5 Patent Law Associations You Should Consider Joining

Joining a patent law association allows members to stay at the forefront of intellectual property law. The members are made up of a diverse group of lawyers and other professionals in corporate and private practice, the academic community, law school, and government services.

There are individuals from institutions, companies, and law firms who are directly and indirectly involved in unfair competition law, trade secret, copyright law, and other law fields that impact intellectual law.

The associations serve their members, work to improve the legal profession, eliminate bias, enhance diversity, and advance the rule of law in the U.S. and globally. Associations support the legal profession by providing practical resources that improve the administration of justice, law school accreditation, and ethical codes.

American Intellectual Property Law Association

People join AIPLA to stay abreast of intellectual property policies, laws, and standards developments. The association helps in networking with colleagues and career advancement. AIPLA offers several categories of membership for IP practitioners.

Solo practitioners are included. The regular membership comprises bar members in good standing of a court of record of the United States, Territory or State, District of Columbia, or the United States Patent and Trademark Office for at least five years.

They must be eligible to hold office and vote. Small firm and solo practitioners receive a reduced membership fee. Those with less than five years of good standing referred to as junior members; associates; academic; and life categories have reduced rates.

The annual dues for each category (from 2018) are as follows (note that these may change, consult the official AIPLA site for further details):

Regular $395
Solo $375
Junior $189
Associate $90
Government $90
Academic No Fee
Life No Fee

The National Association of Patent Practitioners

NAPP, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to its support of patent practitioners and others who work in the field of patent law in matters that relate to patent prosecution and practice. The mission is to provide a collective voice, benefits, collegial exchange, education, and networking in the IP community concerning patent law and prosecution.

NAPP has three membership categories. The practitioner membership is for patent attorneys and patent agents in good standing and registered before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Reduced annual fees are offered to students and associates.

The Annual NAPP Dues (from 2018; consult the official NAPP site for updated dues):

Practitioner $200
Student $50
Associate $175

International Intellectual Property Law Association

IIPA provides a platform for bringing everyone who deals with IP and its global challenges together. Offline and online international events have organized that focus on IP community members cooperation and IP education.

The organization helps international institutions, policymakers, and individuals understand the IP industry cooperative model. It helps to bridge the IP fraternity and unify the global IP laws. IIPLA fosters uniform research and development opportunities through worldwide cooperation and awareness.

The association provides members with incredibly enduring contracts, excellent financial opportunities, exciting career options, best IP practice, and the latest IP trends. The organization offers memberships that can be paid annually or monthly. Regular membership is extended to global lawyers/attorneys and agents registered to practice before the worldwide Patent and Trademark Office or registered in a worldwide bar.

Membership Fees (as of 2018; consult the official IIPA site for an updated fee schedule):

Membership Annually Monthly
Regular $600 $60
IP Affiliate $450 $45
Government $99
PTO (full-time patent examiner or other professional national patent and trademark office employee $99
Judicial $75
Student $25
Group (up to 10) $2900
Group (up to 20) $4900
Group (up to 100) $9900

The American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law 

Belonging to the ABA-IPL entitles members to a free eBook, CAREERS IN IP LAW and a magazine subscription to Landslide. Members have the opportunity to substantive committees and are involved at the level of their choice.

Action groups, open to immediate involvement include:

  • Women in IP Law (WIP)
  • Law Students (LSAG)
  • International (IAG)
  • Diversity (DAG)
  • Young Lawyer (YLAG)

Other benefits include:

  • Legislative updates
  • Continuing legal education opportunities
  • Intellectual property law conference
  • Discounts on books of IP topics and solutions
  • eNews about the latest activities, initiatives, and projects

Membership dues are tiered according to the bar admission date. To join the ABA-IPL, the person must be a member of the American Bar Association. The dues for regular and special membership are free for those admitted to the bar in 2017 or 2018.

Special dues are available for legal/public service or government lawyers, judges, and private practice solo lawyers. There is an additional fee for the Intellectual Property Section.

Association of Intellectual Property Firms

AIPF is an international group of independent specialty firms devoted to the practice of copyright, trademark, and patent law. The association is dedicated to needs unique to the IP boutique.

Clients are better served because of the forum of international collaboration and resources the organization provides. Member firms and attorneys receive help in improving all levels of business management skills and understanding the business and needs of their clients.

Members develop relationships with the worldwide legal academic community to enhance recruiting initiatives and demonstrate legal and technical capabilities. They engage with leaders from industries and businesses around the world.

To be eligible for membership 50 percent of the attorneys at a firm must be registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the home country Patent and Trademark Office. The majority of the firm’s business must be devoted to the practice of Intellectual Property Law. Annual dues are based on the number of participating attorneys in the firm.

The following is the fee schedule (please consult the official AIPF site for updated fees):

Number  of Attorneys Dues
Solo – Three $300
Four – Seven $600
Eight – 15 $1500
16–25 $2500
26–35 $3500
36–50 $3500
51–100 $5000
100+ $6000

Patent law associations are voluntary bar associations. The purpose of these organizations is to maintain high standards of ethics and aid in improving laws about intellectual property. Membership dues vary from association to association. With a variety of options, finding a patent association that fits your budget is feasible.