IP DAY IN MONTANA: Protecting Your Innovations

Presented by the Alexander Blewett III School of Law and the IPL Section of the Montana Bar.

On April 11 and 12, the Blewett School of Law and the IPL Section of the Montana Bar welcomed students, attorneys, patent and trademark officials, and members of the Missoula entrepreneurial community to IP DAY IN MONTANA: Protecting Your Innovations. Guest speakers included Mollybeth Kocialski, Director of the Denver Regional Office of the United States Patent & Trademark Office, Peter Becker, an in-house intellectual property attorney with a long career with Silicon Valley companies, Law Professor Pippa Browde, as well as leaders from IP-centric Montana businesses and Montana IP attorneys. Thanks to our generous sponsors for making the day possible: Platinum Sponsors Max S. Baucus Institute and Holland & Hart and Gold Sponsor Worden Thane; Silver Sponsors Blackfoot, Haffey Vap, PLLC, IP and Business Law Group at the Blewett School of Law, and the IPL Section of the Montana Bar; and Bronze Sponsor Jeana R. Lervick. 


April 11, 2018

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Emerging IP Issues in Indian Country

Join us for a dive into emerging IP issues in Indian Country, including patent ownership and Tribal sovereign immunity, the commercial use of Tribal names and designs, and the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v. Tam on Native American mascots and sports team names.

  • Moderated by Cathay Smith, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Montana Blewett School of Law
  • Molly Kocialski, Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Paul Spruhan, Assistant Attorney General Navajo Nation Department of Justice
  • Forrest Tahdooahnippah, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

April 12, 2018

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.

Registration and Refreshments

8:45 - 9:00 a.m.

Introduction & Messages of Support

  • Dean Paul Kirgis and Conference Organizers: Cathay Smith and Sarah Rhoades
  • Messages of support from Senators Daines and Tester

9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

IP is a Business Decision

We welcome the Director of the USPTO’s Rocky Mountain Office from Denver to discuss important IP issues and considerations for businesses.

  • Molly Kocialski, Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

The Business Case for IP

Join us for a panel of some of Missoula’s notable entrepreneurs where they discuss successful business intellectual property decisions, missteps, and what they might do differently.

11:45 – 12:00 p.m.

Networking Break

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

The Great Leveler – Innovation & the Internet

Pete Becker, senior in-house intellectual property counsel with almost two decades of experience with Silicon Valley companies, will speak on the leveling nature of the Internet, the significance of net neutrality, and the essential organizational building blocks needed to support innovation.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Top 10 Things Businesses Should Know About IP

Join us for a panel of intellectual property attorneys to discuss the top 10 things all stages of businesses need to know about intellectual property law.

2:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Breakout Workshops presented by Montana IP Lawyers

Dive deeper into the three big IP topics for all businesses by attending workshops on trademarks, copyright, or patents.

Trademark Searching for Start-Ups (Room 101)

Copyright Registration Start-to-Finish (Room 214)

Innovator Chat about the Patent Process (Pope Room)

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Recent Changes in Taxation of Patents

Professor Browde will cover tax issues for patents in the new tax bill.

  • Pippa Browde, Associate Professor of Law, Blewett School of Law

4:45 – 6:15 p.m.



Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors:

Max S Baucus Institute Logo Holland and Hart LLC logo

Thank you to our Gold Sponsor:

Worden Thane

Thank you to our Silver Sponsors:

IP and Business Law Blackfoot IPL Section of the Montana State Bar 


Thank you to our Bronze Sponsor:

Jeana R. Lervick