Summary of ipCG’s 13th Annual Thought Leadership Conference

POSTED BY ipCG Team AT 8:45 A.M. May 31, 2017

On Thursday May 11th, ipCapital Group held its 13th Annual Thought Leadership Conference, bringing together innovation and intellectual property (IP) leaders from around the world in the picturesque Essex Resort & Spa in Northwest Vermont. This year’s conference theme was Effective Innovation – Transforming Ideas into High-Value IP.

Below is an outline of the talks given.

The day was broken down into seven subtopics hosted by various IP thought leaders from a wide range of corporations throughout the globe.

  • The first talk – Generating Revenue from IP – Past, Present, Future – was led by Kim Pugliese of Technicolor SA. Kim began with the Patent Lifecycle diagram she constructed from her extensive career in IP strategy and monetization. Kim discussed the importance of being able to quantify benefits from IP with defendable numbers, utilizing a Return on IP Investment Scorecard to generate support for the IP department throughout the organization.
  • Next, Rudy Leschke, Senior VP for R&D at Ainsworth Pet Nutrition led a discussion on Investing in a Trade Secret Program. Rudy made the case that trade secrets are critical to business success and are a key factor in building enterprise value. But unlike other IP, there is no formal application process or legal recognition. Instead, in order to claim the legal protections afforded to trade secrets, companies need to demonstrate that they are making a “reasonable effort” to protect their trade secrets (e.g., through internal policy, training, documentation, etc.).
  • The third talk of the morning was led by Petra Simoncic of ams AG and was titled The Purchase Price of a Winning IP Strategy.  Petra highlighted the ROI of strategic IP development, using case studies of publicly disclosed ams AG acquisitions. Petra’s story sparked discussion around a few topics including valuing IP, leveraging IP for acquisitions, and maximizing return on investment when developing an IP portfolio.
  • After lunch, Luis Muniz, Ph.D., from Church & Dwight took the podium and talked about IP Tools – Must-have Enablers for Innovation. Luis began with a brief background on the history of Church & Dwight, which has been in existence for 170 years. The remainder of the presentation demonstrated a set of examples in the “360 degrees of innovation,” where Luis discussed how IP tools such as IP landscape development, invent-around, directed invention, and white space analysis are key activities that support a virtuous cycle of innovation and product development. He cited specific examples of using these tools to help create strategies, assess competitive position, and seek out and protect valuable innovations.
  • Following Luis was the CEO of VelociData, Barry Rudolph, who gave a fascinating talk covering IP Monetization and Landscape Analysis. Barry provided a unique perspective based on his experience driving innovation with large teams at IBM to smaller, more focused groups at VelociData. VelociData approached ipCG with the near-term goal of leveraging IP and adding value to their portfolio. Barry elaborated on a strategic process of evaluating a portfolio and how to enhance it, creating a landscape and using analytics to assess competitive positioning, and creating hundreds of inventions to expand a portfolio. The process culminated in a compelling ipStory®, a tool that can be used to demonstrate value in M&A activity. The talk concluded with a group discussion on the impact of front-end landscape, analysis, and strategy on valuation and ROI for IP.
  • Avery Levy, CEO of DigiPrint-IP & Upsell Direct, LLC, was the sixth presenter of the day, educating attendees on How Prototyping Supports Invention, a topic with which he is familiar as a consumer of ipCG’s prototyping service. First, Avery discussed how he originally came to ipCG to help extract some inventible ideas of his and turn them into invention disclosures and ultimately patent applications. During the disclosure process, insights by the ipCG team had highlighted that Avery may have come across an entirely new way for retailers and manufactures to interact with customers: Near Field Communication Tags. To fully explore if the idea had merit, he discussed how ipCG created an original prototype based upon his idea, as well as the enhancements discovered during the write-up of the disclosures.
  • The capstone discussion of the day was given by John Cronin, Managing Director & Chairman of ipCapital Group. John spoke on The Impact of AI to Invention, IP and IP Consulting. This presentation covered the evolution of inventing and patents, and how the value of the two have changed over time: from the 1700s when companies invented and protected their ideas with patents to create a competitive advantage, to the late 20th century where companies used these systems to support business models and generate income. This led to the future of patents and invention, which will be the use of extensive Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtualized Innovation.

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