People: Tracking IP Influencers’ Latest Moves

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From changes in policymaking leadership and staffing shake-ups to a flurry of hiring in law firms and new strategic alliances, the past few months have been an interesting time for IP people watching. With over 40 news items and over 80 names, here’s a substantial update on who’s who across governments, nonprofit organisations, and the private sector.

International Organisations, National/Regional Governments

In Geneva, there have been some notable departures, including two instrumental negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Heinjörg Herrmann, counsellor budget and finance at the Permanent Mission of Germany, left in January, returning to the Ministry of Finance in Berlin. In December, Tshihumbudzo “Zane” Ravhandalala, first secretary of South Africa’s Permanent Mission, returned to the Foreign Ministry in Pretoria. Their replacements have not yet been announced.

The United Nation’s only independent external oversight body, the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), welcomed five new members in January from the following countries: India, United States, Haiti, Gambia, and Russia. Appointed by the UN General Assembly last year, their terms run through December 2017.

At the World Health Organization (WHO), Hans Troedsson was appointed executive director of the Director-General’s Office in November. Joining the WHO in 1990, the Swedish national was most recently director of programme management of the Western Pacific Regional Office in Manila. He succeeded Anne Marie Worning, who retired.

Meanwhile, at the Washington, DC-based World Bank, Timothy Evans was appointed director for health, nutrition, and population, effective 23 June. Currently, the US and Canadian national is dean of the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University in Bangladesh.

In another significant appointment, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) named Fernando dos Santos director general for a four-year term, which began in January. Formerly the Registrar of the Mozambique Industrial Property Institute (IPI), dos Santos succeeded Gift Sibanda.

Additionally, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) appointed Nils Wahl as advocate general in November. The Swedish national, previously a judge at the general court, replaced Verica Trstenjak on a six-year term that runs through 2018.

In the UK, Lord George Younger was appointed parliamentary under secretary of state in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, succeeding Lord Jonathan Maryland. With 25 years of experience in the human resources industry and financial services, Younger’s new responsibilities, which began in January, include the direction of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

In the US, David Kappos had his last day as director of the patent and trademark office (USPTO) on 30 January. He led some key changes at the USPTO, including the passage of the American Invents Act, legislation that brought the US patent system more in line with international policy. Teresa Stanek Rea replaced him as acting director (IPW, US policy, 26 November 2012).

Just days after his departure, on 6 February, it was announced that Kappos joined Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s New York office as partner. Allen Parker, Cravath’s presiding partner, said, “Dave’s experience will be highly relevant to a wide range of Cravath’s clients, including in the biotechnology, consumer, general industries, media, pharmaceutical, technology and telecommunications sectors. The Firm represents numerous companies within each of these sectors, many of which have spent decades working with Cravath on their intellectual property matters.”

Meanwhile, at the US Copyright Office, Karyn Temple Claggett was named associate register of copyrights and director of policy and international affairs on the same day. Prior to this, Temple Claggett served as senior counsel for policy and international affairs. Her experience also includes litigating for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) where she was vice president, litigation and legal affairs.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will also see a change in direction, as Jon Leibowitz will step down as chairman by the end of February. According to an article in the New York Times, the commissioner, known for his commitment to greater online privacy protection, plans to move to the private sector and will continue to focus on privacy issues and competition policy.

Also in the US, the Department of State appointed three new science envoys to foster global scientific partnerships as part of its “commitment to science, technology, and innovation as tools of diplomacy” in November. The scientists include Bernard Amadei, professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Susan Hockfield, who served recently as president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Barbara Schaal, professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Intergovernmental organisations, Non-profits, and Academia

In an effort to improve international engagement, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) named four vice presidents for Stakeholder Engagement in November. The new regional VPs include Pierre Dandjinou for Africa, Baher Esmat in the Middle East, Veni Markovski to cover Russia and Eastern Europe, and Savenaca Vocea for Australasia and the Pacific Islands.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the public service media alliance that operates Eurovision, has elected nine members to its Executive Board for a two-year mandate, which started in January. Board members include Jean-Paul Philippot (president), Claudio Cappon (vice-president), Cilla Benkö, Petr Fedorov, Rachid Faïçal Laraïchi, Rocher Mosey, Remy Pflimlin, Andrzej Siezieniewski, Themis Themistocleous, Ulrich Wilhelm, and Alexander Wrabetz.

At the Geneva-based Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Mark Dybul officially took the reins of the non-profit organisation becoming executive director on 21 January. Known for his role in the US-based President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Dybul will oversee the implementation of organisational changes including a new funding model, which goes into effect this month (IPW, Public Health, 15 October 2012).

Meanwhile, the Global Fund’s former executive director, Michel Kazatchkine, currently UN secretary-general special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and professor of Immunology at Université René Descartes in Paris, was named a senior fellow at the Geneva-based Graduate Institute’s Global Health Programme (GHP) in January. The GHP counts on five senior fellows to provide research, training, and planning support.

In another major staff move at the Global Fund, Christopher Game was named chief procurement officer in November. According to the Fund’s media release on the appointment, the South African national has procurement experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with companies including Abbott Laboratories, Actavis, and Sandoz.

As part of organisational changes at BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), Don Joseph announced that he would step down as CEO in November, but would remain part of the organisation as member of the board. Jennifer Dent, who leads the collaboration with WIPO Re:Search, will take over the senior management role as president.

A change in leadership was also seen at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), a Canada-based public policy and research think tank. Scott Vaughan, the country’s commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development was appointed as the next president and CEO beginning in April. He will succeed the IISD’s interim leader, Dan Gagnier.

Additionally, the Medicines Patent Pool, a Geneva-based group working to bring down prices of HIV/AIDS medicines for patients living in low- and middle-income countries, has a new executive director. Greg Perry, formerly director of the European Generic Medicines Association, took on the role in November, succeeding General Counsel Chan Park who serviced as interim executive director since Ellen ‘t Hoen’s departure in 2012 (IPW, Public Health, 16 November 2012).

The cutting-edge Patent Pool was recently recognised along with the US National Institutions of Health/University of Illinois at Chicago, and Gilead Sciences by the Licensing Executives Society for their precedence-setting licensing agreements to facilitate access to HIV/AIDS medicines in developing countries.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the winner of their 2013 Vaccine Innovation Award in January. Margarida Matsinhe, a field officer for a social enterprise focused on improving healthcare underserved communities, was recognized for helping to increase access to vaccines for thousands of children in Mozambique.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) recognised the Health Research Alliance (HRA) as its “January 2013 Innovator”. The Alliance, a US-based coalition of non-governmental funders of health research, received the honour for encouraging its members to make their research articles openly accessible to the public. In the coming weeks, SPARC will release a guide based HRA’s experiences for other funders interested in starting their own open access policies.

Also at SPARC, Lorraine Haricombe was elected chair of the coalition’s steering committee. Dean of the University of Kansas Library, she has been a member of the committee, which provides strategic advice to the SPARC staff, for the past three years.


The American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA) named its 2012-2013 Board of Directors during its annual meeting. Jeffrey Lewis, partner with Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, will serve as AIPLA’s new president. Other new board members include Wayne Sobon, Sharon Israel, and Denise DeFranco.

Also during the association’s annual meeting, AIPLA presented awards to numerous professionals in the IP industry for contributions to the practice and outstanding achievements, amongst other categories.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), a trade group representing the world’s biggest software companies, welcomed two major industry players as new members in recent months, with IBM signing up in January and Oracle in November. BSA’s main purpose is to fight against copyright infringement of software produced by its members.

José Borghino is taking on a newly created policy director position at the International Publishers Association (IPA), an industry federation representing the interests of book and journal publishers. Previously with the Australian Publishers Association, Borghino will begin his new role in Geneva in March.

The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) announced that Peter “P.J.” Kupyer Jr. was appointed CEO and president, effective in January. He will report to MPLC founder Peter Kuyper, who retired, but remains with the Los Angeles-based organisation as chairman.

Also in January, Diane Strahan was named chief operating officer of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). She comes to the MPAA from Neustar, a US-based analytics and data company, where she was senior vice president and general manager of mobile and internet registry services.

Steven Tepp left the Global Intellectual Property Center of the US Chamber of Commerce in January. Tepp, who was a vocal defender of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), will open his own firm, Sentinel Worldwide, which will specialise in intellectual property legal and policy consulting.

Basel-based pharmaceutical giant Roche hired John Reed, previously chief executive at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, to lead the company’s Pharma Research and Early Development (pRed) starting in April. He will replace Mike Burgess, who has been temporarily leading the department and will leave the company.

Law Offices

Considered the leading survey of lawyers in the US, the “Best Law Firms 2013” was released last November with the top tier featured in a special of US News & World Report. The ranking was based on criteria including expertise, responsiveness, and cost-effectiveness. The list is broken down by practice area and includes a number of IP lawyers.

Greenberg Traurig announced in November that two of the firm’s IP attorneys, Ian Ballon and Susan Heller, made the Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of “Who’s Who in L.A. Law: Angelenos to Know in Intellectual Property Law”. According to the Journal’s publisher, the list recognised 40 lawyers for outstanding achievements in IP transaction and/or litigation.

Additionally, Greenberg Traurig announced in January the addition of Joshua Raskin, formerly a partner with Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman, to the firm’s New York office as a shareholder in the IP and Technology practice and Deborah Drazen, formerly with King & Spalding, to the same division as an associate.

In recent months, Barnes & Thornburg announced the addition of several new attorneys to join the firm’s offices across the US.

  • Joe Thompson, previously with Stoel Rives, joined the Corporate Department in the Minneapolis office, and specialises in agribusiness, food processing, renewable energy, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and related commercial transactions.
  • Jordan Weinstein, previously with Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, joined the firm’s Washington, DC office and specialises in counselling, licensing, trademark litigation, copyright, unfair competition, internet, and technology.
  • Michael Berman, who specialises in patent prosecution in the electrical and computer arts and related technologies, and Jefferson Cheatham, who specialises in electronic, computer, and internet prosecution, have joined the IP Department in the firm’s Delaware office.

Formerly partners at Chadbourne & Parke, Walter Hanchuk and John Kheit joined Cooley’s IP practice in New York last November. Hanchuk brings more than 20 years of patent and copyright litigation to the firm and Kheit brings his experience in technology-focused litigation.

New York-based IP firm Leason Ellis announced in November the addition of two attorneys: Rachel Weiss, a trademark and copyright attorney, and Jonathan Thomas, a civil litigator who covers a wide range of IP disputes.

Maschoff Gilmore & Israelsen announced the firm’s continued expansion with six new litigators joining the firm in November as well as the opening of a third office in California. Larry Laycock and David Wright joined the firm as senior shareholders; and Tyson Hottinger, Jared Braithwaite, Adam Beckstrom, and Taylor Wright as associates.

As opportunities for patent transactions continue to grow, US-based firms IP Holdings and Brooks, Houghton & Company announced in October a strategic alliance to collaborate on IP-based mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and patent brokerage services. Their primary focus will be providing IP-focused banking services to middle market and emerging growth companies.

The Toronto-based firm Fasken Martineau announced its merger with the Johannesburg-based firm Bell Dewar, creating one of the largest law firms operating in Africa. The merger will be completed in February and the South African office will focus on mining, infrastructure, energy, project finance, capital markets, and M&A.

Additionally, Lathrop & Gage announced a merger with Greenlee Sullivan, making it one of the biggest IP practices in Colorado and strengthening its position in the biotechnology and life sciences space. Partners joining Lathrop & Gage include Sally Sullivan, Stephen Barone, Steven Penner, Susan Doughty, and Gary Chapman.

UK-based law firm Wiggin opened its first international office in Brussels, specialising in media-related issues including content protection, e-commerce, consumer protection, content regulation, and competition. Ted Shapiro, who formerly led the Motion Picture Association’s legal team in Europe, is heading up the new office, which opened in January (IPW, People, 22 October 2012).

William Kramer joined Loeb & Loeb’s Chicago office as partner in January. Previously with Miller Matthias & Hull, the IP lawyer brings to the firm a wide range of experience, including litigation, opinion drafting, patent prosecution, and licensing.

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Rachel Marusak Hermann may be reached at

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