For many of us, the social high point of high-school was the prom, so it’s no surprise that the social high point of the year for patent attorneys has been nicknamed “Patent Prom.”

The event, the Dinner in Honor of the Federal Judiciary, is put on by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA), and is in its 92nd year. “It started in 1922 and has been at the Waldorf Astoria every year since then,” says Anthony Lo Cicero, partner at Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP and president-elect of the NYIPLA. “It’s the largest event the hotel has every year, and, unless there is a Met or Yankee game, it’s the biggest event in town.”

This year’s event features Ken Starr, president and chancellor of Baylor University as the keynote speaker and will honor Gregory M. Sleet, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware with the 12th annual Outstanding Public Service Award. 

Lo Cicero emphasizes that the event affords every type of individual involved in patent law a chance to come together. “It’s a real opportunity for outside counsel, inside counsel, judges, court clerks, circuit executives, other bar association presidents, etc. to get together in a nice environment to talk about professional and non-professional matters,” he says. 

The president-elect noted that he has been attending the event for 37 years, but is excited that this year the NYIPLA has branched out to invite judges from beyond the New York area. Among the judges from the patent pilot program who will attend are Justice Ruben Castillo from the Northern District of Illinois and Chief Judge Leonard Davis of the Eastern District of Texas.


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