Interview: Lisa Jorgenson, AIPLA Executive Director
Lisa Jorgenson was introduced as AIPLA’s Executive Director during last year’s Annual Meeting and started in the role soon after. Even after many years of involvement with the Association – including being on the Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008 – she says the past year has been a learning experience
“It has definitely lived up to and beyond my expectations of a new job,” she tells AIPLA Daily Report. “I had a pretty good understanding of all the various activities that AIPLA was into, but as with any new job there is a learning curve, and part of it is learning that I didn’t know everything about AIPLA that I thought I did. As the Executive Director, part of my job is to understand the full scope of what AIPLA does and can do for our members.”
Jorgenson has had a busy time meeting with domestic and international government officials, representing AIPLA in front of policy makers, and liaising with sister associations. She also sees her role as one of bringing consistency.
“A big part of my job now is to make sure we have a very smooth transition year to year from president to president, as well as welcoming all of our new board members and committee leaders,” she says. “While we are trying to do that, I have also been focused this past year on making sure the operations at headquarters are running smoothly and we are staying fiscally sound.”
On a personal level, she has also faced the challenge of moving to Northern Virginia after living in Texas since 1988 (Jorgenson was previously group vice-president of intellectual property and licensing at STMicroelectronics). Her family is still in Texas for now. “So that has been a big challenge for me, having them still back in Dallas and having me here.”
While she settled into her new role Jorgenson said it “was an objective of mine in the first year to travel as little as possible.” She adds: “I have been traveling a fair amount but I suspect that my travel will grow as this next year unfolds, particularly with our international activity.” For example, she was in Rio last week for the AIPPI World Congress and Geneva at the end of September for the WIPO General Assembly.
Having a voice in the reform debate
Part of Jorgenson’s role is to act as a spokeswoman for AIPLA. To help determine which issues to focus on, the Association conducts a member survey to find out what their challenges are and how it can be their advocate.
“The top three issues for our members out of the most-recent survey were patent eligibility, patent reform legislation, and proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board,” says Jorgenson.
Regarding patent reform, there are certain provisions in those draft legislation proposals that AIPLA likes.
“But there are other provisions that we believe still need a significant amount of work and reconsideration,” says Jorgenson. “AIPLA is constantly seeking balance in the IP system. We believe that whatever ultimately gets enacted would have to address the problematic behavior in the litigation issues. But we also think that it has to be something that the patent owners and patent users can live with, and that will ultimately the work for the system as a whole.”