The Houston Chapter celebrated World IP Day with an excellent panel discussion on patent assertion in the oilfield.
Panelists – Raymond Millien (Chief IP Counsel at GE Oil & Gas), Ryan Gum (Managing Intellectual Property Counsel at National Oilwell Varco), John Keville (Houston Office Managing Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP), James Woods (Principal at Economic Analytics Consulting, LLC)
Licensing professionals demonstrated their important role in technological development and intellectual property protection in Houston’s dynamic energy sector through their participation in a panel discussion on Patent Assertion in the Oilfield. The audience listened and participated in an in-depth analysis of the importance of technology in hydrocarbon production and how intellectual property rights are protected, enforced and licensed in the sector.
The panel was led by Dr. James Woods of Economic Analytics Consulting, LLC and benefited from insights from differing perspectives. The panel consisted of John Keville, the Houston Office Managing Partner for Winston & Strawn LLP, Ryan Gum, Managing Intellectual Property Counsel for National Oilwell Varco and a relative new-comer to the energy space, but longtime technologist, Raymond Millien, Chief IP counsel for GE Oil & Gas.
The panel addressed several topics including the relationship between energy prices and patent prosecution activity, enforcement activity and overall IP strategy. Ryan commented that while the steep decline in energy prices made finding money to protect and enforce IP more difficult, doing so was still important and he believed that important technologies are protected and enforced no matter where we are in the cycle of energy prices. His views were echoed by the other panelists and several audience members. There was a lengthy discussion concerning the importance of “big data” and how data is now the center point of technological development. Raymond commented on the importance of protecting data and negotiating with clients and customers over its ownership and use. John added that the importance of data has led to an increase in trade secret litigation and that this litigation activity is likely to increase as the sector adjusts to lower prices for hydrocarbons.
The panel also addressed the importance of how IPR activity can aid a firms’ litigation strategy but adversely affect its ability to protect its own IP rights. The panel concluded with a lively discussion of “What keeps you up at night?” The panelists agreed that the prospect of missing something in today’s complex, dynamic environment was a concern and made each work to learn as much as possible about the challenges currently facing the industry and the likely future opportunities that may arise.
James Woods (Economic Analytics Consulting, LLC), Albert Keyack (European Patent Office Attaché to the US), Shayne Phillips (Houston Chapter Chair and Senior Intellectual Asset Manager at Halliburton)
Engaging discussion on current patent issues in the oil industry was followed by networking and continued discussion of the panel's presentation. The chapter thanks the panelists and moderator for an informative and thought-provoking event.
Jim Burns (Article One Partners), Dan Dumbaugh (Article One Partners) Shayne Phillips (Houston Chapter Chair and Senior Intellectual Asset Manager at Halliburton) and Peter Vanderheyden (CEO Article One Partners)
The chapter was pleased to welcome a special guest at this event, Albert Keyack, the European Patent Office Attaché to the U.S. He was accompanied by Charles Knobloch, Chair U.S. Bar, European Patent Office Liaison Counsel.
Charles Knobloch (Chair US Bar, European Patent Office Liaison Counsel, Partner at Arnold, Knobloch & Saunders, L.L.P.), Karen Tripp (Partner at Tripp Law), Albert Keyack (European Patent Office Attaché to the US)
This event was generously sponsored by Article One Partners.