Volume 49, Issue 2
President's Message
Already our members have taken my encouragement to provide excellent programming through collaboration to heart. During a single week in April, I was able to attend a program jointly planned by the Federal Circuit Bar Association, BPLA Immediate Past President Monica Grewal, and Susan Barbieri Montgomery of Northeastern University School of Law’s Center for Law, Innovation, and Creativity (CLIC) where useful insights from the collective wisdom of The Honorable Judge Lourie, Judge O’Toole, and Chief Judge Ruschke2, Jason Fiorillo of Analog Devices, and Brian McCaslin of Sanofi were shared, and a program jointly planned by our newly-created International Trade Commission Committee, the ITC Trial Lawyers Association, and Suffolk University Law School where practitioners learned about Section 337 best practices and recent developments, ITC jurisdiction, and insider advice about how to navigate enforcing IP rights via U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Other collaborations in April have involved BPLA President-Elect Deirdre Sanders, Clara Jimenez of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), Stephen Chow of the Licensing Executive Society, and David Olson of Boston College Law School’s Program on Innovation and Entrepreneurship hosting an event for World IP Day, and our Copyright Law Committee working with the Boston Bar Association to host a survey of music law, which makes the attribution of this quarter’s leading collaboration quote particularly apropos.
Speaking of that quote, I imagine many of our readers have a particular fondness for LEGO® bricks. While some of the new, less “brick-like” pieces that come with various kits to build particular structures are nice, for me nothing beats a classic starter pack of LEGO® bricks. Or if you are getting creative, you can follow the lead of Professor Anastasios John Hart and graduate student Crystal Owens and modify classic LEGO® bricks for an entirely different, but also useful, purpose, such as to provide precise, modular microfluidic devices. Just as Ricky Reed sees each new artist with whom he works as a new LEGO® brick with which he can build a new sound, providing endless possibilities for the resulting collaborative, creative works, I hope each of our members is seizing opportunities in their personal and professional lives to build with the varied LEGO® bricks at our disposal (e.g., other members, members of other organizations, parents of children’s classmates, neighbors), working collaboratively on shared endeavors, leading to results that have endless possibilities.
“every collaboration with a new person is like when you take a bin of lego® [bricks]1 and dump them on the floor. all of the pieces to work with are right there. a floor full of lego® [bricks] is full of possibilities.”
Like the little boy I once was opening a new pack of LEGO® bricks on my birthday, I am very excited about what lies ahead for the BPLA in the coming months. On Thursday, May 31, I hope to see many of you at the Moakley Courthouse for our Annual Dinner in Honor of the Federal Judiciary, where we will present The Honorable Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV with our Distinguished Public Service Award. As of this writing, we have at least 23 judges from the likes of the Federal Circuit, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board planning to join us for the evening.”
During the dinner, we will also have the opportunity to hear from an expert in a field that is the hot topic of the day—data privacy. I am thrilled to announce that Professor Latanya Sweeney will be delivering our keynote speech. Not only is Professor Sweeney a professor in residence at Harvard University, she is also the former Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission and the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in computer science from the superior school in Cambridge—MIT (Go Tech!).
The week following the Judges Dinner, 16,000+ people in the life sciences industry will descend upon the Seaport for BIO 2018. While I anticipate that many of our members will be attending, participating in, and/or hosting clients and out-of-town colleagues during the convention, our committees are hard at work collaborating with examiners from the European Patent Office (EPO) to put together two exceptional programs occurring right around the same time. You should be sure not to miss them.
For those who practice in the high tech industries, you will not want to miss the program on computer-implemented inventions at the EPO (among other topics), during which examiners from the EPO will share their insights about best practices for pursuing software-based inventions in Europe. For those who practice in the life sciences industries, you will not want to miss our counterpart program related to life sciences patent applications at the EPO, during which examiners from the EPO will share their insights about best practices for pursuing life sciences-based inventions, such as inventions involving antibodies, in Europe. Stay tuned for more information on both of these programs.
Later this summer, we are going to bring back the BPLA Summer Outing. This year, on Saturday, August 4, we are inviting our members and their families for a day of fun at the New England Aquarium. We have rented the Harbor View Terrace and Tent for the afternoon, and for just $20 per person, not only will you get a ticket for full admission into the Aquarium, but you will also be able to come-and-go from the tent as you please to eat, drink, and catch up with fellow members of the Association. We will open sign-up for the Summer Outing shortly after the date of the Judges Dinner, so stay tuned.
2 Fun fact —we learned that Chief Judge Ruschke applied for this position solely by submitting a resume through https://www.usajobs.gov/.
I would be remiss if I did not extend a thank you and congratulations to our Amicus Committee, and in particular Ron Cahill and Micah Miller, for their work in submitting an amicus brief in the Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. case, arguing in support of the Supreme Court granting certiorari to provide timely guidance on the meaning of “on-sale” under the America Invents Act. Nine amicus briefs in support of Helsinn Healthcare’s petition were submitted, including from the AIPLA, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. The BPLA was in good company, and the brief was well written. Likewise, thank you and congratulations to our Litigation Committee, and in particular David Marder, Heather Repicky, and their supporting cast (previously attributed in this space in the Winter newsletter) for their work in submitting the final comments on the proposed revisions to Local Rule 16.6 of the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, which were finalized after our previous issue published.

It’s also worth noting that once again the BPLA was on the right side of the argument with its amicus brief. In the recent Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC decision, the Supreme Court agreed with the BPLA that Congress can properly assign the adjudication of patent validity to an administrative agency without violating Article III or the Seventh Amendment. Thus, inter partes reviews are constitutional. Congratulations to Sophie Wang, Stephanie Schonewald, and Margaret Ives for drafting the brief that articulated the position adopted by the Supreme Court.

Finally, in April, our new USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu, remarked that our community needs to put an end to negative rhetoric about the patent system. I could not agree more. As we work together within and outside of the BPLA to provide excellent programming and other resources to our members and the public more generally, let us also be mindful of the way we discuss IP amongst ourselves and with the public. Director Iancu calls for us to “[define] the patent system by the brilliance of inventors, the excitement of invention, and the incredible benefits they bring to society.” Please join me in being a zealous advocate for the US patent system, and all who participate in it, so we can help others see the great system that has been built, patent-by-patent, arguably starting right here in Massachusetts in 1641.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our programs and events in the coming months. As always, if you have your own ideas for “LEGO® bricks” we should be using to build our next program or event, please do not hesitate to contact me.
2018 Ⓒ Boston Patent Law Association
Message from the President Rory P. Pheiffer
Opening Remarks: The Administrative-Private Law Interface in IP
BPLA Hosts ITC Conference
Job listings
Avoiding Early § 101 Dismissal with Factual Disputes
USPTO’s Customer Partnership Meetings
Read more >
The BPLA Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
The BPLA Co-Sponsors World IP Day Boston 2018. Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity
Message from the Editor-in-Chief
Officers and Board of Governors
Medical Design Briefs Summary
Community Calendar
Summary of Oil States Decision
In memoriam of Richard A. “Dick” Wise
Announcement for the 8th Annual Invented Here! Program 2018