NAPP eNews™/AUGUST/2019

NAPP eNews™ for August 2019


AMC 2019

Our Annual Meeting and Conference in Seattle was a great success! Our ambitions for a big turnout were thwarted because we couldn't seem to get much traction among the local patent practitioner community, but our regulars showed up and we got some much wanted name recognition with the UW Law School's IP community and their supporters. The three conference days started off with a very academic bent, but kept getting more practice oriented throughout, ending on Kerry Culpepper's "Fixing silly mistakes" presentation. There was nostalgia aplenty for those of us staying in the school dorms, and the Toga party was a real hoot, not to mention the other three networking events that introduced our members to different parts of Seattle as we reconnected and got to know each other better. The elections went off without any hiccups, we earned a ton of CLE, and most importantly nobody fell asleep during my presentation. Kudos to committee chair Alex Pokot and the entire AMC team for another job well done!

AMC 2020 – July 19-21 at Chicago-Kent College of Law (Illinois Inst of Tech)

Speaking of the AMC committee – their effort continues! We would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for potential speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, events, etc. for next year's conference in Chicago. And start planning to attend - I'm serious - put it on your calendars now! We are your people, and if you've been to any of the conferences before you know it feels like coming home to family. I look forward to seeing you there. (P.S.-Call your mother)


So, one of the purposes of the annual meeting and conference is – you guessed it – to have an annual meeting where we discuss the organization and its business. This year Lisa Adelson (VP), Dan Beinart (secretary), and Bill Richards (treasurer) had their terms on the board expire. We convinced Lisa to run again, but Dan and Bill reluctantly declined. Dan Beinart has been serving since 2012 and Bill has been serving since 2013. We thank them both for their many years of work on behalf of NAPP, both on and off the board.

Fortunately, Tom Bassolino and John T. Davis volunteered to run and were duly elected along with Lisa. Tom has been active in the Government Affairs committee and John has been instrumental in the revamping of the forums. I know they will both be working hard on behalf of our membership.

After the elections each year, the board meets to vote on officers. For the current project year, our President is Dan Krueger, our Vice President is Priya Cloutier, our Treasurer is Mike Carey, our Secretary is Rich Baker, and our Chair is Louis Hoffman.

State of NAPP

The annual meeting is also an opportunity for your officers to share our status, our aspirations, our progress, and our pleas for participation. You can see my presentation here, but in essence: When it comes to NAPP's vision, I think the organization is doing pretty well. Progress on our strategic plan continues, but is lagging (we need more volunteers!). Next steps on the plan include community outreach and building an infrastructure to facilitate volunteerism. Our efforts to grow membership are showing, but turnover remains high. The board's present focus is on finding ways to get members more engaged and to enhance benefits, especially by providing more online content, developing local chapters, rolling out a mentorship program, offering a group plan for health care, and more. This is largely aligned with the results of our recent member survey, though we observed an unexpected (but welcome!) preference for more interactive online education opportunities such as webinars or group discussions. The committees have accomplished a lot, though some are falling into inactive status and could use some fresh energy. There are many interesting ways to participate in this wonderful organization – contact me or Brandi to get involved!

Government Affairs Committee (Chair: Xhavin Sinha)

The GAC has been actively representing NAPP members' interests by: considering multiple requests for amicus participation; responding to PTO Notices of proposed rulemaking; submitting comments on the PTO's 2019 revised guidance for subject matter eligibility; participating in discussions with PTO leadership regarding proposed annual CLE requirements, annual practitioner fees, and inactive status option/consequences; and joining in a proposed revision to 35 USC 101.

Xhavin is putting out a call to all NAPP members, their contacts and associates: spread the word that we are interested in opportunities to: draft amicus briefs at the Fed Circuit or SCOTUS level; make comments on PTO rules; partner with practitioners and law students to write law review articles and blog posts relating to current patent and IP issues; make presentations to inns of court, law schools, firms, local/state bars, and other venues to explain NAPP's positions and educate on IP issues; and to sponsor a national writing competition for students on IP issues. Let it be known to all!

Professional Development Committee (Chair: Priya Sinha)

The PDC has been obtaining and publishing quality content for the NAPP blog. Submissions have slowed, so it's time to buckle down, get your ideas on paper, and send them in to Brandi or Priya. In addition, the PDC organized a diversity webinar last year and a diversity meeting at this year's AMC. Yours truly made an invited NAPP presentation to the Patent Agent Club in Atlanta. Discussions are in progress for organizing online group discussions and webinars for NAPP members. I know you've got thoughts you'd love to share about our profession – let's organize a time to talk about it in an interactive setting for our other members!

Public Relations Committee (Chair: Genna Hibbs)

The PRC has been involved in developing content for the NAPP website; migrating the blog to a new platform (thereby reducing the effort required to publish professional looking results); sponsoring IP events in Atlanta, Chicago, Galveston, and Seattle; updating the NAPP brochures; providing guidance for local meetup groups; and testing ideas for pitch videos to potential members and educational videos highlighting key practice points that might be made available to the public or fellow practitioners. And more ambitious ideas are in the pipeline for this year! Almost all of our practices would benefit if we honed our marketing skills, and the PRC provides many opportunities for doing just that! Sign up today.

Legal Affairs Committee (Chair: John T. Davis)

The LAC has reviewed various contracts for NAPP to keep us out of trouble and to encourage the directors to exert our very best efforts when representing our membership. The current project is the agreement for the NAPP mentoring program, which we hope to have in place by September 1. (yes, this year! Have faith.)

Member Benefits Committee (Chair: Mike Bendel)

For the new project year, Mike has graciously volunteered to take up the reins of the previously inactive MBC. Though the MBC had not been meeting for the past project year, volunteers stepped up to form ad hoc task forces for shepherding important projects through to completion. Namely, the Health Care Task Force (chaired by Lisa Adelson) has been working on the details of a group plan for NAPP members. (Watch for announcements in November and a sign-up period in December!) Similarly the Mentoring Task Force (chaired by Gary Maze) hammered out the framework for a NAPP mentoring plan which the Board has approved. (Formal announcement coming soon!) Now Louis Hoffman has formed a practitioner-oriented Case Analysis Team to identify and summarize new Federal Circuit and Supreme Court opinions having "best practice" implications for patent drafting and prosecution. Other ideas and opportunities are percolating – get involved and make NAPP even better!

Governance Committee (inactive)

A number of tasks which would ideally be undertaken by the GC will hopefully be adopted by volunteers and ad hoc teams this year: setting up project management framework; and publishing a schedule of projects and needs for volunteers. Longer term, we hope to establish a formal track for cultivating new leaders from among our ranks.

Welcome to NAPP!

I apologize for the all-too-delayed and lengthy missive, but I'll close here with our welcoming of new members who have joined NAPP since January. If you know or encounter any of the following folks on the forums or at a local event, please be sure to welcome them to NAPP and let them know we’re glad to have them on board!

Andre Adkins of Plantation, Florida

Doug Agopsowicz of Alexandria, Virginia

Ravi Bansal of Tampa, Florida

Jordan Bauman of Kleppestoe, Norway

Edward Benes of Spring, Texas

Gregory Carson of Rancho Cucamonga, California

Nathan Cernetic of Seattle, Washington

Leslie English of Seattle, Washington

John Ezcurra of Duluth, Georgia

Paul Fatehi of Irvine, California

John Gillis of Boston, Massachusetts

Souad Hakim of Austin, Texas

William Harding of Merritt Island, Florida

Lawrence Hausman of Commack, New York

Harry Hild of Copiague, New York

Patrick Inouye of Seattle, Washington

Dhiraj Jindal of Acton, Massachusetts

Abha Kashyap of Haryana, India

Stephen Katsaros of Denver, Colorado

Ricky Lam of San Francisco, California

Frank Leak, Jr. of Clinton, North Carolina

Martin LeFevour of Burr Ridge, Illinois

Adam Lewental of Hermosa Beach, California

Michael Marion of Phoenix, Arizona

Jose Mata of Bend, Oregon

Zheng Miao of Union City, California

Kathryn Milam of Bothell, Washington

William Mitchell of Wilmington, North Carolina

Neil Mouneimne of La Canada, California

Yamato Okano of Palo Alto, California

Milton Oliver of Burlington, Vermont

Fatimeh Pahlavan of Chicago, Illinois

Vikas Parti of Orlando, Florida

Anne Pellot of Mason, Ohio

David Powsner of Natick, Massachusetts

Mary Redman of Issaquah, Washington

John Rogitz of San Diego, California

Charles Rye of Bartlett, Tennessee

Amy Savoie of Franklin, Tennessee

Franklin Schellenberg of Palo Alto, California

Mukund Sharma of Santa Cruz, California

Jack Stuart of Colorado Springs, Colorado

Kevin Swanson of Ballwin, Missouri

Shane Trent of Raleigh, North Carolina

Malaika Tyson of Chicago, Illinois

Richard Urban of Manassas, Virginia

Krista Wittman of Seattle, Washington

Jing Zeng of Shenzhen, China

Jimmy Zhou of Hoboken, New Jersey