Raising a glass

Raising a glass298x198The Patent Lawyer delves into the background of the AIPLA and AIPPI merger, hearing from Todd Dickinson, Executive Director of AIPLA.

In October, AIPLA’s Annual Meeting saw the first meeting of the new AIPPI-US Division for the first time since AIPLA agreed to take over the function of the US group of the global intellectual property association, AIPPI. A celebratory reception at the end of meeting provided a formal opportunity to toast the occasion.

The move follows months of negotiations between the two associations, although Q. Todd Dickinson, Executive Director of AIPLA, says it has been a few years in the making. As he explains, “The leadership of the AIPPI-US originally came to us because they wanted to change the way they administered the organization. That led to a further conversation about the possibility of working together.”

Mutual benefits

The AIPPI-US group currently has 276 members, which is significantly smaller than the membership numbers for other countries such as Japan (1,105) and Germany (978). Dickinson says that the opportunity for growing its membership in the US was an attraction for the AIPPI-US, while for AIPLA the proposal fit well with the global outreach segment of its Strategic Plan.

The vision set out in the Strategic Plan is: AIPLA will expand its role as an innovator, powerful advocate, and visible global leader in intellectual property through our commitment to education, outreach, member service, and advocacy. (Emphasis added)

Dickinson elaborates: “I think that [the global aspect of AIPPI] was a key component that drove the discussions forward, as it fits pretty nicely into our strategic goal. While we think AIPLA already had a pretty good international footprint, the work that the AIPPI does is distinct in some ways from what we do. So it was a good additional opportunity to expand our global outreach.”

Working through the questions

Even though there were clear benefits for both sides, Dickinson says there were many questions to work through. “It was pretty much an outside of the box sort of idea,” he says. “It was one that we discussed at the Board of Directors level, and at the Executive Committee level, and we worked through it together.”

For example, AIPLA had some questions about how AIPPI International works. In a piece of good timing, AIPPI had commissioned Robin Rolfe Resources to conduct a broad review of the association and its strategic direction. Rolfe presented her findings at AIPPI’s 2012 Congress in South Korea.

Dickinson says: “Her report gave us some opportunity, as we were finalizing the process, to see where the AIPPI might go and to ask for clarification. Hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to work on implementing the report with the international organization.”

Growth and influence

The end result is that the new AIPPI-US Division of AIPLA has now been officially established, with William G. Barber, the now Immediate Past President of AIPLA…. click here to subscribe and read the whole article