People: Transitions In The Global IP Community

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Just as the world of international intellectual property law and policy is ever-changing, so are the faces within it. Below you will find an updated list of the latest people news and IP moves across international organisations, national and regional governments, nonprofit organisations, and the private sector, from the first half of this year.

International Organisations, Governments

Election season is underway at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as governments consider nominations for director general by the 6 December deadline. The term of current WIPO Director General Francis Gurry is up on 30 September 2014, and he can stand for re-election (IPW, 17 July 2013, WIPO).

The United Nations General Assembly in June appointed Mukhisa Kituyi of Kenya to serve as the next secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Sustainable Development (UNCTAD). A former member of the Kenyan Parliament, Kituyi served as Kenya’s minister of trade and industry from 2002 to 2007.

Kituyi is the chief executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance, a public policy think tank and advocacy organisation. He has also been a nonresident fellow in the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, and was a resident scholar in 2011. Kituyi will begin his four-year term on 1 September.

Jean-Marie Paugam assumed the function of acting executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC). Prior to joining the ITC, Paugam worked at the French treasury as head of the bilateral relations and export finance department.

China’s Li Yong was recommended as the next director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). His post was confirmed on 28 June during a special session of the UNIDO General Conference. Yong competed against five other candidates, from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Italy, Poland, and Thailand. He succeeds Kandeh Yumkella of Sierra Leone, who led UNIDO since 2005.

Q’apaj Conde Choque, an aymar arxatiri from the Bolivia, joined WIPO’s traditional knowledge team as the WIPO Indigenous Fellow. He previously worked at the Centro de Estudios Multidisciplinarios – Aymara, an indigenous institution, which supports indigenous traditional authorities conducting training programmes and legal support based on indigenous peoples’ rights.

The GAVI Alliance (a public-private partnership formerly known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) appointed Pascal Barollier, a French national, as its new director of media and communications in June. Barollier previously led the global external communications and media relations team at Sanofi Pasteur, a global vaccine manufacturer that is a member of the GAVI Alliance.

Julia Pracht, administrative director at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC), left after four years at the center to begin a new position at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Pracht’s position with OHIM began in May.

The France-based Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) announced that Antonio Campinos, president of OHIM, would be the new president of CEIPI’s Administrative Board. Campinos officially took office on 7 June. He succeeded WIPO DG Francis Gurry.

Campinos recently welcomed the appointment of Théophile Margellos as the new president of the Boards of Appeal of OHIM. Margellos is currently serving as chairperson of the first Board (trademarks) and third Board (designs) and is the coordinator of the OHIM Mediation team. He will take up his post in October.

Markus Kummer was selected as the interim chair of the Open Consultations and Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) meetings for the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF), coordinated by the UN International Telecommunication Union. He is currently vice president of public policy at the Internet Society (ISOC).

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) experienced a shuffling of officials in June as Hideo Hato replaced Hiroyuki Fukano as JPO’s commissioner. Yasuhisa Nakao became the new head of JPO’s General Affairs Department while Yoshitake Kihara assumed a new role as deputy director.

Peter Pappas submitted his resignation as chief of staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), according to an item published in May by US blog IPWatchdog. The site reported that Pappas had “not made any decisions about what he is doing next and has no particular time-table in mind.”

US IP Attaché Todd Reves has left Geneva and returned to USPTO in the capital Washington, DC. The new IP attaché, with responsibility for IP issues at WIPO and other UN agencies, is Kristine Schlegelmilch, who arrived in Geneva in July. She is from USPTO and has been on detail for the past year to the White House IP Enforcement Coordinator.

In a second term shake-up, US President Barack Obama named a handful of new people to fill key posts.

  • Edith Ramirez, sitting commissioner of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), was selected to replace FTC Chair Jon Leibowitz, effective in March. Before joining the Commission, Ramirez was an associate at Los Angeles firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP and a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in Los Angeles. According to a New York Times article, Leibowitz planned to move to the private sector and will continue to focus on privacy issues and competition policy.
  • Obama nominated billionaire Penny Pritzer for the US Commerce Secretary. In June, Pritzer was confirmed by the US Senate in a 97-1 vote. One of Pritzer’s first tasks will be to choose the next director of USPTO. The vacancy was created when David Kappos left the role in January after announcing his resignation in November 2012. After leaving the USPTO, Kappos joined the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Teresa Stanek Rea replaced him as acting director (IPW, US Policy, 26 November 2012).
  • In April, Obama nominated former lobbyist and venture capitalist Tom Wheeler to serve as the next head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If selected, Wheeler would replace current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who has headed the Commission since 2009.

Rodolfo Rivas updated his title to assistant deputy of the Permanent Mission of Israel to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He was previously the legal adviser and trade negotiator for the Mission.

Non-governmental Organisations and Academia

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the public service media alliance that operates Eurovision, appointed Simon Fell as its new director of technology and innovation. Fell has 35 years of experience in broadcasting technology roles and will replace Lieven Vermaele, who announced his departure in January after six years in the post.

After four and a half years at Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Access Campaign, Michelle Childs stepped down from her position as director of policy advocacy. Childs is succeeded by Rohit Malpani, who began his new role as the director in mid-April. Malpani joins MSF from Oxfam and has previously worked for the International Federation of the Red Cross, and various UN agencies in Geneva, India, and the Maldives.

Digital-rights activist Danny O’Brien rejoined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) as its new international director. From 2005 to 2007, O’Brien served as an EFF activist before becoming the organisation’s international outreach coordinator, a position he held until 2009. He is also a co-founder of the Open Rights Group, which advocates for digital civil liberties in the United Kingdom.

In a historic move by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, both the incoming Board chair and vice-chair are women. Nafsiah Mboi, minister of health in Indonesia, was appointed as the Board chair and Mireille Guigaz, current Global Fund Board member representing France, was appointed as the vice-chair. Appointments are two year terms and effective as of June 2013.

In its annual June meeting, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) officially elected Jean Michel Jarre to serve as its new president. Jarre succeeds the late Robin Gibb, who passed away in May 2012, and Hervé Di Rosa, French visual artist and painter who served as CISAC’s acting president for the past year. Additionally, the organisation expanded its vice presidency role to four positions, allowing more territories to be represented. The new vice presidents will be: Javed Akhtar, award-winning filmmaker, scriptwriter, poet, and lyricist; Angélique Kidjo, a Grammy Award-winning artist and activist; Marcelo Piñeyro, an Academy Award-winning producer and Spanish-language film director; and Ousmane Sow, an artist from Senegal.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system, released a community resource for research funders in March titled, “Implementing an Open Data Policy.” The resource addresses issues that organisations might face encounter when considering the implementation of an open data policy.

Leadership of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) changed hands as Caroline Sutton stepped down as president. Paul Peters, one of the OASPA’s original founders, assumed leadership for the association. OASPA also experienced significant growth earlier this year, adding eLife, a life science and biomedicine open access journal, and the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), a provider of licensing and open access solutions, to its member organisations.

Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed journal of health policy thought and research, welcomed founding Editor John Iglehart back to the publication after Iglehart retired in 2007.


The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announced that Shanna Winters, former senior Democratic staffer in the US House of Representatives, will fill the new position of senior vice president for global affairs. MPAA also made key changes to its communications team. Kate Bedingfield was elevated to vice president of corporate communications while Howard Gantman assumed his new role as vice president of global strategic communications.

The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) appointed Mark Kessel to chairman of its Board of Directors. He was appointed vice-chair last year. In addition to co-founding a private equity firm investing in the clinical development programmes of biopharmaceutical companies, Kessel has written extensively on financing for the biotech industry.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) appointed Joseph Alhadeff as the new chair of the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy. Alhadeff will help “provide a forum for members to share insights on timely developments in the ICT field and establish global-consensus policy positions on behalf of the business community to help foster the sustainable growth of the ICT sector,” according to an ICC announcement. Alhadeff is the chief privacy strategist and vice president for global public policy at Oracle Corporation. In addition to his role at Oracle, he currently serves as vice-chair of the US Council for International Business (USCIB) Information and Communication Technologies ICT Policy Committee.

Avantiq, an intellectual property service provider headquartered in Switzerland, appointed Larissa Best as the new CEO of the company. Best replaces her mother, Brigitta Best, who will continue as the company’s president.

Tom Galvin announced his new position as the executive director at the Digital Citizens Alliance. Galvin previously worked in communications and public relations for VeriSign and Cisco Systems.

Daniel Weitzner, former White House deputy chief technology officer for internet policy, joined the Coalition for Privacy and Free Trade to work as an advocate for stronger privacy laws. Weitzner, who joined the alliance in April, previously worked for the Obama administration and led the development of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, which advocates for online data protection.

The Association of Science and Technology Transfer Professionals (ASTP) and the European arm of Public Research Organization Transfer Offices Network (Proton-Europe) combined forces in May to better provide services to the European knowledge transfer and technology transfer community. The merger aims to “enhance the impact of public research on society and the economy by promoting and professionalising knowledge and technology transfer in European universities and public research institutions,” according to the announcement.

Law Offices

Business law firm Buchalter Nemer announced the arrival of Michael Lee as shareholder to the firm’s Corporate and Intellectual Property Practice group and Philip Nulud to the Intellectual Property Practice Group.

Adding to its US offices, David Fournier joined Perkins Coie as a partner in the firm’s Chicago intellectual property practice. Prior to entering private practice, Fournier spent several years working as a patent scientist and patent agent with Pfizer Inc. Perkins Coie also added Michael Osterhoff, Adam Marchuk and Heather Boice to its patent litigation practice in Chicago earlier this year. All three attorneys were most recently partners at K&L Gates LLP.

Former US Congressman Howard Berman, a California Democrat, joined law firm Covington & Burling LLP’s global public policy and government affairs practice (IPW, US Policy, 27 March 2013).

Looking to expand its litigation capabilities in IP, Maschoff Gilmore & Israelsen added 11 attorneys to its ranks. Reflecting the growth, the firm has changed its name to Maschoff Brennan Laycock Gilmore Israelsen & Wright, PLLC.

Stephen Baskin joined Mayer Brown as a partner in the global law firm’s intellectual property practice. He arrives from Kilpatrick Townsend, where he focused primarily on patent litigation.

Patent attorney Peter Reyes, Jr. joined US law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP in April as a partner in the intellectual property department. The firm also added labor and employment attorney Roy Ginsburg and corporate attorney Mary Sennes.

US-based DLA Piper added several members to its Intellectual Property & Technology group. Zhaoyang “Paul” Li joined the group’s San Francisco offices as a partner; Paul Steadman and Matthew Satchwell joined the group’s Chicago practice as partner and of counsel, respectively, in May.


In June, the Internet Society (ISOC) announced 32 inductees for the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame. Notable inductees include: Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement; Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia; John Perry Barlow, founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; and Aaron Swartz, information activist and Reddit co-founder. Inductees will be honoured in a ceremony on 3 August in Berlin (IPW, US Policy, 26 June 2013).

Stephen Kunin, general counsel for the US-based firm Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, was selected for the 2012 Pasquale J. Federico Memorial Award from the USPTO Society. Kunin is regarded as a patent policy expert with more than three decades of experience in the USPTO as the former deputy commissioner for patent examination policy. The Society established the Pasquale J. Federico Memorial Award to recognise outstanding contributions to the patent and trademark systems of the US.

Winners of the USPTO Patents for Humanity programme were announced by the US Department of Commerce in April during an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Gilead Sciences, University of California at Berkeley, Microsoft, and Procter & Gamble were among some of the winners. A complete list can be found here.

Launched by the USPTO in February 2012 as part of an Obama administration initiative promoting game-changing innovations to solve long-standing development challenges, Patents for Humanity is a competition recognising patent owners and licensees who address global challenges in health and standards of living.

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Kelly Burke may be reached at

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