This year’s AIPLA Annual Meeting will be the occasion of a major step for the association on the international stage as it merges with AIPPI-US
After months of negotiation with the current US branch of the global Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), AIPLA has agreed to acquire that branch to become the official US-designated group of AIPPI as the AIPPI-US Division of AIPLA. AIPPI is one of just two long-established global intellectual property associations, and has major visibility and influence in the global intellectual property community.
AIPPI-US outgoing president Richard Beem called the move “the biggest development in the 80-year history of AIPPI-US.” As a consequence of the move, all AIPPI-US members will need to become members of AIPLA, and AIPLA members will have the opportunity to join Global AIPPI through a membership in the AIPPI-US Division of AIPLA. Global AIPPI currently has 9,000 members from more than 100 countries, and the US national group has 276 members. That number is significantly smaller than the membership number for Japan (1,105 members), Germany (978 members), and many other countries.
One of the hopes for AIPLA’s new role as the national group of AIPPI, is that a number of AIPLA members will join the AIPPI-US Division of AIPLA to make it a formidable force in the global association. A recent report by Robin Rolfe Resources recommended an overhaul for global AIPPI, particularly with respect to its influence on IP policy. AIPLA’s reputation for driving policy and judicial precedent can help to improve AIPPI’s international effectiveness, but only if enough AIPLA members get involved. “Given the size of the intellectual property community in the U.S., the U.S. membership of AIPPI can be increased many fold,” said Beem in a letter to his members announcing the change.
AIPLA Executive Director Q. Todd Dickinson sees the move as being “mutually beneficial and supportive,” and as likely to augment AIPLA’s traditional and steadily increasing influence on international issues such as substantive patent harmonization and worksharing among national and regional patent offices. “The new arrangement complements the leg of AIPLA’s strategic plan targeting more global outreach,” said Dickinson. “And for AIPPI it is helpful because it provides a greater entrée to the US.”
Dickinson and other members of AIPLA’s leadership acted for the first time in their role as new leaders of the U.S. group at the AIPPI International Congress in Seoul this week, before flying back just in time for AIPLA’s Annual Meeting.
The AIPPI-US Division of AIPLA will host a celebratory kick-off Cocktail Reception at 4:30pm on Friday in Washington at the AIPLA Annual Meeting. Information on membership in AIPPI and in the AIPPI-US Division of AIPLA will be available there, and can be found on the AIPPI-US website.
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