Council Launches New IP Committee

FBC News

Council Launches New IP Committee

By Peter S. Sloane

2-25-15 Peter Sloane As one of his accomplishments as president of the Federal Bar Council, Robert Anello launched the Intellectual Property Committee before completing his tenure.  As chair of the new committee, along with my vice chair, Michael F. Buchanan, I would like to invite those members of the Council who practice patent, trademark, or copyright law to join us on what promises to be an exciting chance to interact with the federal judiciary in this increasingly important area of practice.

The Second Circuit and its district courts have decided some of the most important intellectual property cases in the country.  In 1961, the Second Circuit decided the seminal case of Polaroid Corp. v. Polarad Electronics Corp., 287 F.2d 492 (2d Cir. 1961).  It was the first federal appeals court to set forth a list of factors for evaluating the likelihood of confusion in trademark infringement cases.  More recently in Marvel Characters, Inc. v. Lisa Kirby, 726 F.3d 119 (2013), the Second Circuit clarified the definition of a work made for hire under the 1909 Copyright Act.  In terms of patents, many of our district courts recently have instituted local patent rules to facilitate the early exchange of invalidity and infringement contentions and set forth a claim construction briefing schedule. It is fitting, then, that the Council, as an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in federal practice, take an active interest in IP law.

The initial goals of the new committee include developing camaraderie among those of us who practice intellectual property law, putting together CLE training programs relating to the practice of IP cases before the bench, and educating the judiciary about developments in patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

We are considering some exciting activities along the way, including organizing seminars with judges and leading IP commentators, webcasting of programs, writing articles for the Federal Bar Council Quarterly, and holding mixers with other committees.

Our work will extend to all corners of the Second Circuit, from Eastern Long Island to Western New York and Connecticut to Northern Vermont.  We also invite attorneys with all levels of experience to participate, from the newest associates to senior partners and federal judges as well.

Michael Buchanan is heading a program to educate law clerks about intellectual property law.  The committee plans a basic session about the nuts and bolts of patents, trademarks, and copyrights, which will go a long way to prepare clerks for the inevitable IP cases which come before the courts.
We also hope to hold a broader reception where lawyers and the judiciary can meet and socialize.  The warmer weather in spring would be the perfect time to host a mix and mingle event.

We look forward to promoting intellectual property law among the bench and bar within the Second Circuit and hope that you will join us.  If you are interested in participating in the committee, please send an e-mail to me at sloane@leasonellis.com.

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