The Section on Intellectual Property Law shall take as its province the promotion of the objectives of the Pennsylvania Bar Association within the particular fields of intellectual property, and, to that end, furthering the development of the law and procedures related to intellectual property law; stimulating and extending the study of these fields; cooperating in obtaining uniformity with respect to both legislation and administration in all matters concerning the law and procedures related to intellectual property; simplifying and improving the application of justice in these fields of the law; and reviewing, studying, and making recommendations concerning all proposals and matters affecting intellectual property law, including but not limited to monitoring and addressing actual and proposed legislation, litigation, rules of conduct and procedures, and other relevant developments in Pennsylvania, the United States Patent & Trademark Office, the United States Copyright Office, Congress and the federal courts, as well as educating the legal community and the public about intellectual property.
P.A. Bylaws, Article VI, Section 667
As IP lawyers, we advise on some of the best embodiments of human endeavor, whether copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks or patents.
But weathering a pandemic has humbled us. As individuals, family members and community members, we have needed to reconsider how we go about meeting our basic needs while also addressing issues of broader societal stability. We have adapted to remote work, which ironically has made some firms more profitable. But the pandemic has also strongly revealed social injustice and inequities. Many have died or struggled with illness and poverty.
The pandemic has prompted some colleagues to shift employers and roles. People are quitting jobs. Some friends and neighbors are facing foreclosure. Others are investing gains. The variety of experiences is astonishing in the face of a global catastrophe that still continues for many in parts of our country and our world.
We have learned some valuable and challenging lessons since 2019. Most importantly, the resounding lesson is that we need each other. We are social organisms who cannot stay healthy without other people. As we adapt to our ever-changing world and this digital age, let’s not forget how important in-person meetings are to maintain connections.
As a law clerk for Cumberland County President Judge George Hoffer during law school at Penn State Dickinson, I researched prior case law by finding cases with similar opinions -- and using the reasoning and precedent citations from other judges’ opinions. If I was out of my depth when approaching an issue, I needed to see how those before me had considered, and what they had posited. The civil and common law jurisprudential system we have inherited has been built over hundreds of years. It would be unimaginable to now try to reproduce its trove of wisdom and experience captured over generations. Although we have weathered a pandemic, we have not experienced the equivalent of the burning of the Library of Alexandria. Our written record exists now in the cloud. Our knowledge as it grows is preserved on redundant physical servers throughout a broad geography. We are alive and we have our systems, our minds and each other. We continue building on the shoulders of giants.
Concerning our place in the broader Pennsylvania Bar Association, I first note that PBA is a strong organization. But society is changing. Perhaps it is the ease of information flow that causes professional organizations to have a diminishing role, but we have struggled to attract and retain younger members. They are not joining as much or staying as long as those from prior generations.
So, in my first weeks as section chair, I have begun a 360-degree review of what we do. Why do we do it? Is it working? I’ve been asking questions of our Section Council and of our section’s staff liaison.
I also have questions for you and welcome you to contact me by phone 717-291-1700 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please tell me:
- How have you changed this past year?
- What do you see differently now?
- What works better for you now?
- Are you ready to meet with others again?
I hope to see you in person at the PBA IP Section meetings this fall and again in the spring.
I also will continue seeking answers to improve your experience and increase our section’s visibility. During our initiatives and meetings this year, I promise that you will hear from subject matter experts and receive regular committee updates about copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks and patents.
Finally, remember the great power of people working together. Together we can accomplish great things, not only to survive but to thrive. I need you. We need each other. Let’s get together again this year.
Peter J. Kraybill, Chair
PBA Intellectual Property Law Section
Benefits of Joining the Intellectual Property Law Section
The Intellectual Property Law Section is an active and dynamic Section of the Pennsylvania Bar
Association. We are committed to educating our members and our community about the ever-shifting
subject of intellectual property.
As a member of this influential PBA Section, you can take advantage of the various member benefits,
- Participation in monthly meetings that include presentations by industry-leaders
- Section newsletters
- Opportunities for volunteerism and community involvement, including a law student writing contest that offers a cash award
- Networking opportunities which are always being planned
- Access to the group Listserv – view discussions and consult with IP professionals throughout the