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Highlights from AIPLA Annual Conference

AIPLA Annual Conference

Highlights from AIPLA Annual Conference

Representatives from Global Patent Solutions recently attended the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Annual Conference, held October 18-20 in National Harbor, MD. The event was well attended, with more than 1400 attendees. It was great to run into so many familiar faces. As usual, the conference covered a wide range of topics relevant to patent attorneys and other IP professionals. There were more than 70 speakers on a wide range of topics, as well as more than 20 panel discussions.  Here are some of the key themes, insights, and highlights from this year’s meeting:

USPTO Updates

The USPTO provided several updates on new initiatives and patent prosecution issues. Some highlights:

  • The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program continues to expand, with over 80,000 applications benefiting from faster processing times. More countries are signing on to share work and fast-track certain applications.
  • On 101 patent eligibility, guidance is still evolving. While more applications are getting through under the 2019 guidance, challenges remain in fields like biotech and computer-implemented inventions.
  • The USPTO has launched a pilot program for an AI-based prior art search tool to augment examiner searches. This aims to find hard-to-locate prior art using natural language capabilities.

Supreme Court Decisions

Several sessions analyzed recent Supreme Court decisions like Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc. on assignor estoppel and US v. Arthrex on APJ authority. Speakers discussed the implications of these cases and potential strategies for patent owners.

Practical Advice for Prosecutors

Seasoned practitioners provided tips for navigating today’s patent prosecution landscape. Areas covered included responding to Alice 101 rejections, pharma patenting strategies, litigator perspectives on prosecution, and best practices for global patent filing coordination.

Emerging Technologies

AI, autonomous vehicles, IoT and other emerging technologies were examined from IP strategy and protection perspectives. Climate Change and Sustainability were additional topics highlighted at the Conference. Sessions dug into patent eligibility, enforcement, and prosecution considerations as these fields continue to rapidly evolve.

In short, this year’s AIPLA meeting provided patent attorneys with comprehensive updates, analysis, and advice to help improve their patent practice and service to clients. Key highlights from the AIPLA conference included critical issues in prosecution, litigation and IP strategy. While the conference served as an excellent means for many attorneys to meet their continuing legal education (CLE) requirements, it was also thought-provoking and informative, enabling all in attendance to consider new and innovative ways to optimize the use of intellectual property to meet today’s evolving market needs. We hope to see you at a future conference!