Managing IP has relaunched our list
of the 50 Most Influential People in IP.
Given the big changes that have taken place in recent years,
we thought it was a good time to revisit this popular list,
which we last published in 2015.
The list recognises individuals who are shaping IP law,
policy and business throughout the world. It has typically
included an array of in-house counsel, judges, officials and
academics, as well as celebrities that have had a particularly
big recent impact on IP.
Subscribers and triallists can view the full list below, as
well as our cover story interview with USPTO director Andrei
Iancu and shorter interviews with a selection of other people
who made the list below.
The 50 most influential people in IP
Andrei Iancu interview: A change in tone at the USPTO
Erich Andersen, Microsoft
Christian Archambeau, EUIPO
António Campinos, EPO
Makan Delrahim, DOJ
Tim Moss, UKIPO
Pauline Newman, Federal Circuit
Manny Schecter, IBM
Axel Voss, European Parliament
We were guided by a few principles in making our choices.
Firstly, anyone whose main job involves working for a law firm
is not eligible for the list. They are rated and ranked in many
other places (including some published by us). We
reserve the right to make exceptions to this, however, if we
deem someone has made a particularly big impact outside of
their law firm job.
A second principle is that this is a global list, so we have
tried to include a good geographical spread.
Thirdly, the list is not a ranking. People are listed in
alphabetical order, apart from Andrei Iancu, who we selected
for an in-depth profile given the particularly news-worthy year
he has had. We also spoke to a number of people on our list to
ask about the areas in which they have been influential. We
have placed these box-outs as close to alphabetical order as we
The list is based on the Managing IP editorial team's
choices. It is intended to reflect a mixture of our judgment on
people's importance to the IP world or impact on the year's
biggest stories. To be clear, no one can pay to be included in
this list. We did, however, ask for nominations through our
website and on social media. We have taken these suggestions
into account. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to make
This is not intended as a definitive ranking, but rather the
start of a debate. We'd love you to tell us about people you
think are deserving that we have missed out – either
by email to email@example.com
or on Twitter to @managingip using the
A year of new faces
This year's list features an unusually high number of people
that are relatively new to their roles. A number of
long-standing IP personalities have stood aside in recent years
that would likely have made the list. This includes changes of
management at some of the world's most important patent
For example, Benoît Battistelli stood down as EPO
president this year after eight years marked by controversy.
His replacement, António Campinos, was executive
director of the EUIPO, meaning a new leader in charge there.
The USPTO also has a new director, Andrei Iancu. As you will
discover in our profile, he has made a huge impact since taking
Likewise, some of the most influential policymakers are
departing the scene. Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte,
who as chair of the House Judiciary Committee was a driving
force behind many IP-focused bills, announced he would retire
at the end of 2018. Senator Orrin Hatch announced he would
stand down in the Senate at the end of the year as well. He had
a big impact, not least in passage of the Hatch-Waxman Act.
The upheaval in the UK has meant ministers who could be
influential to IP, especially regarding Brexit, have not hung
around long enough to make our list.