DB: Where are you?
DL: On Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel. I’m attending the IP ICLE conference (Intellectual Property for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education).
DB: How’s it going?
DL: There are three different facets of the law; the most prominent is patent law, followed by trademark law, and the third is copyright law. I specialize in patent and trademark law, and more so patent. Today and yesterday, we were going through the latest issues, things to keep our eyes on, trends in the law, and changes in the administrative rules that we follow.
DB: Anything else?
DL: There’s social and networking activity going on. The attendees are on the porch of the Grand Hotel every evening, and it’s a relaxed atmosphere with our clients who are here, as well as lawyers from competing law firms and lawyers from other states who may need to attend the event to fulfill their continuing education rules. It’s nice to interact in a different setting.
DB: What else is new?
DL: Coming on the horizon is the PTAB, or Patent Trial and Appeal Board, where there’s some proposed legislative reform. It entails minor changes to the rules associated with the PTAB to improve things. On the trademark front, the Trademark Modernization Act, or TMA, is being discussed. One of the nice things is the introduction of a couple of mechanisms to challenge trademarks for non-use. With the new rules, you can challenge a trademark for non-use so that someone else can potentially use it.