Managing IP last month revealed the winners of our 2017 Global Awards and North America awards programmes at two dinners in London and Washington DC.
North America Awards
The North America Awards Dinner was held at the Four Seasons in Washington DC on March 23, revealing the best intellectual property law firms, individuals and cases in the US and Canada of the past year.
You can view all the winners here. Log in with your subscriber username/password for full access or take a trial to read up to five articles for free.
Photos from the dinner are also now available on our Facebook page.The North America awards consist of three main categories: US and Canada national awards, US regional awards, and outstanding litigator awards. They result from months of analysis by our team of researchers in New York, as part of the process for our 2017 edition of IP Stars as well as Managing IP’s annual survey. In addition, the Managing IP editorial team chose 12 milestone cases of the year and three special individual awards.
The special individual awards this year were awarded to Mark Lemley for influential individual and Daniel Bereskin and James Pooley for lifetime achievement.
Lemley is a founding partner of Durie Tangri and the William H Neukom Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and the Director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology. His works have been cited more than 200 times by courts, including 11 Supreme Court opinions, and more than 13,000 times in books and law review articles. This makes him one of the five most-cited legal scholars in the world. He also participated in amicus briefs on many of the IP cases that the Supreme Court has heard in recent years.Accepting his award, Lemley commented: “We’ve got an almost unprecedented number of Supreme Court cases, we’ve gotten a lot of interesting purview of the law and I think eventually we’re going to see some changes to federal rules. But we’re not going to see intellectual property go away. Intellectual property is surprisingly resilient and I think it will do very well for many years to come.”
Bereskin is a founding partner of Bereskin & Parr, which since 1965 has grown to be one of the largest IP firms in Canada. He has served as legal counsel to INTA, and as a member of the INTA Board of Directors. Accepting his lifetime achievement award, Bereskin noted with humour: “I’d just simply like to say that I am very, very honoured by this recognition and I’m particularly thrilled to know that it was awarded not as a posthumous award.”
Pooley has represented clients as lead trial counsel and strategic advisor in high-stakes patent and trade secret disputes for more than 35 years. He was a driving force behind the Defend Trade Secrets Act, with the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary inviting him to testify and provide drafting advice about the proposed legislation. In 2009, the White House appointed him deputy director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, where he served for five years as director of the international patent system.Accepting his lifetime achievement award, Pooley commented: "Although I have been working more recently in trade secrets, I haven’t neglected the patent part of what we do every day. We all have a stake in the health of that system which is now in so many ways under attack. This is an integrated system that depends on a certain balance, not only among the different pieces that make it work, but in the system that decides what inventors can get protected for and how they get enforcement for their rights. So all of us going forward have a role to play in that, and I hope we continue to pursue that common goal of a strong intellectual property system.”
The Global Awards Dinner was held at The Savoy in London on March 9, with 300 guests from 89 firms and 44 countries. You can view the winners here.
The 85 awards on the night recognised outstanding achievements and IP work in the past 12 months. A live auction and collection also raised money for Managing IP's charity partner, AMREF/ORBIS. Photos from the dinner are available on our Facebook page.Two special awards were presented: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), for groundbreaking and bold initiatives, and Outstanding Achievement, for individuals outside private practice.
The CSR award went to IP Inclusive, a project designed to improve "equality, diversity and inclusivity" in the UK IP profession. This was Managing IP’s first ever award for CSR. Receiving the award on behalf of IP Inclusive were Andrea Brewster and Lesley Evans. In her acceptance speech Brewster described project as a "catalyst for change" and hopes that it will soon become a "measure of progress" for diversity within the profession. Evans announced that the project has welcomed its 100th signatory.
This Outstanding Achievement winner was Richard Hart of Infineum, whose work in the G1/15 case led to the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal decision which clarified that European patent applicants are entitled to claim partial priority. This decision brings to an end the uncertainty and difficulties faced by EPO applicants in what is commonly known as "poisonous priorities/divisionals". In his speech Hart acknowledged the role of his colleagues and non-parties in the case. "In the end we managed to persuade the powers that be that the practice doesn’t work," he said.
Methodology and awards
The shortlists and winners were chosen by our team of research analysts, with guidance from Managing IP editorial team. These are based on the research for the 2017 edition of IP Stars. Researcher analysts look for distinctive work highlights, especially significant client matters, and other notable activities including business growth. Any firm, regardless of tier ranking, can be shortlisted for or win an award. Just like our rankings, firms cannot self-nominate or seek to influence the decision-making process.
The award categories vary each year, with awards added or removed. This year we had one award category for most jurisdictions but in some there were more than one, which reflects IP Stars rankings. We also had special and regional awards.
Managing IP will publish reasons for each of the awards in the May issue of the magazine.