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.
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 could.
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 suggestions!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter to @managingip using the hashtag #MIP50.
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 offices.
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 over.
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.
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