Director of U.S. Patent And Trademark Office to speak at UA


The most significant changes to U.S. patent law since the Patent Act of 1836 were enacted into law last October with the new "America Invents Act (AIA)." The impact of those changes affects all businesses – large and small – and overall American innovation and research commercialization.

David J. Kappos

David J. Kappos, the U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will be the keynote speaker at the 14th annual Richard C. Sughrue Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy on Monday, March 19, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The symposium will be held at the John S. Knight Center in Akron and is co-sponsored by The University of Akron School of Law and Sughrue Mion PLLC law firm.

Panel draws international speakers

In addition, the program will also include a review of recent developments in patent, trademark, and copyright law, as well as a panel discussion on international IP, with speakers from China, Mexico and France. Another panel will focus on IP and Internet, including a review of developments relating to domain name disputes.

Jeffrey M. Samuels, the David L. Brennan Professor of Law and director of UA's Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology, said Kappos will discuss procedural changes patent holders can expect with respect to patent litigation and disputes.

"Undersecretary Kappos will address the new tools and initiatives the office is implementing to improve patent quality and promote innovation," Samuels said. "The office's goal has been to develop policies and procedures to speed up the patent review process and reduce a significant patent application backlog. We encourage all IP attorneys, inventors and other IP professionals to attend and learn first-hand how the new law will affect their practices."

For registration information, call 330-972-6363, e-mail or visit the School of Law.

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Co-sponsor Sughrue Mion celebrates more than 50 years as an international intellectual property law firm specializing in patent, trademark, copyright, Internet, trade secret and unfair competition law. The sponsorship is in memory of founding partner Richard C. Sughrue.

About The University of Akron School of Law

The University of Akron School of Law promotes justice, the protection of individual liberty and the rule of law through commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. A regional school of national impact, the law school features renowned programs in intellectual property, professional responsibility and trial advocacy, and is home to one of four Constitutional Law Centers in the United States, established by the U.S. Congress in 1986.To learn more, visit the School of Law online.

Media contacts: Laura Massie, 330-972-6476 or, or Diana Vanucci, 330-972-2063 or