I subbed for a more important lawyer on a panel for the American Intellectual Property Association Spring Meeting in New York today. This is an outfit I joined years ago until I realized that they’re pretty much all patent lawyers. Nothing personal, of course, but if I’m going to join another big IP law organization in addition to INTA I’d rather hang out with the oddballs of the AIPLA than, well, patent lawyers.
I kid. These people are really good, and they know their stuff. My stuff, on the other hand, they’re not so interested in. Trademark is kind of a throwaway at the AIPLA, but I don’t turn down speaking engagements without a good reason, and that wasn’t a good reason. And in truth I got a few smiles from the handful that remained at the end of our three-hour panel–all spent by the eight or something of us sitting on a dais for each other’s presentations. No breaks. Hey, I told you–they’re patent lawyers!
And very good ones. Here’s what I tweeted until I ran out of battery on my laptop. (Why was I the only one on the dais with a laptop if they’re all the engineers?):
- John R. Lane of Frommer firm describes litigating IP in EU. No discovery on Continent –> very cheap. But…. no discovery! #aipla
- Steven P. Caltrider from Lilly reminds US litigators that typical discovery demands violate EU privacy legislation; plan accordingly! #aipla
- Bayer’s Jacqueline De GagnÃ© presents excellent rundown of contrasts between US and Canada IP litigation at #aipla panel — Expert “hot tub”
No, I couldn’t include the Twitter handles of any of these distinguished attorneys because, as far as I could tell, not one of them had one.
They really are different from you and me, aren’t they?
Anyway, the panel was entitled “G(I)PS: Global IP-Positioning Strategies” and was moderated by Barbara Fiacco of Foley Hoag, LLP in Boston, who I thought maybe sounded kind of impressed by the way LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® was described in my bio* and wondered aloud how anyone could have time for anything else… or, alternatively, she was holding in a laugh, being a patent lawyer in a big firm and utterly unfamiliar with LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® and hardly deeming it credible that it could really be all that, after all.
Maybe she’s right. She was nice, though, really.
Anyway, my part was “Keying Up Keywords: The Role of IP in Keyword Searching.” Here are my “materials.” Mine was the only PowerPoint with funny sound effects and cartoons and stuff:
- Ronald Coleman AIPLA Keyword Presentation Materials
- Ronald Coleman AIPLA Keywords Presentation — PowerPoint
As I said, after acknowledging my inferiority complex as to patent lawyers (kind of) (and kind of not) I did my little tummler routine for the out-of-towners with the slide rules (but no laptops) and at the end of three hours I slipped out of the place quietly and more or less unnoticed (okay, one “fan” did “find” me, actually–thank you, young man!) after tracking down the people who invited me. I felt I should thank them even if they were avoiding eye contact. It’s just the right thing to do.
* Approximately, “His blog about copyright, trademark, free speech and related issues, LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®, was recognized by the ABA Journal as one of the top 100 law-related blogs in the country in its first-ever listing of law blogs in 2007 and is one of the most widely-read IP blogs in the country.”