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Message from the President Michael Bergman
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BPLA Summary of USPTO Public Views on AI and IP
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Message from the Editor-in-Chief
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Invented Here! 2020
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Minutes of the Annual Meeting
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Leveraging Cutting Edge Biotechnology Research in Japan For Stronger IP Portfolios and Research Prioritization
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EPO Zooming to Catch-Up
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Officers and Board of Governors
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Job Listings
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Community Calendar
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Volume 51, Issue 4
Minutes of the Annual Meeting
Friday, December 6, 2019 The State Room

Originally published in Winter 2020 Edition of the BPLA Newsletter
President Deirdre Sanders called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM, and welcomed all those in attendance.
President Sanders provided a President’s Report, in which she thanked everyone for coming and discussed the BPLA’s efforts to foster service, education, and community. She mentioned BPLA’s involvement in amicus briefs, our submissions to the USPTO and participation on Section 101 issues, and our efforts in connection with the Massachusetts legislature. She reported that the BPLA held or co-sponsored 27 events. The BPLA held its annual Judge’s Dinner which was attended by 14 judges in which we honored Hon. George O’Toole. BPLA also made donations to the VLA and GBLS. She reported that our summer event on the rooftop bar at Envoy was a success, and that
Invented Here!
had another successful year with over 50 nominees and culminating in November 6, 2019 being named Massachusetts Inventor’s Day by Governor Baker. She then introduced the individuals on the dais:
  • Honorable Jacqueline D. Wright Bonilla, Deputy Chief Administrative Patent Judge;
  • Deirdre Sanders, President;
  • Michael Bergman, President-Elect;
  • Daniel Young, Vice President;
  • Keith Toms, Treasurer;
  • Immediate Past President Rory Pheiffer;
  • Rebecca McNeill, Secretary;
  • Rachel Emsley, Board Member;
  • Josh Dalton, Board Member; and
  • Emily Whelan, Board Member.
President Sanders introduced Secretary McNeill. Secretary McNeill moved to waive the reading of the minutes from the BPLA Annual Meeting on December 5, 2018, which were published in the BPLA Fall Newsletter. The motions to waive the reading and approve meeting minutes were made and carried. The minutes from the BPLA Annual Meeting on December 5, 2018, were accepted.
Secretary McNeill introduced Treasurer Toms. Treasurer Toms reported that in 2019 the BPLA had income of $253,519 and expenses of $268,531 for a loss of $15,011 with $181,834 in remaining assets. Treasurer Toms offered to share copies of the financial documents with the members. Hearing no requests, Treasurer Toms requested motions to waive the reading of the balance of the Treasurer’s Report and accept the Report, which were made and carried. The Treasurer’s Report was accepted.
Secretary McNeill introduced Board Member Rachel Emsley to announce the winners of the BPLA’s Annual Writing Competition. Board Member Emsley said that there were 13 entries, all very interesting. She announced that the BPLA selected as the First Place paper “Hazards in Obviousness-Type Double Patenting” by Laura Wzorek, Boston University, and as the Second Place paper “What Do You Meme It’s Not Funny? Important Intellectual Property Considerations of Memes and the Internet Age” by London K. Lundstrum, New England School of Law. Ms. Wzorek was not able to attend the meeting but will receive a $1,000 check. Ms. Lunderstrum attended and was called on the dais to be recognized and to receive a check for $500.
President Sanders thanked the sponsors of the Annual Meeting and introduced Honorable Jacqueline D. Wright Bonilla, Deputy Chief Administrative Patent Judge. In her remarks, Judge Wright Bonilla gave an update on changes at the PTAB and took questions from the audience. She was then presented the Patriot Plate in thanks and recognition for her work at the PTAB.
President Sanders introduced Secretary McNeill. Secretary McNeill presented the proposed amendments to the BPLA bylaws. The proposed amendments were circulated to the members a month before the meeting. Board Member McNeill explained that the proposed changes would create a fifth class of membership, Foreign Counsel. In particular, Foreign attorneys, patent agents, and trademark agents who are in good standing to practice patent, trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property law in the courts or patent and/or trademark office (or equivalent) of any country outside of the United States will be eligible for Foreign Counsel membership. Foreign Counsel Members would not have the right to vote or the right to hold office.
Secretary McNeill opened the floor to discussion and, hearing none, called for a motion to approve the bylaw changes. which was made and carried. The bylaw amendments were accepted.
President Sanders introduced Immediate Past President Rory Pheiffer. Immediate Past President Pheiffer thanked the 2019 Officers and Board Members for their service. He noted Mr. Bergman’s automatic elevation, according to the rules of the Association, to the office of President. He also noted President Sanders’ automatic placement on the Board of Governors as Immediate Past President. He presented the slate of Officers that had been approved by a unanimous vote by the nominating committee consisting of Past Presidents Pheiffer, Monica Grewal, and Erik Belt, as follows:
  • President-Elect: Daniel Young;
  • Vice President: Keith Toms;
  • Treasurer: Rebecca McNeill;
  • Secretary: Josh Dalton;
  • Board Member: Deirdre Sanders;
  • Board Member: Rachel Emsley;
  • Board Member: Emily Whelan; and
  • Board Member: Derek Roller.
Immediate Past President Pheiffer moved for acceptance of the nominations of the Officers and Board Member, as well as the election of the nominees, which was made and carried. Thus, in accordance with the Bylaws of the Association, the 2020 Board of Governors of the BPLA were duly elected.
Outgoing President Sanders passed the BPLA presidential gavel to incoming President Bergman. President Bergman thanked Immediate Past President Sanders for her dedication and awarded her with a BPLA Patriot Plate plaque and photo of the 2019 board in gratitude for her service.
President Bergman thanked Outgoing President Sanders and all of the Past Presidents of the Association for their work on behalf of all of the members. He thanked Judge Bonilla for her insightful speech. He welcomed new board member Derek Roller, and thanked Past President Pheiffer for his decade of service. He also thanked Constance Brennan and the support staff at Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds for their assistance.
President Bergman said that his goals the BPLA in 2020 would be for the organization to broaden its constituency, to broaden its influence, and to broaden its offerings to its membership. He expressed hope that the new Foreign Counsel membership class would help with these goals. He also cited a move toward symposia as a way to attract both higher attendance and increased interaction among members in varying disciplines of intellectual property. He also expressed the need for the BPLA to make efforts to increase diversity among its membership and called for a diversity committee to be established.
President Bergman moved to adjourn at approximately 2:15 PM and the motion carried, concluding the 2019 Annual Meeting.
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