS” was issued to John O. Berg of New York City.

Of course, the above drawing would not be acceptable today, because lower case letter are not allowed!

We hope you enjoy this and future editions of NAPP eNews! If you have content you would like share, such as interesting patents, inventors, and other matters of general interest, especially patenting tips, please forward them to our Executive Director John Meidl at [email protected], or the board at [email protected].


Jeffrey L. Wendt

Louis Hoffman, Attorney

[email protected] 
Jeff Wendt, Attorney

[email protected]  
David Stein, Attorney

[email protected]
William (Bill) Richards, Attorney
[email protected]
Dan Beinart, Agent
[email protected]
Jerry Miller, Agent
[email protected]
David Grossman, Attorney
[email protected]  
Bruce Young, Agent

[email protected] 
Lisa Adelson, Attorney [email protected] 





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