Joff Wild

Brian Hinman, chief IP officer at Philips, will be leaving the company in the middle of this month, IAM can reveal. The departure is entirely amicable and has been driven by Hinman’s desire to be closer to and spend more time with his family. Since taking the position in 2013, Hinman has split his time between the US and Philips HQ in Eindhoven, and now wishes to re-establish himself full-time State-side.  

One of the most recognisable figures in the global IP market, Hinman has played a big role in developing some of its most innovative players, including Allied Security Trust and Unified Patents. This, combined with his significant senior in-house experience at the likes of InterDigital and Verizon, made him a natural choice to head up the Philips IP function when the legendary Ruud Peters announced in 2012 that he would be retiring after 13 years in charge.

At Philips, Hinman has successfully overseen major patent and brand management programmes, as well as an IP ventures operation, during a period when the company has experienced some major changes, including a big restructuring that saw the Dutch multinational sell-off its lighting business in order to increase its focus on healthcare and consumer goods. Under Hinman’s leadership Philips has also become the single biggest filer at the European Patent Office. A tireless advocate for strong IP rights and IP’s integration into overall business strategy, Hinman is an influential voice in all parts of the IP world.

Given his experience, achievements and relatively young age, Hinman will clearly be in demand once he returns home and IAM understands that he is currently weighing up several offers that have been made to him, including CIPO and CEO roles. For its part, Philips is not thought to be in any great hurry to name a successor. Given its last two occupants, however, whoever does eventually become the new CIPO at the company (assuming the role continues, of course) will have big shoes to fill.