Manny Schecter Chief Patent Counsel, AGC, and Managing IP Attorney IBM
Manny W. Schecter is Chief Patent Counsel and Associate General Counsel at IBM. Mr. Schecter leads IBM’s worldwide intellectual property law organization on patent matters and advises on intellectual property strategy and policy. His office is at IBM corporate headquarters in Armonk, NY.
Mr. Schecter serves on the board of directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), the IPO Education Foundation (where he serves as the treasurer), and Allied Security Trust and he can be found on Twitter at @MannySchecter. In 2015 Mr. Schecter was named to the list of the 50 most influential people in IP by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.
Mr. Schecter is a graduate of Cornell University and the George Washington University Law School.
Inger Eckert SVP, GC Assurex Health
As Senior Vice President, General Counsel at Assurex Health, Inger provides strategic thinking and guidance on matters of corporate importance, developing and executing the company strategy, identifying opportunities to drive growth and competitive advantage, and forming the organization structure and policies needed to drive sustainable and profitable growth.
Inger is a business-minded corporate lawyer with over 20 years of experience at Fortune 500 global manufacturing companies. She has broad experience in all aspects of intellectual property strategy and management, leading large corporate departments, multi-jurisdictional M&A, complex commercial and government contracts, risk management and fostering innovation for competitive advantage. Most recently, Inger served as Chief Counsel, Global Intellectual Property and General Counsel for the Corporate Technology Division of International Paper, a $29 billion Fortune 150 company where she developed strategy and drove tactics for the acquisition, maintenance, enforcement, and monetization of International Paper’s global intellectual property. Previously, she was Director of Intellectual Property at Owens Corning, where she led a global team including Europe and Asia. She started her career as an engineer at the Ford Motor Company, and later as an intellectual property attorney.
Inger holds her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Dayton, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from The Pennsylvania State University.
Bill Ralston Chief IP Counsel Viasat
Dr. William Ralston is Chief IP Counsel for ViaSat, a disruptive innovator in the satellite and telecommunications industries. He provides strategic direction to ViaSat’s intellectual property program, manages an international portfolio of over 1000 cases, provides advice to ViaSat on a range of IP issues, and guides successful assertion of ViaSat patents (recoveries in excess of $100M). Dr. Ralston’s career has included roles as a product developer, project lead, program manager, corporate executive, outside consultant, trainer, and law firm partner. He received the Juris Doctor from the University of Utah, the Doctor of Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, the MSEE from the University of Southern California, and the BSEE from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has published numerous legal and technical articles.
Anthony Decicco Member GTC Law Group
Tony is a Member in GTC’s IP Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Business & Technology Transactions groups. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions, strategic development of patent portfolios, valuing and commercializing intellectual property assets, and licensing and other technology-related transactions. In addition, Tony oversees the firm’s computer code audit and due diligence practice and has extensive experience advising clients regarding the use of open source software. He has reviewed the results of literally thousands of code scans.
Tony’s clients range from individual inventors to Fortune 100 companies. Given his extensive experience on both the buy and sell sides of mergers and acquisitions, patent purchases/sales and IP/technology licensing transactions, he is a trusted advisor to clients on all sides of the table. For acquirers, a key strength is his ability to leverage this experience to quickly identify and assess IP-related risks. On the sell side, this experience translates to grooming clients and positioning IP assets to maximize value and minimize issues during rigorous due diligence.
Prior to joining GTC, Tony was a member of the IP & Technology, Internet & E-Commerce and M&A practice groups at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom where he advised clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups. He began his career advising investment companies, also at Skadden, and was involved with bringing several mutual funds to market. He has research and professional experience in a diverse range of fields, including patent valuation, law and economics, molecular evolution, apoptosis, and lipid biochemistry.
Tony holds an Honors B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McMaster University, an M.A. in Economics and a J.D., both from the University of Toronto, where he was a law review editor. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New York, Ontario, and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (with Limited Recognition).
Laura Johnson VP, IP Dexcom
Laura Johnson was promoted to Vice President of Intellectual Property in September 2008. In her previous role as Dexcom's Director of Intellectual Property, Ms. Johnson has been instrumental in developing and aligning Dexcom’s patent strategy to achieve business goals across a range of development groups and activities. Prior to joining Dexcom, Ms. Johnson served as a patent agent at a local law firm, and prior thereto, served in a technical role at Peregrine Systems, Inc. From 1993 to 1999, Ms. Johnson served as a Patent Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Virginia, examining patents in the technology area of implantable devices. Ms. Johnson holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Grove City College in Grove City, PA.
Robert Lindefjeld GC and Chief IP Counsel Nantero
Rob Lindefjeld is the General Counsel and Chief IP Counsel for Nantero, Inc., a manufacturer of next-generation semiconductor devices based in Boston, Massachusetts and Silicon Valley, California. Before Nantero, Rob served as a Partner of the international law firm Jones Day, where he was in charge of the Pittsburgh office Intellectual Property Group. He has been lead counsel and second-chair in numerous IP infringement matters in state and federal district court, arbitration, and the International Trade Commission in a wide variety of technologies including computer chips. Before Jones Day, he served as a Law Clerk to The Honorable Joseph F. Weis, Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and before that, he served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army Infantry, stationed in Germany. He is a Registered Patent Attorney and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA, America's Best Lawyers for Business, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Massachusetts Super Lawyers. He is a Past Chairman of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law, with a wide range of responsibilities including helping formulate our country's national policy in the area of patents, trademarks, and copyrights before the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Copyright Office, and our nation's courts. Other professional activities include his service as the current Vice-Chairman of the Amicus Committee of the American IP Law Association (AIPLA), the committee charged with making recommendations on amicus briefs on behalf of the AIPLA to be filed in intellectual property cases pending before the appellate courts of the United States. He is a Past Chairman of the AIPLA's Licensing and Management of IP Assets Committee, the substantive committee tasked with monitoring legal developments in the area of patent licensing.
Bernard Greenspan Senior Director of IP Prometheus Laboratories
Dr. Greenspan is the Senior Director of Intellectual Property at Prometheus Laboratories, a Nestlé Health Science Company, located in San Diego, CA. The company develops diagnostic tests in the area of gastrointestinal diseases. Bernie is responsible for IP portfolio strategy and management, due diligence on new ventures, working with scientific staff to capture new innovations, working with marketing to identify and register trademarks, and for training employees on the importance of IP protection to the success of the company.
Prior to joining Prometheus, Bernie held positions as Director of IP Strategy Management for Pfizer La Jolla Laboratories, Senior Director of Intellectual Property at Verus Pharmaceuticals, and as an independent consultant to life science and medical device companies.
Bernie's research and development career has included positions as Director of Aerosol Technology at Dura Pharmaceuticals and Elan Pharmaceuticals and Staff Scientist at Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Bernie holds a BA in physics with honors from Clark University, and an MS and Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is registered to practice at the USPTO as a patent agent.
Lukas Grabiec AGC GoDaddy
Lukas Grabiec is Assistant General Counsel at GoDaddy and was for 10+ years prior Corporate Counsel in various capacities at Microchip Technology Inc., Intel Corporation and Honeywell International. Lukas was recognized in the legal community as the “Up and Comer” Attorney of the Year for 2012 by the Association of Corporate Counsel and Arizona Business Magazine and also was selected to the prestigious School for Leaders (SzkołaLiderów) program in Warsaw, Poland.
He is the Chairman of the State Bar of Arizona In-House Counsel Committee, current Director and founding member of the US-Poland Trade Council (USPTC) Office in Arizona, mentor at the US-Poland Innovation Hub in Silicon Valley, and frequent lecturer across the U.S. and Europe including at the Stanford Center for Professional Development at Stanford University, the University of Arizona School of Law, the IP Strategy Summit in New York City, and the London IP Summit.
Lukas received his Juris Doctorate (JD) from Case Western Reserve University, his MBA from École de Hautes Études Commerciales (EDHEC) (France). During law school he worked with the U.N. Special Court for Sierra Leone and wrote briefs helping prosecute War Criminals. This UN project which was organized by Case Western, American University and the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Ira Blumberg VP IP Lenovo
Ira Blumberg joined Lenovo as Vice President of Intellectual Property in 2012. His responsibilities include managing the IP group and overseeing all patent licensing and management of Lenovo’s patent portfolio as well as providing advice and counseling on all IP matters. Prior to joining Lenovo, starting in 2010, Ira was a Licensing Executive at Intellectual Ventures focused primarily on Japan. Before IV, Ira was Vice President of Licensing at Rambus Inc. Ira joined Rambus in 2004. During his tenure at Rambus, Ira negotiated, drafted and closed patent licensing deals for Rambus valued in excess of $1.5B. Prior to Rambus, Ira was Director of Licensing at Intel. Ira joined Intel in 1997. While at Intel, Ira negotiated, drafted and closed the patent license agreement between Intel and LG Electronics that became the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court case Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc. Ira has also worked at the law firms of Hughes Hubbard and Reed and Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, & Rosati. Before beginning his legal career, Ira was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Ira has a J.D. from the University of Virginia and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Science and Computer Science respectively from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vincent Brault SVP Anaqua
Vincent has 20 years of experience in the IP management software and services market. At Anaqua, Vincent is responsible for leading the US sales team and managed the integration of Anaqua's annuity payment operations. Prior to joining Anaqua in 2009, he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Vice President of Business Development US and for eight years lead software development and client implementation services for CPA.
Paul Hunter Partner Foley & Lardner LLP
Paul Hunter is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP and co-chair of the firm's Electronics Practice. Mr. Hunter focuses on helping companies identify and maximize the value of their intellectual property assets. He regularly provides patent audits to assess and improve the value of a company’s IP. He also aids companies in defending against allegations of patent infringement, such as dealing with patent enforcement companies (sometimes referred to as "patent trolls").
Mr. Hunter’s client counseling includes representing both patent owners and patent challengers in post-grant Patent Office procedures, such as inters partes review (IPR) and covered business method (CBM) review. In these proceedings, he has brought numerous clients from initial petition through depositions, oral argument, and final decision.
His technical skills in electronics and computer technologies include telecom, computer software and hardware, semiconductor devices and fabrication processes, financial and business methods, alternative energy technologies, and medical devices.
Mr. Hunter received a Bachelor of Science with honors in electrical and computer engineering from Brigham Young University (BYU), and his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Michigan Law School.