The Association of Intellectual Property Firms(AIPF) will hold its Annual Meeting September 18-20 in Chicago. The theme of the event is “Enhancing IP Rights in a Time of Erosion,” which will be explored from a variety of perspectives. Bruce J. Hendricks, Associate General Counsel, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, will give the keynote address on Monday, September 19, 2011. Other feature speakers include Philip S. Johnson, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Johnson & Johnson, Kurt Van Thomme, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. and Clifton G. Green, Whirlpool Corporation, all of whom will be presenting their companies’ view on the importance of IP and outside counsel.
A diverse international faculty will focus on “Enhancing IP Rights in a Time of Erosion” and other innovative IP topics. AIPF will also offer its Brand of Excellence programming which will include topics like eLawyering, Mentoring, Legal Project Management and Social Media for the Attorney. IPWatchdog’s own Renee Quinn, the Social Media Diva™, will present at 11:35am on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 on “Marketing, Brand Building and Social Media for the Attorney.” Renee will also be covering the AIPF Annual Meeting for IPWatchdog.com.
The 2011 Annual Meeting will also offer networking opportunities at receptions, practice management discussion roundtables, luncheons and coffee breaks. It is a venue to mingle with IP leaders, see and experience new ideas. Attendees may earn over eight (8) CLE credits, including one (1) ethics credit.
But exactly what is the AIPF? Many are not be familiar with the Association of Intellectual Property Firms (AIPF), even those who stay current with the many organizations in the Intellectual Property space. This is because the organization finds its roots in the Association of Patent Law Firms (APLF). APLF changed its name in May 2011 to the Association of Intellectual Property Firms (AIPF) in a unanimous vote of the members.
This name change coincides with a three year effort to revamp the organization, which has a rich 13 year history. Three years ago the APLF engaged the management consulting services of Robin Rolfe Resources. Noticing the changing landscape of the IP boutique and the continued interest in general practice firms building IP practices, the organization changed the overall approach to facilitate growth and focus on the shared interests of the organizations members. In fact, in addition to the new identity, AIPF’s membership has been expanded to include individual in-house IP attorneys, professors and retired practitioners as well.
The strategic plan developed by the organization in consultation with Robin Rolfe involved continuing to develop Webinars and legal education programs as a way to highlight the legal expertise of member firms. Additionally, the organization’s strategic plan also embraced business and management skills of member firms and developed a program to facilitate the development of those skills.
“While everyone has had their share of difficult times over the past few years, now is a time of great opportunity for growth and evolution for the AIPF and intellectual property boutiques in general. As the association continues to grow, it will continue to work toward its mission—demonstrating the clear business advantage realized by retaining a trademark, patent or copyright specialist from an intellectual property firm,” says President Todd Van Thomme, partner with Price, Heneveld, Cooper, Dewitt and Litton LLP.
Today the revitalized and revamped AIPF is an international association of specialty law firms that devote a majority of their practice to patent, trademark, and copyright law. The Association strengthens member firms by promoting superior legal, technical, and management skills. The global membership provides international knowledge sharing, best practices and networking.
The AIPF provides leadership by developing, facilitating and implementing initiatives to continually strengthen the capabilities of our members, both attorneys and management. Active committees handle the business of the association, including planning the Annual Meeting, compiling member firm articles and news for the association newsletter — the AIPF IP Law Bugle, investigating new options for the Brand of Excellence program, and recruiting new members.