The American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law is holding its 24th annual conference April 1-4 in Arlington, Va.

Co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Science & Technology, "What IP Lawyers Need to Know" will be a gathering of authorities on the current state of IP law, including judges, government officials, in-house counsel, academics and private practitioners. Many of the sessions will include Texas attorneys as moderators or panelists.

The first session, "The Patent Reform Movement-Where Is It Going and Will It Get There?," will address the possible changes in patent legislation.

The panel, including Gordon T. Arnold of Arnold & Knobloch LLP in Houston, will discuss the competing interests that are driving the current initiatives in changing the patent laws and rules, the likelihood of success of these initiatives and what it means to those handling strategic IP planning and the practice of IP law.

Knobloch is chair of the Section of Intellectual Property Law.

Also on April 2, Gina Shishima of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP in Austin and others will address "The Role of Patents in the Development of Personalized medicine," the patentability of personalized medicine discoveries and the policy implications.

The session "Hot Topics in Design Law" on April 3 will include Frederick Linton Medlin of K&L Gates LLP in Dallas as one of the speakers. The session will cover recent developments in design law from the standpoint of enforcement actions and protections of innovative designs.

Later that day, Rodney Caldwell of Howrey LLP in Houston will moderate "The Ethics of IP Litigation." Speakers will discuss the common defense of inequitable conduct and the limits of pursuing charges of willfulness.

On April 4, Marc Delflache of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP in Dallas is one of the speakers for "The Supreme Court's Effect on Patent Licensing Practice."

Other special events include an opportunity for participants to be sworn in at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit with Chief Judge Paul R. Michel presiding. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a mock appellate argument with CLE credit available.

Deadline for early registration is March 17. Registration can be completed online at the American Bar Association Web site,

Deadline for room block rates at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel is March 9.

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