12th ipCG Thought Leadership Conference  


The IP industry, which is traditionally very conservative in nature, is currently experiencing a significant sea change requiring all companies to re-examine their IP strategies. This theme formed the basis of ipCapital Group’s 12th IP thought leadership conference, which we held on Thursday, April 30 in Burlington, Vermont.  Business, technical & legal professionals from various organizations gathered in downtown Burlington to discuss the external environment, share IP strategy best practices, and obtain continuing legal education (CLE) credit.  After facilitators provided introductions to specific topics, the group engaged in roundtable discussion to offer unique perspectives and solutions to key issues.

Below, please find ipCG’s summaries of the individual topics discussed.

See the conference agenda.


Welcome & State of the IP Industry

Facilitated by Marshall Phelps, former Deputy General Counsel of IP and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Corporation.

Marshall Phelps kicked off the conference by touching on a wide variety of important topics currently affecting the IP industry, including:

Marshall Phelps presents on
the State of the IP Industry

Key takeaways from the discussion included:


Changes in the Patent Landscape & Impact on IP Strategies

Facilitated by Larry Meier, Director & Intellectual Property Chair at Downs Rachlin Martin and Tim Brisson, Senior Advisor at ipCG.

Larry Meier and Tim Brisson continued our discussion of external changes by focusing in on several specific current events:

Key takeaways from the discussion included:


Corporate Level Viewpoints on IP Strategy

Facilitated by Kristin Westgard, Deputy General Counsel at Koch Industries.

Kristin Westgard helped the group transition from external changes into discussions around IP strategy.  She introduced the Koch companies, its business interests across a wide range of industries (e.g., agriculture, oil & gas) and its large supporting IP portfolio.  Our facilitator also explained that with such a large diversity of business units, it is essential that Koch have a unifying corporate-level IP strategy with executive buy-in.

One way to garner executive support for an IP strategy is to communicate IP “return on investment” (ROI) by focusing on specific value drivers.  She presented six different examples of Koch IP value drivers and various methods that Koch uses to quantify return.


Development & Execution of Business Unit IP Strategies

Facilitated by Mark Pobanz, IPD & Global IP Process Leader at Dow AgroSciences.

Mark Pobanz presented on the topic of business IP Strategy & execution through the Dow AgroSciences (DAS) lens.  After introducing DAS & the Intellectual Property Development (IPD) team, our facilitator described DAS’ IP strategy & its value to the organization. 

Key subtopics explored during the discussion included:


Strategies for Monetizing Intellectual Property

Facilitated by Kim Pugliese, Director of Intellectual Property Licensing at Xerox and Sri Divakaruni, Director of Innovation Business Development at United Technologies.

Kim Pugliese and Sri Divakaruni facilitated a dynamic discussion on considerations for IP portfolio monetization. Coming from two very different corporate contexts, our facilitators walked us through recent eye-catching deals, culture and motivation considerations of monetization processes, strategic tradeoffs to consider, staffing, and metrics.

Particularly interesting discussions touched on:


IAM Topic #1: Trade Secrets

Facilitated by Bruce Story, Senior Advisor at ipCapital Group & former Senior Director,
Intellectual Capital Management at Dow Chemical.

Bruce Story facilitated a very interesting discussion around trade secrets.  He introduced the growing importance of this asset class and touched on the three key factors that contribute to a successful trade secret program:

Key takeaways from the discussion included:


IAM Topic #2: Emerging Models for IP Research

Facilitated by Pete Vanderheyden, President at Article One Partners.

Pete Vanderheyden summarized a current state of IP research and the push for higher quality IP research. Topics discussed included:

Key takeaways from the discussion included:


IAM Topic #3: Emerging Business Models: Patents & Patent Information

Facilitated by Chris Smyth, Vice President of Business Development at Patent Properties.

Chris Smyth provided the group with a high-level view of new approaches to the business of patents and patent information. This fascinating session touched on uses of patent data to inform organic and inorganic growth in established firms, to manage legal and technology risk, to innovate and collaborate more effectively, and to invest and trade.

Discussion of these developing models sparked considerable interest among our attendees, in particular:


Capstone: Thinking on Forward Innovation

Facilitated by John Cronin, Managing Director & Chairman at ipCG and former chief of IBM's "Patent Factory."

John Cronin wrapped up the conference by discussing why recent changes in the patent landscape, especially those brought about through the AIA and cases such as Alice vs. CLS Bank International, have created a need for organizations to devise new IP development strategies that address the issues of speed, quality and relevance.

Key takeaways from the discussion included:


Participant Feedback: Important Topics for Future Conferences

Our attendees shared the following in relation to the most important issues facing their organizations today:

-IP Strategy: understanding and Implementation in a matrix organization
-Optimal IP strategies in emerging/critical markets (China, India, Brazil/Argentina, etc.)
-Implications/strategies if Patent Reform legislation passes
-Potential blind spots to competitors with new business models

IP Monetization
-Communicating the monetization message across the organization
-Optimizing creation of strategic and assertable IP to support our new developments
-Scaling up team to support IP Monetization efforts

Engaging Management
-Engaging and motivating R&D and executive management
-Overcoming ultra-conservatism in senior executive ranks regarding leveraging IP

Financing of IP
-Recovering research/investment costs
-Resources to support IAM

Other topics:  Litigation, Protection/Trade Secrets/Technology for IP Management
-Unwarranted patent litigation, not always from NPEs
-Protection of IP or confidential (trade secret) information internally and externally
-Finding docket management software

Please let us know if any of these topics pique your interest, and we would be happy to follow up with you for further discussion. To share your thoughts on this email us at info@ipcg.com.

Agenda & Discussion Topics

Wednesday April 29
5:00 - 8:00 pm                        Registration, Wine & Cheese Reception, Dinner
                                               Bleu, Northeast Seafood, Courtyard Marriot Burlington Harbor

Thursday April 30
8:00 - 8:30am                         Breakfast
8:30 - 9:00am                         Welcome & State of the IP Industry
                                               Speaker: Marshall Phelps, former Deputy General Counsel of IP and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Corporation
9:00 - 10:30am                       Changes in the Patent Landscape & Impact on IP Strategies
                                               Group discussion led by: Marshall Phelps & Larry Meier, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
10:30 - 11:00am                     Networking Break
11:00 - 11:45am                     Corporate-Level Viewpoints on IP Strategy
                                               Group discussion led by: Kristin Westgard, Koch Industries
11:45am - 12:30pm                Development & Execution of Business-Unit IP Strategies
                                               Group discussion led by: Mark Pobanz, Dow AgroSciences
12:30 - 1:30pm                       Lunch
1:30 - 2:15pm                         Strategies for Monetizing Intellectual Property
                                               Group discussion led by: Kim Pugliese, Xerox & Sri Divakaruni, UTC
2:15 - 2:45pm                         IAM Topic #1: Trade Secrets
                                               Group discussion led by: Bruce Story, former Senior Director, Intellectual Capital Management, Dow Chemical
2:45 - 3:15pm                          Networking Break
3:15 - 3:45pm                         IAM Topic #2: Emerging Models for IP Research
                                               Group discussion led by: Peter Vanderheyden, Article One Partners
3:45 - 4:15pm                         IAM Topic #3: Emerging Models for IP Utilization
                                               Group discussion led by: Chris Smyth, Patent Properties
4:15 - 5:00pm                         Capstone: Thinking on Forward Innovation
                                               Speaker: John Cronin, ipCreate

PDF of Conference Agenda.

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