Welcome to HIPLA

The Houston Intellectual Property Law Association is an organization of intellectual property lawyers, patent agents, and law student affiliates primarily in the Houston, Texas area. Through regular meetings, sponsored CLE opportunities, and amicus briefs, HIPLA promotes the development and understanding of intellectual property law.

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Upcoming HIPLA events

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Other Events of Interest

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Calling All Patent Agents!

The Patent Agent/IP Managers Committee is hosting a webinar on Thursday October 22, 2020 at 11:30 for "Recent PTAB Decisions with Drafting/Prosecution Tips". The speakers will analyze recent decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Some of the topics covered include 35 C.F.R §§ 101, 102, and 103. The decisions will be discussed along with drafting and prosecution tips.

Please see the Patent Agent page for details, including how to sign-up. 

2020 Fall Institute in Galveston, Texas


HIPLA and the University of Houston IPIL are planning an exciting, not-to-be-missed program for 2020.  This year's Fall Institute will feature keynote speaker The Honorable Jeffrey V. Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas and diversity speaker The Hon. Wallace Jefferson, Alexander Dubose Jefferson LLP (former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court), and many more outstanding speakers and panelists.  We are seeking 13 - 15 hours of participatory credit, which includes 3 - 4 hours of ethics of Texas Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit from the State Bar of Texas.  View our Program Brochure for more information on this year’s program.

This year’s Fall IP Institute will enable attendees to participate either in-person or virtually. For those participating in-person, we are working with the Moody Gardens Hotel to make the conference safe and enjoyable as always. The in-person program is fully supported by Moody Gardens, who complies with the COVID-19 CDC guidelines as well as the related state and local requirements.  Pursuant to City of Galveston Orders, masks are required for all employees and visitors at Moody Gardens. They also provide enhanced cleaning services, six feet of social distance between attendees, hand-sanitizer stations, and individualized food offerings.  In addition, Moody Gardens has provided one-way walking paths inside the ballroom, personal handwashing, personal temperature checks, and same seating throughout the day.

If you choose to attend virtually, you will have access to all of the presentations in real-time. We hope to have your support through participation in either mode. Our virtual program is supported by a trio of robust platforms: Whova, Zoom, and Wild Apricot.  The services are top notch and will offer a seamless user-friendly interface, as well as group meet-up options. Please join us!

2020 Giles Rich Moot Court Competition

HIPLA successfully hosted a virtual Southern Regional Competition of the 2020 Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition on March 20-21, 2020.  The University of Texas team of Sarah Propst and Michael Schiller won the competition, while the Washington University in St. Louis team of Peter Jochens and Otto Bartsch finished second. The Washington University in St. Louis team also had the best Appellee brief. The University of Arizona team of James Rollins and Amanda Shepherd had the best Appellant brief, and Sarah Propst was selected as the Best Advocate. HIPLA is very thankful for all of the volunteer judges that made this event possible.

UPDATE:  The University of Texas team of Sarah Propst and Michael Schiller finished second at the national rounds of the 2020 Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition. Congrats!

HIPLA's 2020 Annual Judges' Dinner

HIPLA successfully held its 2020 Annual HIPLA Judges Dinner on the evening of Thursday, February 13, 2020, at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston. The cocktail reception started at 6:30 pm, and the dinner starts at 7:15 pm.  This year’s keynote speaker was Nobel laureate Dr. James P. Allison, Chair of Immunology and Executive Director of Immunotherapy Platform at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.  In 2018, Dr. Allison shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work using immunotherapy to cure some cancers.  Dr. Allison’s life and work is chronicled in the documentary Breakthrough, which is now playing in select theaters across the country.  

At the dinner, HIPLA also awarded scholarships to nine students from local law schools. The list of scholarship recipients and information about HIPLA’s scholarship program can be found here.

HIPLA’s Community Involvement

HIPLA participated in the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston held at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 22, 2020.  HIPLA members judged participating entries and awarded scholarships to the winners in each of the Junior and Senior divisions.  This year's winners were Jasmine Flores and Atharva Nargund.  

HIPLA members spent a day helping teach youth about the importance of intellectual property by hosting a booth at the Scout Fair this year.  Volunteers organized fun activities focused on helping youth learn about copyrights, trademarks, and patents  

HIPLA recently participated in the Annual Scientific Symposium at the Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions.  The symposium serves to provide academically able students with an understanding of career pathways in STEM professions.  HIPLA members discussed careers in intellectual property law with the students. 


HIPLA files Amicus Brief in the US Supreme Court

HIPLA filed an amicus brief in Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharma USA, Inc., No. 17-1229, a case that the United States Supreme Court recently decided.  In Helsinn, the issue presented was "whether, under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, an inventor’s sale of an invention to a third party that is obligated to keep the invention confidential qualifies as prior art for purposes of determining the patentability of the invention." HIPLA’s amicus brief is in support of neither party, and can be downloaded here.  

Calling All Patent Agents

Registered Patent Agents, Patent Engineers*, Technical/Scientific Advisors*, and Intellectual Property Managers*: We want to hear from you! What can HIPLA do for you? What would you like to see more of from the organization? What events and activities would benefit you? Please send your ideas/suggestions to Brandon Hudder and Valerie Moore, the co-chairs of HIPLA’s new Patent Agent & Intellectual Property Managers Committee, hipla.pac@gmail.com

We will also be hosting events in 2020 specifically targeting patent agents to discuss your ideas and to network with your peers. More details to come soon!

*HIPLA membership is limited to registered patent agents and attorneys in good standing with any state bar who practice IP law; student and retired status memberships are also available.

If you have questions about HIPLA, please contact the HIPLA secretary. If you have questions about this website or would like to notify us about IP events to be added to our calendar, please contact the HIPLA Website Chair.

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