William LaFontaine

General Manager, Intellectual Property at International Business Machines Corp

William LaFontaine is general manager of intellectual property at IBM. Dr LaFontaine and his team work at the intersection of IBM Research, IBM business units, partners and clients to accelerate market introduction of new technologies including AI, cloud computing, quantum computing, semiconductor process technologies and blockchain.

Dr LaFontaine is responsible for delivering more than $1 billion annually to IBM’s income through joint development, technology transfer, patent licensing and government activities. As the US patent leader for 28 consecutive years, IBM’s IP business is the on-ramp to the pioneering technologies invented at IBM. IBM Research has created industries and entirely new businesses. Dr LaFontaine’s team has enabled clients and partners to build their technology foundation on innovations that have originated from IBM.

In his 30-year career at IBM, Dr LaFontaine has held a number of management positions, including chief operating officer for IBM’s research division, general manager of global technology services in the Middle East and Africa, and general manager of worldwide semiconductor and technology sales.

In November 2020, Dr LaFontaine was ranked number one on the global IAM Market Makers list for his substantial leadership of high-value IP deal-making across multiple geographies. Dr LaFontaine was recognised as having one of the most significant in the corporate patent world. He has maintained IBM’s place as the leading recipient of US patents for 28 consecutive years.

Dr LaFontaine is currently on the advisory board of Solar Inventions and on the board of directors of ROWAN-TELS. He holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from Cornell University, and he sits on the Cornell engineering council and materials science department advisory boards.


  • Banking/financial services
  • Electronics
  • Materials
  • Semiconductors
  • Software

Firm details

International Business Machines Corp
Yorktown Heights NY
United States

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