Boston Patent Law Association
Minutes of the 2016 Annual Meeting
InterContinental Hotel Boston, Boston, MA December 7, 2016
I. Call to Order
President Erik P. Belt called the meeting to order at approximately 12:05 PM and welcomed those present. Individuals on the dais included:
  • Hon. Judge Jacqueline Wright Bonilla, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), Honored Guest
  • Sang Young Brodie, Executive Counsel, IP Litigation at General Electric Company (GE), Honored Guest
  • Monica M. Grewal, President-Elect
  • Rory Pheiffer, Vice President
  • Deirdre Sanders, Treasurer
  • Michael Bergman, Secretary
  • Gregory Sieczkiewicz, Immediate Past President
  • Daniel Young, Board Member;
  • Nikhil Patel, Board Member; and
  • Michael McGurk, Board Member.

II. Welcome to General Electric
President-Elect Monica M. Grewal welcomed GE to Boston and introduced Mr. Brodie, who provided opening remarks. Mr. Brodie thanked the BPLA community for its welcome. Mr. Brodie explained that GE’s move to Boston is a reflection of its commitment to evolving from its industrial roots to be a more digital company that promotes collaboration, an open environment, and entrepreneurial culture. Moving to Boston provides greater access to leading academic centers and allows ease of interactions with universities and recruitment of talent. On the digital side, Mr. Brodie envisions for GE a future that may not be so patent heavy (particularly in view of Alice issues that may guide away from patents) and that may be more focused on protecting trade secrets, source code, and managing large volumes of data. Still, according to Mr. Brodie, there will be a need to continue to be ready for patent litigation. Mr. Brodie also remarked that patents will continue to be part of monetization strategies and have a significant role in the more industrial side of the business.
III. President’s Report
President Belt noted various events and achievements of the Association during the membership year and commented generally on the strength of the Association. He thanked membership for its support and expressed optimism regarding the Association’s future.
IV. Writing Competition
Board Member McGurk introduced the winners of the writing competition, noting the exceptional quality of the papers received, describing the review of those papers by a panel of judges, and complimenting those of the winners. Awarded first place was Ashley Tarokh of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, whose article is entitled Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) and the Protection of Digital Embodiments of Artworks. Ms. Tarokh was presented a prize of $1000. In second place was Amelia Pennington of New England School of Law, whose article is entitled Implied In Ink?: How Tattoo Artists Can Claim and Protect Their Copyrights Against an Implied License Defense. Ms. Pennington received a prize of $500.

V. Secretary’s Report
Secretary Bergman delivered the Report of the Secretary, noting that the minutes of the 2015 Annual Meeting had been published in the Fall 2016 BPLA newsletter (Volume 47, Issue 4) on October 24th, 2016 (and distributed to the membership via e-mail). Secretary Bergman moved to waive reading of the minutes and accept the minutes as published, and the motion carried. Accordingly, the minutes of the 2015 Annual Meeting were entered into the record.
VI. Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Sanders delivered the Report of the Treasurer, noting that the Association had a very successful year. Treasurer Sanders noted that since the last Annual Meeting, the BPLA hosted, sponsored or co-sponsored over 35 events. Treasurer Sanders noted there had been a number of other successful events, including an IP roundtable with Chief Judge Saris, the Judges’ Dinner, and the present Annual Meeting. Treasurer Sanders noted that the Association has 930 active members comprising 658 attorney members, 156 non-attorney members, 53 student members, and 63 lifetime members. Overall, the Association’s total income was $230,527, and total expenses were $ 234,471, nearly breaking even, with a total net loss of $3,994. Ms. Sanders moved to waive reading of the balance of the Report of the Treasurer and accept the Report. The motion carried and, accordingly, the Report of the Treasurer was entered into the record.
VII. Keynote Speech – Remarks of Judge Jacqueline Wright Bonilla
President Belt introduced Hon. Judge Bonilla, who serves as Lead Administrative Patent Judge of the PTAB at the USPTO.
In her remarks, Judge Bonilla provided detailed America Invents Act (AIA) trial statistics for inter partes review (IPR), post grant review (PGR), and covered business method (CBM) proceedings. Judge Bonilla noted that there had been 5811 AIA petitions filed as of October 31, 2016 (including 5292 IPRs, 481 CBMs, and 38 PGRs). Judge Bonilla discussed statistics of filings per year, per month, and across different technology areas. Judge Bonilla also discussed institution statistics and provided a breakdown of IPR and CBM dispositions through October 31, 2016. Judge Bonilla then shared lessons learned, focusing on petitions, claim construction, experts, obviousness, preliminary responses, joinder, motions to amend oral hearings, and settlements/termination.
Judge Jacqueline Wright Bonilla’s slides and commentary have been posted to the BPLA website at the following link: http://www.bpla.org/news/321548/Hon.-Jacqueline-Wright-Bonillas-Keynote-Presentation-BPLA-2016-Annual-Meeting.htm/.
VIII. Nominating Committee’s Report
Immediate Past President Sieczkiewicz noted Ms. Grewal’s automatic elevation, according to the rules of the Association, to the role of President. He presented the slate of nominees as follows:
  • President-Elect: Rory P. Pheiffer, Esq.
  • Vice President: Deirdre E. Sanders, Esq.
  • Treasurer: Michael Bergman, Esq.
  • Secretary: Daniel W. Young, Esq.
  • Board Member: Nikhil Patel, Esq.
  • Board Member: Michael McGurk, Esq.; and
  • Board Member: Jennifer Zarutskie Sieczkiewicz, Esq.
Immediate Past President Sieczkiewicz also noted President Belt’s automatic placement on the Board of Governors as Immediate Past President. Immediate Past President Sieczkiewicz then moved for acceptance of the nominations and election of the nominees. The motion was seconded and carried. Accordingly, the 2017 Board of Governors of the BPLA were duly elected.
Outgoing President Belt passed the BPLA presidential gavel to incoming President Grewal.
IX. Amendments to the Bylaws
Secretary Bergman presented Amendments to the Bylaws regarding the conditions for admission of government employees to membership in the BPLA. Secretary Bergman noted that the proposed amendment had been published on the website of the BPLA on November 1, 2016 (and distributed to the membership via e-mail on the following day, also provided in Appendix A herein). Secretary Bergman moved for acceptance of the proposed Amendments, and the motion carried. Accordingly, the bylaws of the BPLA are duly amended effective December 7, 2016.
X. Remarks of the Incoming President
President Grewal thanked the BPLA for the opportunity to serve as President and acknowledged with further thanks her past mentors, including Don Steinberg, Past President Leslie Meyer-Leon, Past President Lee Bromberg, and Past President Belt. President Grewal delivered remarks urging the BPLA and its 930 members to serve as a pathway between Boston and the USPTO and PTAB. President Grewal encouraged further involvement of the in-house membership, noting the service of Board Member Sieczkiewicz on the Board and the In-House Committee, and other members who serve in in-house capacities and serve as BPLA Committee chairs. President Grewal urged the membership, in keeping with its mission, to look outwardly for opportunities to educate the public and to go further to educate undergraduates and high school students to consider patent law as a career path, and particularly those students who may be classified as minorities based on gender and ethnicity, among other categories.
XI. Motion to Adjourn
President Grewal moved to adjourn at approximately 2:00 PM and the motion carried, concluding the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Volume 48, Issue 4
Community Calendar Read more >
Table of Contents
Message from the President Monica Grewal
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The Amendment of Trademark Law in Indonesia
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< Back
Deleted Teachings and Incorporation by Reference
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Save the Date: BPLA Annual Meeting
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The Constitutionality of Inter Partes Review Is Before the Supreme Court
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Invented Here! 2017 Recognition Event
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BPLA Committee Report
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Members On The Move
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The Federal Circuit Confirms a Return to Restrictive Patent Venue Requirements
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Officers and Board of Governors
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In memoriam of Stanley Abkowitz
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What Reviving the TTIP Agreement Could Mean for the Future of Geographical Indications
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The use of Applicant Admitted Prior Art in IPR Petitions
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Situations When Written Opinions of Counsel Could Spare You a Patent-Related Headache
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Job Listings
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Community Calendar
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Save the Date: Case Law Committee Meeting
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Message from the Editor-in-Chief
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Proposed BPLA By-law Amendment
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Minutes of the 2016 BPLA Annual Meeting
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The BPLA Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, et al.
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