Widener Law joined with DuPont recently in welcoming the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to Delaware, where he spoke at an Intellectual Property Continuing Legal Education seminar presented by the two.
David Kappos, who is also the under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and advises President Obama on intellectual property matters, was well-received by the approximately 250 attorneys and legal officials who attended the Oct. 11 event at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington.
“He is absolutely critical to restoring America’s competitiveness,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, who introduced Kappos as the day’s first speaker.
Kappos, who thanked DuPont and Widener for having him at the conference, spoke about the America Invents Act, which was signed into law in 2011 and represented the most sweeping changes to the U.S. patent system since the 1950s. The Act is intended to strengthen the U.S. patent system and make it a leader for the world. He discussed the “Track One” prioritized examination procedure for new patent application filings, implemented under the Act. As of Oct. 9, 5,931 petitions had been filed under that status and 95 percent had been granted with the time to final disposition at 156 days.
Patent law is big business. Kappos explained that 40 million jobs are directly or indirectly attributable to the most IP-intensive industries.
The day’s audience included Law Dean Linda L. Ammons
and Delaware-campus law students Daniel Ritterbeck and Sean Smith, who were able to attend the seminar through Widener’s partnership with DuPont. Ritterbeck said the day was valuable both for the practical knowledge both students gained on intellectual property law, but also for the networking opportunities. Both had time to speak personally with Kappos and Coons before the event began.
"Sean and I were extremely grateful and honored to represent the students of Widener Law and the law school's Intellectual Property Society
at the IP CLE event. Having the chance to learn about recent developments in IP law and legislation from people like David Kappos, Sen. Chris Coons, DuPont counsel, and many other distinguished practitioners from across the nation was an invaluable experience,” Ritterbeck said. “We are very thankful that Dean Ammons, Widener Law, and DuPont allowed us to join in this great program, and we are very happy that Widener students will be afforded the same opportunity in the years to come."