Summary of 14th Annual Thought Leadership Conference:
The RenAIssance of IP  

On May 9-11, ipCapital Group (ipCG) held its 14th annual Thought Leadership Conference at the Essex Resort & Spa in Vermont. This year’s theme was The RenAIssance of IP. The conference was filled with provocative discussions revolving around hot topics in intellectual property (IP). Following the full day conference, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) IP Tools Workshop was held, during which two highly regarded AI startups presented demos.

Rudy Leschke, Senior VP of Research & Development & Food Safety at Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and Terry Adams, former assistant VP, Head of Technology Intelligence and Scouting at Nestlé, led a discussion on Aligning & linking IP-supported Innovation with Business Growth. Adam Bulakowski, a partner at ipCG, prefaced the discussion by providing an overview of the pet food industry, including how recent M&A activity was impacted by technical and brand IP. Rudy discussed how Ainsworth leveraged the specialty pet food business to go to mass market, how trade secrets help protect know-how in areas where technology is well-known, and how patents may play a larger future role in conjunction with the brand IP. Terry then discussed how to manage IP portfolios within large organizations, using Nestlé as an example, how to leverage IP portfolios to create new opportunities with other businesses, how small players should approach big companies when there is a need to license/buy IP, and how the recruitment of IP savvy/technical people is fundamental to the success of an IAM program.  The 3 speakers concluded with a fun demonstration of the IAM-AI assistant, Virtual Terry + Adam.

Next, Patrick Gillespie, IP Engineering Manager at Emerson Electric, discussed IP Strategy for Emerging Technologies. Patrick shared the story of his IP experience and adventures at Emerson through the presentation of case studies. The case studies outlined two different results and challenges when developing an IP strategy.
With respect to new and emerging technologies, Patrick discussed an approach to IP development in an emerging technology and vulnerability to third parties and competitors. Patrick then discussed an approach to IP development ahead of R&D to provide optionality.

The keynote speaker, Brian Hinman, former CIPO of Philips, presented a discussion on Worldwide IP Strategy Across Business Units, during which Brian discussed IP strategy derived from his extensive experience. Brian talked about the importance of centralized management of the IP portfolio and how to communicate it to the C-suite. He also offered fascinating insights into generating revenue from IP and associated R&D.

Pete Conley, Managing Director of ipCapital Venture Group, collaborated with Simon Robinson and Mark Han, Chief IP Strategy Officer and Chief Legal Officer of Intuitive X, to discuss the Evolving Market for IP Finance:  the role of IP in financing and starting new companies. First, Pete discussed how ipCG’s process helped identify for Boston Scientific that camera companies, such as Olympus, were developing endoscopic cameras. This prompted them to utilize the Invention on Demand® process to create 85 filed patents that delivered $1B in value, years before the corresponding product was approved and ready for market. Simon and Mark then explained how Intuitive X, along with ipCG, developed medical device companies by partnering with motivated doctors to identify issues in their field, identify patentable ideas that would benefit the space, then file patents and create prototypes to incorporate into a marketable company.

Fred Dufresne, Cerinet, and Bill Yuen, Brickell Key Asset Management, co-presented a discussion on the Spectrum of Litigation. Fred and Bill discussed the current trends in IP litigation with respect to the spectrum of types of litigation from “micro-litigation” to fully funded litigation. The discussion also detailed the differences in the analytical process with respect to how a patent or portfolio is be accepted to pursue litigation. Bill and Fred also discussed how current cases (e.g., TC Heartland, Halo, Stryker, etc.) affect the strategy for each type of litigation.

Next, Denis Taschuk, CEO, and Steven Splinter, CTO, of Radient Technologies led a discussion on Navigating the Cannabis Processing Landscape: Traversing Regulatory Barriers & Capitalizing on Trade Secrets. First, Denis and Steven educated the group on Radient’s development of a proprietary process for industrial scale extraction of natural products and the company’s pivot towards Canada’s budding cannabis industry by partnering with Aurora Cannabis. They then discussed the crucial role that patent applications filed across each category of a robust ipLandscape, coupled with an extensive trade secret registry, played in securing investment and underwriting for rapid expansion and an IPO raise.

As the capstone, John Cronin, Managing Director & Chairman of ipCapital Group led a discussion on The Impact of AI to Innovation, Invention, IP and IP Practices, providing an overview of the current and future state of artificial intelligence (AI) in intellectual property. John took the group on a journey from the early days of IP and his time at the IBM Patent Factory to the current state of IP and its present and future integration with AI.

John spent the remainder of the discussion urging thought leaders to take advantage of AI now, rather than later, as AI can be an immensely useful augmentation tool to early adopters, while cautioning that those who fail to integrate AI into their current IP practice will likely have no place in the IP world once AI fully takes hold.

Lastly, ipCG presented a demo of its internally developed AI-assisted Amazon Alexa skill, Edison, an innovation and brainstorming app that uses AI processing to incorporate keywords and then use those keywords to prompt inventors into expansive, additive, and descriptive thinking.  Edison can then store or email ideas that are generated from the brainstorming session.

Following the full day conference, an AI tools in IP workshop was held, during which two IP AI companies presented demos.

First, Liat Belinson, CEO/CTO of AI Patents (AIP) demonstrated their scientific search engine, which uses machine learning and advanced AI capabilities “to learn about textual relationship that describe the same scientific concepts and applies this learning to compare inventions. Instead of comparing documents on the basis of word similarity, AIP's algorithm compares documents based on their idea similarity.” AIP has been utilized on two separate contracting actions by the USPTO.

Next, Matthew Osman, CEO and co-founder of Legit Patents demonstrated their software, “focused on augmenting the invention disclosure and idea capture process using Natural Language Processing.” Legit uses responsive and user-friendly software that simulates the initial interview process between patent attorney and inventor,” dramatically increasing “the number of quality disclosures” and saving attorney hours.

ipCG holds the invitation-only Thought Leadership Conference annually. If you are interested in further information about the discussions held at this past conference or attending future conferences, please contact us at 802-859-7800 or, or visit our conference page for more info.


Wednesday May 9

5:00 - 8:00 pm
Registration, Wine & Cheese Reception, Dinner

Thursday May 10

7:30 - 8:30am

8:30 - 8:45am
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Nancy Cronin, President, ipCapital Group

8:45 - 9:40am
Aligning & Linking IP-supported Innovation with Business Growth
Group discussion led by: Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Nestlé S.A.
Moderated by: Adam Bulakowski, Partner, ipCapital Group

9:45 - 10:40am
IP Strategy for Emerging Technologies
Group discussion led by: Emerson Electric Co.
Moderated by: Jeff Goodwin, Manager, ipCapital Group

10:45 - 11:00am
Networking Break

11:00 - 11:55am
Worldwide IP Strategy Across Business Units  
Speaker: Brian Hinman, former CIPO of Philips

12:00 - 1:00pm
Networking Lunch

1:00 - 1:55pm
Evolving Market for IP Finance
Group discussion led by: Intuitive IP, Boustead Securities, LLC

2:00 - 2:55pm
Spectrum of Litigation Support
Group discussion led by: Brickell Key Asset Management, CeriNet

3:00 - 3:15pm
Networking Break

3:15 - 4:10pm
Navigating the Cannabis Processing Landscape: Traversing Regulatory Barriers & Capitalizing on Trade Secrets
Group discussion led by: Radient Technologies

4:15 - 5:00pm
The RenAIssance of IP
Speaker: John Cronin, Chairman and Managing Director, ipCapital Group

5:00 - 5:15pm
Closing Remarks and Adjourn
Speaker: ipCapital Group

Full PDF of Agenda


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