23 May
2016

Latest inductees into IP Hall of Fame named

Established to recognise the achievements of men and women who have made an outstanding contribution to IP law and practice, the IP Hall of Fame has three new members

The inductees into the IP Hall of Fame for 2016 have been announced, following a vote taken by the organisation’s academy, which comprises previous inductees and other distinguished members of the global IP community. Margot Fröhlinger, Lulin Gao and James Pooley join 68 other individuals – living and dead – who have made an extraordinary contribution to the development of intellectual property as a pivotal 21st century business asset:

Margot Fröhlinger

Driving force behind the proposed EU Unified Patent Court regime

Lulin Gao

A principal architect of China’s patent system

  • Margot Fröhlinger is the principal director of patent law and multilateral affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO) and has been one of the driving forces behind the creation of the EU unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court system, both at the EPO and previously while with the European Commission. She has also worked on other patent law harmonisation initiatives in Europe and internationally, including strengthening the Patent Cooperation Treaty system and enhancing cooperation between major IP offices.
  • Lulin Gao is one of the principal architects of the current Chinese patent system. He was the longest serving commissioner of the Chinese Patent Office and the first head of the State Intellectual Property Office that succeeded it. Gao has played a significant role in China’s embrace of patents as an asset class and has worked tirelessly to facilitate the nation’s participation in international IP initiatives.
  • James Pooley is a leading scholar and practitioner of trade secret law in the United States, and is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on this increasingly important area of IP law. He was a key advocate of the Defend Trade Secrets Act and gave evidence to Congress in support of the legislation during the process that led to its overwhelming approval by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Between 2009 and 2014, Pooley was deputy director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

James Pooley

World authority on trade secret law and practice

Responding to the news, this year’s inductees had the following to say:

  • “The unitary patent/Unified Patent Court package is a great European project. Its benefits for innovation and economic growth in Europe, as well as for European integration, cannot be overestimated. At a time when Europe is moving backwards rather than forwards, it is good to see that such projects can still move ahead. Working on this for many years has been a challenge, but also a privilege and a marvellous experience because of the people I had the chance to meet and to work with” – Margot Fröhlinger
  • “I am happy to have been selected as an inductee into the IP Hall of Fame for 2016. It is a great honour for me to stand together with so many other outstanding international IP personalities. I thank the members of the IP Hall of Fame Academy very much for selecting me. I receive this recognition for the Chinese IP community as a whole; without their hard work and help it would have been impossible for me to get this highest honour” – Lulin Gao
  • “I am thrilled and grateful to receive this recognition from such esteemed colleagues. During our lifetimes intellectual property has become the backbone of the globalised, digitised economy. We are all privileged to serve as professionals in a field that honours the creativity and genius of so many people, and that delivers so much benefit to the world at large. I am glad that my induction into the IP Hall of Fame can bring more awareness to trade secrets as a driver of innovation” – James Pooley

Earlier this year members of the global IP community were invited to nominate individuals who they felt had “made an outstanding contribution to the development of IP law and practice” and to supply supporting paragraphs giving their reasons. The nominees were then presented to the IP Hall of Fame Academy members, who voted on who should be inducted.

Established in 2006, the IP Hall of Fame honours those who have helped to establish intellectual property as one of the key business assets of the 21st century. The aim is not only to acknowledge the vital role played by these innovators in fostering today’s vibrant IP environment and ensuring its continued health, but also to show how central intellectual property is to the global economy and to the wellbeing of people across the world.

The inductees will be honoured at a ceremony taking place during June’s IPBC Global in Barcelona.