IP Hall of Fame interviews: Introduction

The three living inductees to the IP Hall of Fame for 2021 share leadership lessons from their storied careers

In July 2021, after a four-month selection process, IAM announced five individuals for induction into the IP Hall of Fame: Florent Gevers, Andrei Iancu, Frederick Lanham, Daniel McCurdy and Laura Quatela.

All five were chosen by the IP Hall of Fame Academy; Gevers, Iancu and Lanham from a longlist of nominations submitted by the global IP community, and McCurdy and Quatela as joint winners of IAM’s inaugural Q Todd Dickinson Award. The recipients of this prize – designed to honour those who have made significant contributions specifically to the business of intellectual property – are chosen by the academy from a shortlist drawn up by IAM’s editorial team.

Florent Gevers co-founded IP attorney firm Gevers, was a founding member of ECTA and was a driving force in the development of the European trademark system, playing a major role in the formation of the single Benelux jurisdiction. He passed away in 2018, aged 84 years.

Andrei Iancu served as director of the USPTO and under secretary of commerce for intellectual property from February 2018 until January 2021. During that time he was responsible for a series of reforms to the PTAB, as well as for the agency’s approach to patent eligibility.

Frederick “Fritz” Lanham, a long-time Democratic Party congressman, is best-known for advocating and giving his name to the Lanham Act, the statute that forms the bedrock of federal US trademark law and practice, and which celebrates enjoys its 75th anniversary this year. Lanham passed away in 1965.

Dan McCurdy is CEO of RPX Corporation CEO and a leading figure in the global patent market. In his present role, he has overseen IP deals worth $500 million since 2018, while in a previous incarnation as CEO of Allied Security Trust, he was involved in the ground-breaking $350 million purchase of 500 patents from MIPs Technologies in 2012.

Laura Quatela has led patent commercialisation efforts at a slew of major corporations, including Alcatel-Lucent SA and Eastman Kodak, and has helped to generate billions of dollars in licensing revenues. She is currently senior vice president and chief legal officer of Lenovo, as well as co-founder of Quatela Lynch Intellectual Property LLC.

Here, IAM asked Quatela, Iancu and McCurdy to reflect on their distinguished careers for lessons on what sets stellar leadership apart in the IP market.

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