Panel List and Descriptions

Here’s a first glance at this year’s programming. This is by no means a complete list and we’ll keep updating it as speakers and topics are finalized. If you have questions about these panels, please contact Programming Chair Anita Khushalani at panels@sabanorthamerica.com.

2017 Post Grant Proceedings Update
Patent Law

The America Invents Act of 2011 brought a number of changes to the U.S. patent system, the most significant of which were the changes to post-grant proceedings, the formal processes to challenge issued patents offered by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The post-grant review and Inter Partes Review proceedings, which went into effect on September 16, 2012, have already revolutionized the patent landscape. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has also now had the opportunity to weigh in on post grant practice and shape the law.

Please join us for a thought-provoking panel discussion on effective strategies, lessons learned, and a synopsis of the developing case law related to post grant practice during the first five years of the America Invents Act.

From Law Practice to Entrepreneur
Career Development

This panel will examine the path that many South Asian attorneys take from lawyer to entrepreneur. Nationwide, Indians founded 8% of all technology and engineering startups and yet still comprise less than 1% of the U.S. population. Research has shown that Indians now outnumber the next seven immigrant groups combined and start 33.2% of all immigrant-founded startups in the U.S. South Asian lawyers are not excluded from these statistics. More and more, South Asian lawyers are either transitioning from advocate to entrepreneur or launching a side enterprise to complement their legal practice. Panelists come from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances and will elaborate on their own entrepreneurial path, including the obstacles they faced, recommendations for aspirational entrepreneurs, and current trends in start-up life. We will also discuss national issues facing South Asian legal entrepreneurs and ways interested individuals can incubate their ideas, find mentors, and plug into relevant trade networks and other groups.

Health Reform, Medicare and Medicaid Under the Trump Administration: What Can We Expect?
Health Law

This panel will examine the prospects for health care delivery and financing under the Trump administration. President Trump campaigned on a platform of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, privatizing Medicare, and block-granting Medicaid to states. Trump also pledged to lower prescription drug prices. Panelists will analyze the legislative, regulatory and policy changes that have already been adopted under the Trump administration and the outlook for future legislation. We will also discuss the implications of these changes for health care companies and practitioners from an operational perspective.

High dollar, high impact: A Discussion of Criminal and civil government settlements across various business sectors
White Collar 

Government investigations – they come in all shapes and sizes. Criminal and civil. Federal and state. Toss in a congressional investigation and you’ve got enough to keep up any potential investigation subject at night. Our panelists have experience prosecuting, investigating and defending these cases and they will be sharing their thoughts on recent high stakes resolutions and maybe even where they’re looking to next.

How Technology Will Change the Law
Business Law

The session will focus on how legal technology will affect the legal practice by answering questions such as: How will legaltech disrupt the legal field? What types of technology does the legal field need and what can it draw from other verticals? Will the model require a revisit to the pay scale and will associates get replaced with software that can automate processes? Can the traditional law model be revamped? Will alternative fee arrangements work? How does big data/AI help lawyers? Will projects become less profitable?

The panel will consist of partners from law firms to entrepreneurs disrupting the legal field.

Current Issues in Tax Reform
Tax Law

This panel will examine pending legislative and administration proposals to attempt tax reform, or discuss the implications of tax reform legislation signed into law by the administration. Given the failure of health care reform, and the stated desire of the Republican House and President Trump to attempt tax reform next, this topic is a front-burner issue for all Americans as well as non-residents. A vote on this issue may be pending, or recently have occurred, by the time we meet in July for the Convention. Accordingly, a more detailed description shall have to wait until we get closer to press time.

Protecting Software Inventions: Overcoming the Patent Eligibility Hurdle since Alice v. CLS Bank
Patent Law

This panel will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank decision and its aftermath. Alice swung the pendulum, calling the patent eligibility of software inventions and business method patents into question. In the wake of Alice, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office abruptly halted allowance of these categories of patents and companies saw their patent allowance rates fall to almost nil. Even after releasing preliminary interim guidance, the USPTO’s allowance rate in some art units remains low. We will discuss what types of claim amendments and arguments the USPTO seems to find most effective to overcome Alice. We’ll supplement the discussion with handout materials that can serve as a template and quick reference guide for addressing Alice issues. Moreover, we’ll discuss in-house counsel’s perspective and the effect of Alice on their short-term and long-term goals, including patenting, licensing, and monetization efforts.

Navigating Corporate Legal Issues in Social Media
IP Law

This panel will examine the real time marketing challenges faced by in-house counsel related to social media. As social media and networking tools become both more complex and prevalent, the trademark, legal and brand reputation challenges that they present are taking up more and more time for in-house counsel. The requirement for clear but practical strategic advice on these complex issues has never been greater. Listen to different experts who discuss real life anecdotes demonstrating the reason we all need to pay attention to social media engagement in the corporate setting, and protection and enforcement of their intellectual property in social media.

Tips and Tools for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion
Career Development

This panel will discuss (i) the current state of diversity and inclusion in law firms, law schools, and corporate America, (ii) the value, roles, and responsibilities of diversity and inclusion professionals in those settings, and (iii) tips and tools for law firms, law schools, and corporations to advance their diversity and inclusion initiative, with focus on what people not involved directly can do.

Topics covered will include: recruiting and professional development strategies, leveraging D&I for business development, winning hearts and minds.