Judge Alan Lourie: An evolving IP landscape
During his lunchtime keynote speech, Judge Alan Lourie discussed the changes that he has witnessed during his career
One of the biggest developments has been the split in how various industries approach IP rights.
“When I was in industry, all companies involved in science and technology and virtually all patent lawyers were in favor of a strong patent system,” he said. “While the pharma companies relied on their patents for exclusivity, the GEs, Bell Labs and IBMs, even if they used their patents differently, were all active in arguing for a strong patent system. Although I can’t speak for today’s science and technology companies, we see amicus briefs filed in our en banc cases with what some may call a pro-patent/anti-patent division among companies.”
Lourie said that AIPLA members need to weigh in on this debate and share their expertise. “As practitioners your members know more about what the law should be than any court, and you should make your voices heard,” he urged.
Judge Linn and Committee of the Year honored!
AIPLA President Sharon Israel opened up this year’s Annual Meeting by announcing two awards. The first was the award for Committee of the Year, which went to the Trade Secret Law Committee. The Committee’s chair, John Marsh of Hahn Loeser & Parks, accepted the award.
The second was the AIPLA Excellence Award that went to Judge Richard Linn of the Federal Circuit. In a video introduction former Chief Judge Paul Michel noted Judge Linn was able to decide the Blackberry case without being affected by the politics and public relations. And in remarks on the stage, his colleague Judge Pauline Newman said Judge Linn was “visionary”.
“You know it’s a great day when you get to listen to your own eulogy,” Judge Linn said. He revealed he has been involved with AIPLA since 1965, when he was a student, and that his career in IP since then “has been rewarding professionally and financially – at least until I became a judge!” He added: “IP was sort of a backwater when I started, now it is the backbone of the economy.”