The IP Committee is happy to announce it had a well attended and active two hour meeting today, Saturday September 3rd at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. Here is a summary (rundown) of the proceedings for those who where not able to attend:

1. CLE Presentation: Mike Tschupp of Espinosa Trueba in Miami – the author/moderator of the well know and acclaimed “green” blog – provided a comprehensive discussion of green initiatives in the US Patent & Trademark Office. The presentation also addressed false advertising issues facing green initiatives. This CLE provided 1.0 hour of credit that can be used for IP Certification. Please note that the committee is actively looking at other relevant topics for CLE presentation in the upcoming Tampa fly-in in December (as well as for lunch programs).

2. Update on the Third Annual Symposium: The committee has been actively preparing for the third-annual IP symposium to be held on March 1 & 2 at the DoubleTree Hilton in downtown Orlando. Keynote speakers will be announced soon. Please calendar this event – as it is going to be another great event. Special thanks to Ury Fischer, Leora Herrmann, Mike Colitz, and Woody Pollack – and the subcommittee members for working hard this summer to make this a well planned and great event !

3. Substantial Involvement Bar Raised for IP Certification: Mike Chesal and Steph Nagin provided cogent yet diverging points of view as to raising the substantial involvement standard from 30% to 50% for the three year period prior to the initial application to seek IP certification. After which there was a vetting of the membership. After closing the commentary period, a vote of 20-1 approved the measure. We thank everyone who helped discuss and address this important matter. IP Certification remains a top priority of our committee – and we appreciate the work of the Certification Committee.

4. Membership: This remains a top priority of not only our committee, but the Business Section as a whole. We have a wonderful group of core and longstanding supporters and volunteers, and we thank them for their service. However, the committee is an open committee and we want new and young practitioners in the intellectual property field to become more active. Bob Persches of Boca Raton is championing this issue for our committee and is working hard to reach out to the future leaders of our practice group. Please reach out to him if you are interesting in increasing your role with the committee.

5. State Trademark Examination Procedures: Darren Spielman from Kain & Associates in Fort Lauderdale is leading this task force which currently includes Heather Schwarz, Keith Lipcomb and Mike Chesel. The group is seeking to revamp our state examination procedure guidelines for prosecution of state trademarks. The group will also be looking at potential amendments to the current state trademark act. Please contact Darren if you would like to participate as this is an open task force and effort.

6. Diversity: Our section prides itself on diversity and openness and the committee represents one of the most diverse facets of the section. That doesn’t mean we can’t do more. Openness is a key goal of our committee so that all voices can be heard.

7. Pro Bono: With the challenges in our economy and the increased costs of intellectual property protection, pro bono represents a key and viable goal of our committee. Each one of us can do more – and pro bono provides invaluable experience to help us advance our practice area. For those of us at law firms, pro bono can be a tool to help train our younger practitioners. In addition, it allows us to help our local community. Think about helping out any local nonprofits or religious organizations with help in trademark and/or copyright protection. Consider helping out a local start up with help on their privacy policy or terms of use. Pro bono is one of the most rewarding parts of our practice – so make it a priority in the coming year.

8. Case Law Overview: The committee very much thanks Carly Hammond from Peretz Chesel & Hermann in Miami for her concise and very informative case law overview regarding works for hire issues under the 1909 Copyright Act.

9. Summary: Our committee stands at a cross roads. We have accomplished a lot over the past several years, attained the goal of seeking certification, and increasing our membership. We also now have a viable yearly symposium to allow members to hear from national leaders in our field. Now is the time not to rest on our laurels, but instead look at how we can improve and grow. Our practice group remains one of the most viable and changing components of the law. We look forward to continued success with an understanding that this cannot happen without the support and efforts of our members.