Michele Liu Baillie named President of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

WBA HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING AND NEWLY ADMITTED LAWYERS RECEPTION Women’s Bar Association Elects New Officers, Welcomes New Lawyers and Awards Distinguished Public Service Award

BOSTON, MA – March 31, 2017 – The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) held its 2017 annual meeting and reception for newly admitted lawyers on March 23, 2017 at the Omni Parker House Hotel.  At this event the WBA transitioned to new leadership, welcomed new women attorneys to the Massachusetts legal community, and awarded its Distinguished Public Service Award, an award recognizing those who have made significant commitments to public service and who have contributed to the advancement of women in the legal profession.

At the annual meeting, the WBA voted on a slate of officers and elected members of the Board of Directors. The organization welcomes the following new and returning officers and directors for 2017-18.

WBA Officers:

Michele Liu Baillie, North Shore Patents, P.C., President; Meredith Ainbinder, Emerson College, President-Elect; Bronwyn Roberts, Duane Morris LLP, Vice President, Statewide Outreach & Membership; Marie Chafe, Cornell & Gollub, Vice President, Operations; Jennifer Saubermann, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Treasurer; Nicole Forbes, Globalization Partners, Inc., Secretary.

WBA Immediate Past President: Kristin Shirahama, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP.

WBA Board of Directors:

Margaret A. Caulfield, Alkermes, Inc., Nancy Cremins, Globalization Partners, Kara DelTufo, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inc., Kimberly Dougherty, Andrus Wagstaff, PC, Suzanne Elovecky, Todd & Weld LLP, Laura Gal, Community Legal Aid, Heather Gamache, Prince Lobel Tye LLP, Kate Isley, Office of the Attorney General, Kristy Lavigne, Office of the Attorney General, Sandy Lundy, Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C., Crystal Lyons, Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, Jody Newman, Collora LLP, Krina Patel, athenahealth, Cam Richardson, Law Offices of Camala A. Richardson, Jamie Sabino, MLRI, Vicki Spetter, Victoria Spetter, Law Firm of Victoria C. Spetter, Brianna Sullivan, On Point Legal Solutions, and Raquel Webster, National Grid

Each promises to bring dedication to the WBA’s mission, demonstrated leadership and many years of WBA experience to the Board.

At the Newly Admitted Lawyers Reception, the WBA welcomed its keynote speaker, the Honorable Barbara A. Lenk, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), who provided welcoming remarks.

The WBA then recognized Massachusetts Representative Patricia Haddad (D-5th Bristol) with the WBA Distinguished Public Service Award for her demonstrated commitment to public service and to improving the lives of women in the Commonwealth.

About the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

Founded in 1978 by a group of activist women lawyers, the Women’s Bar Association boasts a large membership of women lawyers, judges, policy makers, and law students across Massachusetts.  The WBA is committed to the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession and in a just society. The WBA works to achieve this mission through committees and task forces and by developing and promoting a legislative agenda to address society’s most critical social and legal issues.  Other WBA activities include drafting amicus briefs, studying employment issues affecting women, encouraging women to enter the judiciary, recognizing the achievement of women in the law, and providing pro bono services to women in need through its sister organization, the Women’s Bar Foundation.  For more information, visit www.womensbar.org.

Michele Liu Baillie named President-Elect of WBA

We are proud to announce that Michele Liu Baillie of North Shore Patents has been named President-Elect of the Women’s Bar Association for 2016-2017.  “I’m proud and honored to be President-Elect of the WBA.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance women in the legal profession and to work toward a just society for everyone.”

Other members of the WBA Executive Board include:  President, Kristin W. Shirahama of Bowditch & Dewey; VP of Membership, Bronwyn Roberts of Duane Morris; VP of Operations, Marie Chafe of Cornell & Gollub; Treasurer, Jennifer Saubermann of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative; and Secretary, Nicole Forbes of Gesmer Updegrove.

Proud Supporter of the Women’s Bar Association Gala

North Shore Patents is proud to be a supporter of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) Gala for the 4th straight year.  The Gala is the WBA’s annual signature event, showcasing the WBA’s support of women attorneys and honoring the recipients of the Lelia J. Robinson Award.  The annual Lelia J. Robinson Award recognizes women who, like its namesake, have captured the spirit of pioneering in the legal profession, served as mentors and role models, and/or made a difference in the community while exemplifying professional excellence.  This year’s awards recognize Hon. Carol Kenner (ret.) and Susan Sard Tierney.

Gala is also the WBA’s biggest fundraiser of the year, providing a substantial portion of the organization’s operating budget.  This funding allows the WBA to create programs and events that support leadership and business opportunities for women attorneys, including the work of 26 committees (Amicus, Appointments, Awards & Endorsements, Business Development, Employment Issues, Government Lawyers, In-House Counsel, Law Firm Advancement, Law Student, Legislative Policy, Mother’s Forum, New Lawyers, Public Relations, Rosa Parks, Senior Practice Group, Solo and Small Firm, Women in the Courtroom, and Women of Color, and 9 regional committees:  Cape Cod and The Islands, Central Massachusetts, Greater Boston, Metro West, Middlesex County, New Bedford/Fall River, North Shore, South Shore, and Western Massachusetts).  This year’s gala will be on December 1, 2015 at the Marriott Copley Place, starting with a cocktail reception.  To join us at the gala, please purchase tickets here:  WBA Gala 2015.

Supreme Court Upholds Limits on Royalties Received by Patentees

In Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC (2015), the U.S. Supreme Court declined to overrule the rule in Brulotte v. Thys that a patentee cannot continue to receive royalties for sales made after the expiration of the patent.  The Court instead said that relief must be sought from Congress.   The full decision may be found here.

USPTO Issues Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility

On December 16, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published its Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility in the Federal Register. (Get copy here.) This guidance offers more advice to Examiners in evaluating whether a claimed invention qualifies as “eligible subject matter” under 35 USC 101. The guidance incorporates the most recent U.S. Supreme Court case of “Alice” (Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014)). The guidance further summarizes U.S. District Court and Federal Circuit decisions concerning 35 USC 101, including those applying the Alice. The interim guidelines took affect on December 16, 2014 and includes a request for public comment.

The Alice decision hits business method and software patents particularly hard. A string of recent District Court and Federal Circuit decisions have struck down such patents, holding that the patent claims were ineligible for patenting under the Alice decision. The reasoning used by the courts more often than not has baffled technologists and practitioners, including yours truly. Although the interim guidelines offer more specific advice than the June 2014 Preliminary Instructions, it’s clear from the reading of the guidelines and conversation with patent examiners that the USPTO is still taking a very strict view of “Alice”. The onus remains on the applicants and patent practitioners to demonstrate eligibility. Do we dare hope that Congress will step in and fix the “101 mess” created by the courts?

Supreme Court Rejects Expanded Inducement Doctrine

The Supreme Court, in its decision in Limelight Networks v. Akamai Tech, has held that one cannot be liable for inducing another party to infringe a patent without a determination that such other party actually committed direct infringement. In other words, in order to have induced infringement, you must first direct infringement. This is a reversal of the decision by the Federal Circuit. Read the decision here.

With technology increasingly being practiced in a distributed manner involving several entities, where direct infringement by a single actor becomes less common, what does this decision mean to the practicality of patent enforcement? Is the law too far out of touch with current technology? The debate continues…

Inventive Step – “Regarding Patent Application Costs”

Great article on patent application costs by Inventive Step. Here’s an excerpt: Read full article

There are a large number of inventors and companies out there now that want patent work done as cheaply as possible. Especially since the economy has tanked, many inventors and companies are attempting to low-ball fees for preparing patent applications. I have seen ads for $1,400 patent applications. There is simply no way to have a quality patent application prepared for this price.

Supreme Court to Hear Patent Case

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Limelight Networks v. Akamai Techs in the current term.  This case presents the question of whether there can be divided infringement, where multiple entities together infringes a patent but no single entity infringes.  A divided Federal Circuit permitted divided infringement, finding there can be infringement when (1) a party performs some of the steps of a patented method and induces another party to perform the remaining steps; and (2) where a party induces multiple third parties to collectively perform the steps of a patented method, but no single party has performed all of the steps itself.  A significant minority of the Federal Circuit court decided that a single entity is required.