September 1, 2021

IPLAC Newsletter – September 2021


Membership Newsletter – September 2021


President’s Corner


Dear IPLAC Members,

Thank you to those members who attended Field Day at Seven Bridges Golf Club on August 12th. It was a fabulous event with a great turn-out, and hats off to Evan Kline-Wedeen of Fitch Even for all of his efforts to plan and host such an awesome event. (This is a picture of me at the Ninth Hole after sinking a killer putt. Photo cred: Ryan Phelan of Marshall Gerstein!)

I also want to take a moment to address what’s top of mind for many — the Covid-19 Delta Variant.  IPLAC is planning to host the Symposium and Annual Judges Dinner in person this year on October 22nd. However, with recent news and modeling forecasts, we are considering postponing the Annual Judges Diner and potentially hosting the Symposium virtually or in a hybrid format.  More details to come — but I want to hear from you.  Let me know if you have strong feelings either way, or would like to add to the body of information we are considering to make this decision. My email is below. But remember, we’re all friends so please be kind.

However IPLAC moves forward as we head into the fall — whether in person, virtually, and/or a mix of both — I wish you and your families good health.



Erin Lothson

137th IPLAC President



Mingle with the Membership Committee @ Happy Hour!

September 2, 2021

As the last nights of summer approach, the Membership Committee invites you to celebrate new beginnings and opportunities within IPLAC this bar year!  In order to better accommodate IPLAC members and safely reconnect with everyone, the Membership Committee will be hosting several informal happy hours in the near future.  The first happy hour will kick off on Thursday, September 2nd at George St. Pub in the East Lakeview neighborhood, at 2858 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL  60658, at 5:00 PM!  IPLAC members are able to attend free of charge, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.  We look forward to safely connecting with you after such a long year indoors, whether you are an old or new IPLAC member!


The Litigation Committee Presents:

Judicial Perspectives on Using Damages Specialty Experts

September 15, 2021 @ 12pm


As damage claims and awards continue to grow, clients are requesting IP market testimony, such as business licensing and patent valuation, separate and apart from the calculus of damages.  This non-damage role, referred to as a “specialty expert” has gained traction in recent litigation in both patent and trade secret cases.  You will hear perspectives on the issues from Judge Albright of the Western District of Texas and OceanTomo’s James Malackowski. Malackowski was hired as a specialty expert to testify to the topic of irreparable harm and IP monetization options available to the patent holder before and after the alleged infringement in the Centripetal Networks v. Cisco Systems, Inc. patent infringement case, which contributed to the largest verdict and post-trial consideration for a patent case in U.S. history.  Another example of using a specialty expert is the current antitrust case, Epic Games v. Apple, in which Jim was the expert.


The Corporate Committee Presents:

Thinking About Going In-House?

September 23, 2021 @ 12pm


IPLAC’s Corporate Committee will host a virtual panel on Thursday, September 23, 2021, from 12 – 1 PM, during which attorneys will discuss their day-to-day experiences working at dynamic companies.  The panelists work in a variety of industries and focus on intellectual property, privacy, marketing, transactions, and general commercial matters.  The discussions will focus on how to transition and succeed as an in-house counsel.  This panel is beneficial for those currently working in-house, those interested in learning more about in-house positions, and those in law firms that partner with in-house clients.


The International Relations Committee Presents:

Virtual Coffee with Japanese Patent Attorneys

September 28, 2021 @ 6pm


The International Relations Committee is planning several informal virtual events with foreign associates for the fall and spring.  The format will resemble a typical lunch-and-learn event, but held over Zoom.  The first event will be with the Shobayashi Firm in Japan, at 6 PM Central Time on September 28th, so please save the date.  More information will follow.  Contact Tron Fu with suggestions for topics and candidates for future events.


IP Symposium &The Annual Judges Dinner


October 22, 2021

            IP Symposium | 1:00 – 5:00 PM at The University Club (new venue)

            The Judges Dinner | 5:30 – 10:00 PM at Mid-America Club (new venue)


Save the date for two of IPLAC’s most memorable events, the IP Symposium and the Judges Dinner.  This year’s IP Symposium will feature panels on brands, and TTAB and PTAB issues, and will conclude with the popular panel of federal judges speaking about patent and IP cases and procedure.  The Judges Dinner will take place following IPLAC’s IP Symposium.  This year, IPLAC will be hosting these events in new venues.  The IP Symposium will take place at The University Club.  The Judges Dinner will be held in the Mid-America Club atop the Aon Center, just a short walking distance from the IP Symposium.  We are excited to be honoring distinguished jurists and special guests at the Judges Dinner this year.  Registration information and links for these events will be sent in the next few weeks.


Fun with Non-Fungibles

July 14, 2021

The U.S. Patents Committee partnered with the Illinois Intellectual Property Alliance (ILIPA) on July 14th to present “Fun with Non-Fungibles:  What Can NFTs Do For Me?”  Rumi Morales, a partner with Outlier Ventures, talked about the security and intellectual property components of Non-Fungible Tokens (“NFTs”).  NFTs are able to sign an immutable identification chain on a blockchain distributed network that can enable reselling of rights to Intellectual Property assets.


Zach Smolinski, a former AGC with Panduit and current Principal with Smolinski Rosario Law, spoke to the legal aspects and limitations of using NFTs.  Overall, the event, led by Alex Karana, was a stimulating and very informative conversation on this hot new topic getting so much media attention today and emphasized IPLAC’s effort to discuss and investigate the very front edge of technology and topics in the media.


Rosé Tasting

August 26, 2021


We had another successful IPLAC Rosé Tasting event, co-hosted this year by the Young Members Committee and the Corporate Committee.  Members at all stages of their careers got together to sip on an excellent wine selection while having casual conversations.  Many thanks to our sponsors Quarles & Brady, BDO, and Legal Advantage.  IPLAC looks forward to keeping this signature event running on an annual basis for all members to enjoy a memorable evening in a relaxed setting.


Field Day

August 12, 2021


IPLAC’s Annual Field Day was held on August 12, 2021 at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Illinois.  Thanks to all of our participants and generous sponsors, the event was a HUGE success!  After over a year apart from one another, IPLAC members and friends alike were finally able to gather and see one another in person for a fantastic round of golf and some fun playing Field Games.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and who doesn’t love a day out of the office getting some fresh air?


The participants started the day with lunch, and then headed out onto the course.  As the beverage cart made its (numerous) rounds to each group, all of the golfers tried their best at winning the contests for longest drive, longest putt, and closest to the pin.  Despite more than a few lost balls in what seemed like water hazards on every hole, each group made it back to the clubhouse for dinner, where everyone joined together for some great food, drinks, and an awards ceremony with prizes galore for all attendees.


Cheers to another amazing Field Day in the books, and hopefully more and more in the years to come!


We need your help!

IPLAC Membership Survey – Last Call!

Please take a quick break today and complete this short survey!  Your feedback will help us plan and learn more about how we can make IPLAC the best local IP bar organization for you and your colleagues.  Please contact the Membership Committee if you have any questions.  

Many thanks in advance!


Special Feature:  

Get to Know IPLAC Agent Committee Chair Ritu Chandler


Ritu Chander is a patent agent for Helix Patent Services, an IPLAC Board member, and Chair of the IPLAC Agents Committee.  Patent agents are an integral part of the patent world, and as such, their involvement with IPLAC is integral to IPLAC’s goal of enhancing the field of Intellectual Property law.  As chair of the IPLAC Agents Committee, Ritu is at the helm in the mission to bring agents and lawyers together for their mutual benefit.


For the uninitiated, Ritu defines a patent agent as “a non-lawyer with a technical background, admitted to the federal patent bar and thus entitled to practice patent prosecution.”  Ritu, for example, has a background in genetics, a Masters in cellular and molecular biology, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Illinois Institute of Technology.  


Learn more about Ritu here.


Special Feature:

Get to Know IPLAC Field Day Committee Chair

Evan Kline-Wedeen


Evan Kline-Wedeen is a patent attorney for Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery, and chairs IPLAC’s Field Day Committee.  In this role, Evan plans the golf tournament and other associated side events for IPLAC’s annual Field Day event.


But this year’s Field Day was unlike any other:  Evan had the responsibility (and pressure) of organizing IPLAC’s first major in-person event in over a year.  And it was a smashing success!  Learn more about Evan here.