Former USPTO Commissioner for Patents
Advisory Board Executive Chairman
Bob Stoll is a Partner on the Patent team at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Group. In October of 2013, he was appointed by Chief Judge Rader to a three-year term on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Advisory Council. As the former USPTO Commissioner for Patents, he was instrumental in the passage of landmark patent legislation, the America Invents Act, and lauded for his efforts to reduce patent pendency and improve patent quality.
He has spent his career improving the intellectual property system and educating the public, applicants, corporations and foreign governments on the criticality of intellectual property to economic growth and job creation.
CEO of Article One Partners
Mr. Phelps is CEO of Article One Partners, the largest crowd sourced IP research firm in the world. He is and has been a consultant and advisor to many companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAP, Waggener Edstrom, Samsung, GE and Boeing. He also serves on the Intellectual Property Committee of the National Academies of Science and seven boards of directors. He is a recognized expert on the management and monetization of intellectual and intangible assets, entrepreneurship and innovation. He has written and spoken extensively on these subjects at numerous business forums and universities, including Duke Business and Law Schools, The University of California at Berkeley, Cornell Law School, The University of Washington, and Keio and Waseda Universities in Japan. He recently served as Executive in Residence at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and served on its Board of Visitors. He was recently named Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Cornell Law School. In 2006, he was elected to the initial class of the Intellectual Property Hall of Fame. His book, “Burning the Ships, Intellectual Property and the Transformation of Microsoft”, was published in 2009.
Most recently, Mr. Phelps was Corporate Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Licensing and Assistant Secretary, Microsoft Corporation. At Microsoft, his duties entailed worldwide management of Microsoft’s intellectual property portfolio, patent prosecution, licensing, standards and business development. Microsoft is one of the world’s largest intellectual property companies with over 60,000 patents extent or applied for, countless trademarks and extensive copyright holdings.
Mr. Phelps holds a B.A. and D.HL from Muskingum University, an M.S. from Stanford University School of Business, and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.
Managing Director, Office of Technology Development at Boston University
Vinit Nijhawan is Managing Director, Office of Technology Development, and Lecturer Graduate School of Management at Boston University. Vinit teaches MBA courses on Entrepreneurship at BU, over 300 students have taken his courses. Vinit has over 30 years experience building five startups: as CEO of three, five were acquired. Vinit was Venture Partner at Key Venture Partners and over two years sourced over 200 deals and made one investment that was acquired for $430M.
Vinit is an advisor and board member to several technology startups and was a Mass High Tech All-Star in 2005. Vinit has participated in over 200 panel discussions and paper presentations, and is a Board Member of Mass Ventures, an early stage, quasi-public Massachusetts venture capital firm and a co-founder of EdTech Accelerator/Incubator LearnLaunch. Vinit is also on the board of the National Academy of Inventors. Vinit earned a B.A.Sc in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
CEO & Founder, Edison Nation
Louis Foreman is currently Chief Executive of Enventys, an integrated product design and engineering firm. He is also CEO of Edison Nation and Edison Nation Medical. Over the past 20 years Louis has created nine successful start-ups and has been directly responsible for the creation of over 20 others. He is the inventor on 10 registered US patents, and his firm is responsible for the development and filing of well over 600 more. In addition, Louis serves on the Board of Directors of the James Dyson Foundation, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), Ventureprise, New Dominion Bank, and is President of the Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation (IPOEF).
In 2013, Louis was appointed by the SBA Administrator, Karen Mills, to serve a three year term on the National SBDC Advisory Board. In 2008, Louis was appointed by United States Secretary of Commerce, Carlos M. Gutierrez to serve a three year term on the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In 2013 he was asked to serve as Chairman of PPAC until the end of his term in December, 2014.
Executive Director, Duke Center for Innovation Policy
Stephen Merrill was named Executive Director of the new Duke Center for Innovation Policy in September 2014. Based at the University’s law school and in Washington, DC, the Center conducts research and policy formulation and convenes discussions of the policies affecting technological advance in the ICT and life sciences sectors. Merrill founded the National Academies’ Program on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) in 1992 and served as its Executive Director until March 2014. Among other projects, he directed the study that led to the Academies’ 2004 report, A Patent System for the 21st Century, which laid the foundation for reforms incorporated in the America Invents Act of 2011 and changes adopted by the federal courts.
For his work on patent reform, Dr. Merrill was named one of the 50 most influential people worldwide in the intellectual property field by Managing Intellectual Property magazine and received the Academies’ 2005 Distinguished Service Award. He has been a member of the World Economic Forum Global Council on the Intellectual Property System.