Fostering Excellence in Professionalism, Ethics, Civility, and Legal Skills

The Honorable Lee Yeakel Intellectual Property American Inn of Court

The Honorable Lee Yeakel

 Judge Yeakel 's Photo

January 2019 Meeting

The Honorable Lee Yeakel IP Inn of Court held its fourth CLE-approved meeting of this Inn year on January 17, 2019 at The Headliner's Club in Austin. The program for the meeting included presentations on music licensing and copyright issues by Student Member Kyle Bailey, Melanie McCool of Mood Media, Wesley Lewis of Haynes and Boone, LLP, and Scott Cole of McKool Smith. Kyle Bailey discussed some basic concepts of copyright law and an overview of the Music Modernization Act ("MMA"). Melanie McCool discussed her experience with lobbying efforts while Congress was considering the MMA including issues that led to the MMA and the changes brought about by the MMA. Wesley Lewis discussed the standard for determining when a copyright in a musical work has been infringed including a discussion of two cases, Williams v. Gaye and Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin. Scott Cole discussed his experience litigating a contract dispute involving underlying copyrights in musical works between Quincy Jones and the estate of Michael Jackson (Quincy Jones v. MJJP, Inc.). The program concluded with Master of the Bench Karl Bayer moderating a panel made up of our presenters. The panel discussed various copyright issues and also answered a number of questions from the audience.

 Team 4

Team Picture (names form left to right): Back row: David Armendariz, Brian Range, Karl Bayer, Alex Knapp, Kyle Bailey, David Dyer; Front row: Raghav Bajaj, Allison McDade, Melissa Pace, Stephen Dartt

December 2018 Meeting

The Honorable Lee Yeakel IP Inn of Court held its third CLE-approved meeting of this Inn year on December 19, 2018 at The Headliner's Club in Austin.  The program for the meeting hosted an interview with Alan Albright, a newly appointed United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.  Members interviewed Judge Albright about his career trajectory, the procedures he is implementing in his courtroom, his goals for courtroom conduct, and how he plans to handle Markman cases. The audience asked questions of Judge Albright towards the conclusion of the program.

 Team 3 Picture

Team Picture (names from left to right): Alex Shahrestani, Kevin Burgess, David O'Brian, John Williams, Chad Ennis, Bill Barber, Chris Ryan, Bill Raman

Pro Bono Update

On Saturday, December 1, Pro Bono Committee member Cat Garza organized a clinic at American Gateways, where a group worked with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicants and helped about a dozen young people prepare DACA applications and work authorizations.  The client stories and the application process complexity were both pretty eye-opening to most in attendance. This clinic was attended by Inn members Tamsen Barrett, Michele Connors, Mark Rozman, Peter Ayers, and Steve Meleen.  Thanks to American Gateways staff--Edna Yang, Rebecca Lightsey, and Felicia Simpson--for organizing and supporting the clinic.  


From left to right: Edna Yang, Michele Connors, Rebecca Lightsey, Tamsen Barrett, and Felicia Simpson.

November 2018 Meeting 

The Honorable Lee Yeakel IP Inn of Court held its second CLE-approved meeting of this Inn year on November 8, 2018 at The Headliner's Club in Austin.  The program for the meeting, which was organized by our second pupilage team, consisted of presentations regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI) by Dr. Mingyuan Zhou, assistant professor in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Stephanie Sivinski of Haynes and Boone LLP in Dallas, and John Casey of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Austin.  Dr. Zhou discussed the technical milestones achieved with machine learning in a timeline discussion as well as what AI is.  Various problems presently being solved by AI technology were discussed as well as future expectations.  Stephanie Sivinski followed with a discussion of legal issues associated with AI-generated content.  Those issues included what is protectable content, ownership issues, venue issues and IP liability issues including infringement liability.  John Casey discussed survey results from an Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) global committee by proposing ten multiple choice AI questions regarding deployment of AI and ethics.  The audience was polled for their responses which were then compared with the responses obtained by IEEE.  The guest speakers were introduced by team members Hong Shi and Aden Allen who briefly set up issues for the guest speaker presentations.  The program concluded with the team leader Joel Boehm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Austin discussing how future public policy decisions will influence how the law must adapt to address new issues created by AI.

Team Picture (Names from left to right): Roger Williams, Michael Barrett, Janis Clements, Parvin Ghane, Tyson Smith, Shireen Bacon, Mark Rozman, Hong Shi, Rob King, Aden Allen, Joel Boehm, and Nicole Cave.

Team 2 Picture - Yeakel IP Inn . Jpg

October 2018 Meeting 

The Honorable Lee Yeakel IP Inn of Court held its first meeting of this Inn year on October 18, 2018 at The Headliner's Club in Austin.  The program for the meeting, which was organized by our first pupilage team, consisted of a presentation by Christopher J. Tyson, a partner in Duane Morris's Washington D.C. office.  Mr. Tyson's presentation, entitled "Emerging Legal Issues and Strategies in Post-Grant Proceedings at the PTAB," focused on several recent developments and trends is the case law, rules, and statutes pertaining to post-grant proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).  He discussed the possible explanations for the PTAB's increased use of its discretionary power to deny Inter Partes Review (IPR) petitions.  He also outlined the impact of recent decisions from the PTAB and Federal Circuit on topics such as the deadline to file an IPR petition and the claim construction standard in IPR proceedings.  He concluded by discussing some emerging strategies for using post-grant proceedings as an offensive tactic, rather than a purely defensive tactic after being sued.

Team Picture (Names from left to right): Leah Buratti, Kevin Meek, Chris Jacobs, Bert Greene, Mark Garrett, Ikenna Okoro, Chris Tyson (Speaker), and Brett Thompsen

Yeakel IP Inn Of Court - Team 1 Group Pic

Pro Bono Update

At the October 18 meeting, Pro Bono Committee member Syed Fareed introduced Robert Painter, Director of Pro Bono Programs and Communications for American Gateways. Robert described how American Gateways works to help low-income immigrants, especially asylum-seekers. He explained the many ways all attorneys, including (and especially) intellectual property attorneys, can help by providing advice to American Gateways clients or representing them in immigration proceedings. He also relayed the impactful story of a client from the Central African Republic who faced unbelievably harsh persecution and likely death if forced to return to his country, but who won asylum thanks to the work of a pro bono Gateways attorney. Many Yeakel IP Inn members have worked on Gateways cases in the past, and many more can make an impact after hearing Robert's motivating and helpful message.

October Inn PB

 Congratulations 2017-2018 Team 4!

The Honorable Lee Yeakel Intellectual Property American Inn of Court received the national Outstanding Program Award for its 2017-2018 program entitled Trollklahoma - A Musical Adventure through the Fast Changing Landscape of Patent Infringement Venue Law. The Program Chair was Nick Schuneman and the team members were Chad Anson, Dave Bahler, Joel Boehm, Jason Boulette, Katharine Lee Carmona, Michele Kim Connors, Anuj Dharia, Sarah Holland, Kat Li, Leanne Loper, Lisa Newman, Elizabeth Collum Ozmun, Hon. Robert L. Pitman, Kenneth Prol, Bill G. Schuurman, Jerry F. Suva, II, David B. Weaver, and Sherri Wilson.  

A multitude of presentations are submitted from Inns all over the country.  It is an honor that one of our programs was selected.  The complete list of 2017-2018 Program Award Winners can be found here.  

Trollklahoma 1

Trollklahoma 2

Trollklahoma 3

Fall 2018- Spring 2019 Inn Meeting Schedule

  • September 20, 2018 -- 5:30 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse (501 W 5th St)
  • October 18, 2018 -- 5:30 p.m. at the Headliner's Club
  • November 8, 2018 -- 5:30 p.m. at the Headliner's Club
  • December 19, 2018 -- 5:30 p.m. at the Headliner's Club
  • January 17, 2019 -- 5:30 p.m. at the Headliner's Club
  • February 21, 2019 -- 5:30 p.m. at the Headliner's Club
  • March 14, 2019 -- 5:30 p.m. at the Headliner's Club
  • April 18, 2019 -- 5:30 p.m. at the Headliner's Club
  • Joint Social with Other Central Texas Inns - TBD