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American Bar Association

 
Mission

The Intellectual Property Litigation Committee is one of the 40 practice groups open to all members of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation. Joining the committee entitles a member to a number of benefits (see list below). The committee’s leadership is made up of experienced litigators from all over the country working to keep I.P. litigators fully up to date in all areas relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, the Internet, and related unfair competition cases. Though focusing on federal law, it also touches upon state law and international concerns. With approximately 2,300 members, we are one of the largest and most active substantive law committees in the Section of Litigation.

To accomplish this goal, the committee provides its members with these benefits:


  • Intellectual Property Litigation, a quarterly publication;
  • networking opportunities with leading practitioners;
  • discounted CLE programs;
  • invitations to substantive meetings and social events;
  • online access to case notes, past issues of Intellectual Property Litigation, and other helpful information;
  • opportunities to write for committee publications, speak on committee panels, and participate in the activities of our subcommittees, see list below.

Whether you want to receive Intellectual Property Litigation, learn from and network with top litigators, or contribute to our programs and publications, or all of the above, join us. Section of Litigation members may join up to three committees at no charge.


To join, you must first be a member of the ABA and also a member of the ABA Section of Litigation.


 
Announcements

Upcoming Webinar—"Copyright Termination: How Authors Can Get Back a Piece of Their Pie"

The IPL Copyrights Subcommittee, co-sponsored by the Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industry, is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, February 4, 2016, from 2 p.m.–3 p.m. ET.

 

Sections 203 and 304 of the Copyright Act allow authors to terminate grants of of copyright assignments and licenses in certain circumstances.  Who has standing to effectuate a termination? Worker for hire Issues. What do you get back? What is an “agreement to the contrary?” These questions and the nuts and bolts of copyright termination will be explored with veteran copyright litigators Brian Caplan and Scott Keniley.

 

Register today.

 

Committee Presents Programs on Patent Trolls

On April 10, 2014, the Intellectual Property Litigation Committee sponsored a program titled “Patent Trolls—Do They Help or Hurt Innovation and Will the Legislation Kill Them?” So-called “patent trolls” are the subject of at least six bills in Congress, one state has already passed a law to limit their activities, and President Obama has announced his own multipoint initiative to tackle the supposed problem. Is there a problem that needs to be fixed and will these proposals fix it? This program featured a debate over whether patent trolls are helpful or harmful, and a review of recent legislative proposals and enactments and their likely effect in actions by patent trolls and other cases. Visit our Programs & Materials page for helpful resources from the program.

 

Join Us for Our Monthly Conference Calls!

The Intellectual Property Litigation Committee invites you to join its monthly leadership conference call. The call, which includes all subcommittee chairs, generally involves discussion of upcoming programs, events, and publications.  The call occurs on the second Wednesday of each month at 12 p.m. Pacific/3 p.m. Eastern.


Dial-in information:
Phone Number: 855-979-7370
Password: 643232#


Copyrights Subcommittee Hosts Teleconference on Small Claims

The Intellectual Property Committee’s Copyrights Subcommittee hosted a teleconference on March 6, 2014, entitled, “No Claim Too Small: Addressing Small Copyright Claims.”  The speakers were Jacqueline C. Charlesworth, associate register and general counsel of the U.S. Copyright Office, and John Riley, attorney advisor to the Copyright Office.


In 2011, Congress asked the U.S. Copyright Office to study the difficulties associated with resolving small copyright claims. The Copyright Office held a series of public hearings to obtain comments from stakeholders, including practitioners, scholars, copyright owners and users.  In September 2013, the register issued a report detailing the obstacles presented by the current system and proposing a voluntary alternative for the adjudication of small copyright claims.  Charlesworth and Riley—the primary researcher and a supporting author of the report—reviewed the report and its findings, and discussed proposals for copyright small-claims reform. 


February 2014 Roundtable Explored Third-Party Litigation Financing

On February 25, 2014, the IP Committee presented a Roundtable discussion entitled, “Other People’s Money:  Practical and Legal Considerations for Third-Party Litigation Financing.”


The Roundtable explored the use of third-party litigation financing in intellectual property litigation and other complex commercial cases. Initially designed to fund advances of prospective settlements in personal injury cases, litigation financing enjoys much greater use today, including in complex commercial litigation. For example, corporate parties now routinely seek financing to fund the costs of expensive business litigation. The Roundtable addressed various legal and practical issues in connection with such third-party financing, including the types of business cases considered for financing, as well as factors considered by third-party firms in deciding whether to provide financing and how to structure such financing.


The Roundtable was moderated by Trade Secrets Subcommittee cochair Ronald T. Coleman of Parker Hudson, and featured comments by Ashley Keller and Travis Lenkner of Gerchen Keller Capital, LLC.


Young Lawyers' FAQ

The Young Lawyers' Subcommittee has created an FAQ for young IP litigation attorneys. The goal of the FAQ is to provide answers to questions that young lawyers face as they begin their legal careers. We want this feature to be responsive to the needs of our members and encourage you to submit questions to the chairs of the subcommittee. Click here to submit a question.


The TRO Procedure Project

When seeking or resisting the entry of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or preliminary injunction in trade secret cases, it is important to know the rules and practices followed in that particular forum. The Trade Secrets Subcommittee of the Intellectual Property Litigation Committee has collected information from volunteers located in cities across the country about the specific practices and procedures followed in their jurisdictions with regard to interlocutory relief. Learn the written and unwritten rules followed by a particular court—rules that will be familiar to local practitioners but perhaps not apparent from reading a dry textbook—by visiting the TRO Procedure Project page.


If you would like to complete a questionnaire regarding your jurisdiction, please use this TRO Project Questionnaire and submit your completed form (in both Microsoft Word and PDF format) to one of the Trade Secrets Committee chairs. The chairs are:


Linda K. Stevens, Schiff Hardin
Ronald T. Coleman Jr., Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP


Seeking Contributors

The Intellectual Property Litigation Committee is looking for authors for articles about IP and related cases. Contact an editor (below) for more information.


 
Message from the Chairs

If You Handle IP Litigation, This Is Your Home
Welcome to the Intellectual Property Committee of the ABA’s Section of Litigation. As one of the Section’s largest committees, we are home to more than 3,000 practitioners from around the country and the world. Our mission: To help you make the most of your practice.

Our quarterly newsletter—the best IP writing around and an opportunity for you to be published.


• Articles, news and developments, and case updates on our website.


• Regular free phone conferences or webinars on a variety of topics, including discussions with top trial lawyers, academics, and judges.


• Live, free roundtables around the country—host or attend and help build your network within your hometown community.


• Regional CLE events starring the best and the brightest.


• Opportunities to participate in the setting of policy by the ABA on IP matters, such as the recent “patent troll” legislation.


• Many opportunities to network, build your IP resume, and further your practice.


We welcome your feedback on what is working, what you’d like to see more of, and what additional benefits we can provide to you, our members. And, as always, we are looking for committee members who are interested in becoming more involved in our work, whether it is through contributing to the newsletter, website, or programs, or through membership outreach. For more information about opportunities to become involved, please contact one of us.


Angela Foster
David Wolfsohn

Chairs, Intellectual Property Litigation Committee


 
Subcommittees

Our active subcommittees include:

  • Membership
  • Copyrights
  • Distance Learning
  • Diversity
  • Internet/Privacy
  • Membership
  • Newsletter
  • Patents

 

  • Programs
  • Roundtables
  • Trademarks
  • Trade Secrets
  • Website
  • Women & IP
  • Young Lawyers
 

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:

 
Navigant Partners

Jim Pampinella


Renee Wong



 

Intellectual Property Litigation Leadership

Cochairs Newsletter Editor-in-Chief Web Editors

Angela Foster

North Brunswick, NJ


David Wolfsohn

Philadelphia, PA

 


Steven Gardner

Winston-Salem, NC


Newsletter Editors

Bradford P. Lyerla

Chicago, IL


Elaine Chow

San Francisco, CA


George Medlock

Philadelphia, PA


Philip Canelli

New York, NY

Lesley M. Grossberg

Philadelphia, PA


David Harris

New York, NY


Dane Voris

San Diego, CA