50 most influential people in IP 2022: MIP recognises Colm Connolly at the District of Delaware
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50 most influential people in IP 2022: MIP recognises Colm Connolly at the District of Delaware

Colm Connolly is the chief judge at the District Court for the District of Delaware in the US

Colm Connolly.jpg
Colm Connolly, chief judge, District of Delaware, US

It’s always good to see a judge reaffirm his or her commitment to the legal concept of open justice.

Colm Connolly, the chief judge at the District Court for the District of Delaware, did so this year by issuing a standing order requiring litigants to divulge investor interests in their cases.

The order wasn’t unique in itself – the District Court for the District of New Jersey already issued a similar edict in 2021.

But it and its maker stood out for a few reasons. The first was that the order took effect in Delaware, the state where more than half of publicly traded US corporations are incorporated and which takes in the second highest number of patent cases every year.

The second was it targeted litigation funding specifically, which has become more and more popular in the patent space over the past few years.

And finally, the order likely served as a harbinger for planned Republican efforts to improve transparency on patent litigation funding, set to kick off next year in a big way.

Connolly, who was appointed by former president Donald Trump in 2018, has already thrown his order at a number of patent plaintiffs, including the non-practising entity VLSI.

In November, the judge called on several prolific patent suit-filing lawyers – including Jimmy Chong of the Chong Law Firm, William Ramey of Ramey, and Andrew Curfman of Sand, Sebolt & Wernow – to determine whether parties accurately disclosed information about their funding arrangements.

Connolly has already made a big splash, but his order and latest moves could soon trigger a tidal wave of reform.

Profiles for the 50 most influential people in IP 2022
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The list is in five categories, which you can navigate by selecting the appropriate section below.

19 Industry leaders
10 Public officials
9 IP authorities
7 Judges
5 Notable individuals
Kasim Alfalahi is CEO at Avanci in the US
Shannon Thyme Klinger is chief legal officer at Moderna in the US
Jim Sullivan is a director at Shazam Productions in the UK
Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen are founders at Andreessen Horowitz in the US
Audrey Lee is general counsel at Starz Entertainment in the US
Beat Weibel is chief IP counsel at Siemens in Germany
Jack Randles is head of legal at Manolo Blahnik in the UK
Mattia Fogliacco is president of Sisvel International in Luxembourg
Joyce Ang is senior vice president for IPR protection at Lazada in Singapore
Daniel Zohny is head of IP at FIFA in Switzerland
René Claude Metomo is the president of the Association of Penja Pepper Producers in Cameroon
Niall Trainor is senior director of brand protection at eOne in the UK
Stephen Wurth and John Scott are legal counsel at Qualcomm in the US
Scott Frank is CEO of IP at AT&T in the US
Nader Pazirandeh is president at Unicolors in the US
Juliette Rouilloux-Sicre is vice president of legal and intellectual property at Thales in France
Clemens Heusch is global head of dispute resolution at Nokia in Germany
Craig Wright is a computer scientist in Australia
Robert Devonshire is a partner at MML Capital in the UK
The investigation lead at the Spanish National Police asked to remain anonymous
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the director general of the World Trade Organization in Switzerland
Jacob Rees-Mogg is the former secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy in the UK
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the former president of the United Arab Emirates
Edwin Tong is the second minister for law in the Singapore government
Kerstin Jorna is director general of DG Grow at the European Commission in Belgium
Patrick Leahy is a senator for Vermont at the US Congress
Thom Tillis is a senator for North Carolina at the US Congress
Vladimir Putin is president of Russia
Alexander Ramsay is former chair of the UPC Administrative Committee in Sweden
Insil Lee is the commissioner at KIPO in South Korea
Christian Archambeau is executive director at the EUIPO in Spain
Tim Moss is former CEO of the UKIPO
Kathi Vidal is the director of the USPTO and under secretary of commerce for IP in the US government
Shira Perlmutter is register of copyrights at the US Copyright Office
Shen Changyu is the commissioner of the CNIPA in China
António Campinos is president of the EPO in Germany
Konstantinos Georgaras is CEO of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Wang Jiangqiao is a judge at the Hangzhou Internet Court in China
Prathiba Singh is a judge at the Delhi High Court in India
Klaus Grabinski is president of the UPC Court of Appeal in Germany
Suzanne Barnett was the interim chief judge at the Copyright Royalty Board in the US
Len Stark is a judge at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the US
Orlando Garcia is the chief judge at the District Court for the Western District of Texas in the US
Amber Kotrri is the founder of House of Zana in the UK
Taras Kulbaba is a partner at Bukovnik & Kulbaba IP Guardians in Belgium
Ankit Sahni is the owner of the RAGHAV Artificial Intelligence Painting App in India
Ed Sheeran is a pop star in the UK
Lynn Goldsmith is a celebrity photographer in the US
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