April 17


Hosted by the UIA

600 Dulany St.
Alexandria, VA

Enjoy a full day of events at the USPTO, with presentations from industry leaders, panelist discussions about Inventor’s Group best practices, and information sessions hosted by USPTO representatives. Experience a guided tour of the USPTO and end the day with an open discussion session hosted by USPTO and UIA representatives.

Keynote Speaker
Drew Hirshfeld
Commissioner for Patents, USPTO

AM Schedule

8:30 – 9:00
Meet, greet, and coffee

9:00 – 9:15
Andrea Hence Evans United Inventors Association
Welcoming remarks and previewing the day’s agenda

9:15 – 9:45
Drew Hirshfeld Commissioner for Patents, USPTO
Keynote presentation

9:45 – 10:15
Jim Patterson, Morris Newman Chair, Executive Director PBAC
Understanding pro-bono resources for inventor clubs

10:15 – 10:45
Gene Quinn IPWatchdog Founder
Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights: Things every club needs to know

10:45 – 11:00

11:00 – 12:00
Josh Malone US Inventor, Randy Landreneau US Inventor, Joseph Matal Former USPTO Acting Director, Paul Morinville US Inventor, Brendan McCommas Acting Chief of Staff USPTO
How Patent Law Discourages Inventors and What is Being Done
Panel Discussion on the Consequences the America Invents Act, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and the recent Supreme Court Decisions (Ebay, KSR, and Alice)
Randy Landreneau, Moderator

12:00 – 1:00
Chew and Chat
Enjoy lunch with fellow conference attendees

PM Schedule

1:00 – 1:45
Warren Tuttle United Inventors Association
What Inventors Really Want to Learn: How to monetize IP and get their product to market

1:45 – 2:45
Sean Wilkerson, Dennis Forbes USPTO Inventor Outreach
USPTO Building Tour

2:45 – 3:00

3:00 – 3:30
John Calvert Executive Director, United Inventors Association
The Stronger Patents Act Explained

3:30 – 4:00
Adrian Pelkus United Inventors Association and US Inventor Boards
On the Ground: Real club challenges and group insights

4:00 – 4:45
Stephen Key & Andrew Krauss IGA CoFounders
Strength in Numbers: Bringing the inventor club community together

4:45 – 5:00
Andrea Hence Evans United Inventors Association
Recap and closing remarks

Head to conference dinner, begins at 5:30
Laporta’s Restaurant
1600 Duke St. Alexandria, VA 22314

Speaker Bios


Drew Hirshfield
Commissioner for Patents, USPTO

Drew Hirshfeld is Commissioner for Patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He was appointed to this position in July 2015.

As Commissioner for Patents, Mr. Hirshfeld manages and leads the patent organization as its chief operating officer. He is responsible for managing and directing all aspects of this organization which affect administration of patent operations, examination policy, patent quality management, international patent cooperation, resources and planning, and budget administration.

Mr. Hirshfeld received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont, and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.


Joseph Matal
Former USPTO Acting Director

Joseph Matal formerly served as Acting Director of the USPTO from June 2017 until President Trump appointed Andrei Iancu as Director of the USPTO in February 2018.

As an Associate Solicitor in the USPTO’s Office of Solicitor, Matal briefed and argued appeals of patent and trademark decisions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. District Court, and assisted in the development of legal positions taken by the U.S. Solicitor General in patent and copyright cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Matal recently served as acting Chief of Staff for the agency, and has advised the director on legislative matters.

Matal has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.


Brendan McCommas
USPTO Acting Chief of Staff

Brendan McCommas is the Acting Chief of Staff for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He previously served as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce and Senior Advisor to the Director of the USPTO. He also served as a patent examiner in Technology Center 2600.

As the Director’s principal advisor, the Chief of Staff helps coordinate a $3.2B budget, in support of the bureau’s 12,000 employees to execute the daily operations, policies, priorities, and global communications of the President’s intellectual property agenda. In addition, the Chief of Staff manages the day-to-day policy coordination process with the White House, Department of Commerce, and other federal agencies.


Jim Patterson
Morris Newman Chair, Executive Director PBAC

Jim Patterson is a founding partner of Patterson Thuente IP. In his 30-plus years of experience, Jim’s practice has encompassed all aspects of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution, licensing, dispute mediation, and litigation. A recognized leader in the legal community, Jim works with mid-size and large, regional technology companies, as well as Fortune Global 500 corporations, providing them with senior-level strategic counsel and ensuring that their patent dollars are spent wisely.
As a leader and mentor within the firm, Jim imposes a client-first philosophy, emphasizing quality work, responsiveness and teamwork.

Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & IPWatchdog Founder

Gene Quinn is a patent attorney and a leading commentator on patent law and innovation policy. Mr. Quinn is the Founder and Editor of IPWatchdog.com, which he started in 1999. IPWatchdog.com has been recognized multiple times by the American Bar Association as a top 100 legal blog, multiple times as the top IP blog, and in 2014 was inducted into the ABA Blawg Hall of Fame.

In 2017, Mr. Quinn was recognized by IAM Magazine as one of the top IP strategists in the world.


Warren Tuttle
President, United Inventors Association

Warren Tuttle serves as the President of the United Inventors Association Board of Directors, a position he has held since 2009. The UIA is a 501C3 non-profit that helps inventors through education, advocacy and marketplace access. Warren also oversees the Open Innovation outside product programs for three industry leading companies: Lifetime Brands in Housewares (Farberware, Kitchen Aid and 30 others), Techtronics Industries in Power Tools (Ryobi and Ridgid) and Merchant Media in Direct Response Television (Smart Spin, True Touch and many others). Warren personally interacts through email or phone with about 10,000 inventors a year and has initiated over a 100 new product licensing agreements that have collectively generated close to a billion $ in retail sales.


Josh Malone
US Inventor

Josh Malone quit his corporate job in 2006 to take his shot at the American (Inventor’s) Dream. Eight years later, savings depleted and orthodontics and college unfunded, he took one last swing before trudging back to the corporate world. And hit the homerun with Bunch O Balloons. His solution to the 63 year old problem of filling and tying water balloons instantly became the number one selling spring/summer toy. It was just as quickly knocked off resulting in a patent litigation now totaling 6 patents, 5 patent suits, 5 PTAB petitions/trials, 4 preliminary injunctions, and 8 appeals at the Federal Circuit. He is currently a Fellow with US Inventor working to restore the patent system.

Sean Wilkerson
USPTO Inventor Outreach

Sean Wilkerson works in the Office of Innovation Development (OID) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), creating patent education programs and managing outreach services to independent inventors, small businesses, entrepreneurs, makers, and universities. Prior to joining OID, Sean worked as an outreach coordinator for the programs leading up to the opening of the USPTO Texas Regional Office. Sean also spent a year as part of the New York engagement team that developed the 2015 Future of Urban Innovation Startups Summit in coordination with Columbia University and the USPTO. Sean served as the Program Manager from 2011 – 2013 to develop the program, structure and outreach efforts of the inaugural Select USA Summit, a U.S. government-wide program housed in the International Trade Administration at the United States Department of Commerce.

Andrea Hence Evans
UIA Emcee

Andrea Hence Evans, Esq. is a member of the Texas bar, a registered Patent Attorney, and a member of the US Supreme Court Bar. Having worked at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for approximately 5 years as both a patent examiner and a trademark examining attorney after graduating from law school, she then launched the intellectual property law practice, The Law Firm of Andrea Hence Evans, which currently represents independent inventors, entrepreneurs, small, medium, and Fortune 100 clients in multiple states and multiple countries with patent, trademark and copyright issues.

Andrea is a 2002 graduate of The George Washington Law School in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Spelman College and Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, Georgia, where she obtained a Bachelors of Science in mathematics and a Bachelors of Civil Engineering, respectively. Attorney Evans is also the owner of KidGINEER, LLC, a hands-on STEM program for children.


John Calvert
Executive Director, United Inventors Association

John Calvert has been a long time champion of the independent inventor community.

 A 24 year veteran of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), John was instrumental in developing and expanding resources for inventors through the USPTO Inventor Assistance Program, which provides educational materials and outreach resources to the independent inventor community. In recognition of his achievents, John has received numerous awards, including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for superior Federal service and the United States Patent and Trademark Office Exceptional Career Award. 

Upon retiring from the USPTO in 2014, John became Executive Director of the UIA where he continues to lead initiatives and efforts on behalf of the independent inventor.


Paul Morinville
US Inventor

Paul Morinville is Managing Director of US Inventor, Inc., which is an inventor organization working in Washington DC and around the US to advocate for strong patent protection for inventors and startups. Paul has been walking the halls of Congress knocking on doors and sitting down with hundreds of offices to explain the damage suffered by inventors due to patent reforms. Paul is an independent inventor with dozens of patents and pending patent applications in enterprise software. He is also CEO of OrgStructure, LLC, an early stage enterprise middleware provider in Northwest Indiana.

Randy Landreneau
US Inventor

Randy Landreneau is an inventor and product developer. He is a former President of the Tampa Bay Inventors Council and is a Managing Board Member of US Inventor. He is also President of Complete Product Development, a company that provides CAD design, prototyping, 3D printing, silicone molding and educational services to inventors and companies.

Adrian Pelkus
UIA & US Inventor

Adrian Pelkus, a multiple award winning new product developer with fifteen issued U.S. Patents, has created and developed over 300 different electronic products and high technology processes.

As Founder, CEO, COO and CTO Mr. Pelkus has helped startup several technology companies including A Squared Technologies, Inc. the home of California Product Developers, 8th Sense and in 2005 reorganized the San Diego Inventors Forum a 501c3 to help startup entrepreneurs.

An active Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at CONNECT and member of the national Inventor Groups of America (IGA) Mr. Pelkus also serves on the BoD’s of both United Inventors Association of America (UIA) and US Inventor (USI), organizations dedicated to assisting and educating inventors.



Stephen Key
IGA CoFounder

Stephen Key is an award-winning inventor, renowned intellectual property strategist, lifelong entrepreneur, author, speaker, and columnist. The dozens of concepts he has brought to market have retailed in Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Disney stores and parks worldwide and been endorsed by Michael Jordan, Alex Trebek, and Taylor Swift. In 1999, he cofounded inventRight to teach others his unique process for harnessing the power of open innovation. Since then, he has helped people from 60 countries learn how to license their ideas for new products. His bestselling book about licensing inventions, One Simple Idea, has been translated into six languages. He writes about bringing products to market online weekly for magazines including ForbesInc., and Entrepreneur.

Universities and governmental organizations around the world invite him to teach them about product licensing. In 2017, he cofounded Inventors Groups of America with other leaders in the inventing community. IGA’s purpose is to teach individuals how to best commercialize their product ideas, and strengthen and support inventor groups throughout the nation.


Andrew Krauss
IGA CoFounder

Andrew Krauss is an expert on licensing products ideas for passive income. He has been helping creative people around the world bring their concepts to market with less risk and more success for nearly 20 years as a cofounder of inventRight, the one-on-one coaching program. During his tenure as president, he grew the Bay Area Inventors’ Alliance group into one of the most active and well-established associations in the country. In addition to advising the White House on innovation, he has been featured as a speaker at USPTO conferences and on NPR’s Science Friday. He attends trade shows throughout the year to stay up to date on the latest trends in open innovation.

In 2017, he cofounded Inventors Groups of America, a not-for-profit, with other leaders in the inventing community. IGA’s purpose is to teach individuals how to best commercialize their product ideas, and strengthen and support inventor groups throughout the nation.


April 18

Capitol Hill

Hosted by Inventor’s Project

East Capitol St NE & First St SE,
Washington, DC

Spend the day with Congressional
representatives to discuss the future of patent laws in the U.S. as well as the interestes of inventors and small businesses. The first Annual Leadership Awards and Reception caps off the evening by recognizing influential members of the inventing community.

4 – 7 PM

Innovation Legislation

A discussion of three pro-inventor bills.

Presented by Inventor’s Project


EB Bright
President and General Counsel, ExploraMed

Many years of technology development, company formation and financing experience. An inventor, a founder of two companies, a patent attorney and have served on the executive management teams of five start-up companies (Acclarent, Neotract, Vibrynt, Moximed, Nuelle). Serve on the Alliance for U.S. Startups & Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Advisory Committee. Previously, I was Director of Intellectual Property West Coast Operations at Guidant Corporation where I directed a 9 member team involved in litigation and the strategic development of over 1300 patent and trademark applications related to the Vascular Intervention, Cardiac Surgery and Endovascular Solutions divisions as well as handling legal issues for Guidant Japan and the Compass Group, the unit responsible for Guidant’s venture capital and merger and acquisition activities. An inventor on eight U.S. issued patents with others currently pending. Hold M.B.A.s from Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley, and Juris Doctorate and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering degrees from the University of Oklahoma.


Jim Edwards
Executive Director, Conservatives for Property Rights

James Edwards, Ph.D., has worked on intellectual property and health policy since 1989. The Founder and CEO of ELITE Strategic Services, Edwards advises clients on IP and health care matters, including related business strategy. He has founded, led, advised, or mentored more than 60 companies and organizations.

Dr. Edwards plays leadership and strategic advisory roles on IP, particularly patents. He consults to IP-oriented corporations and trade associations, advises investors, and mentors start-ups and early-stage companies, many in the med tech space. He is Co-Director of the Inventor’s Project, which coordinates with the bipartisan Congressional Inventions Caucus, which Edwards helped to form. He participates in the Medical Device Manufacturers Association’s Patent Working Group. Edwards contributes articles to IPWatchdog.com and is involved in a number of IP-centric projects.


Paul Morinville
CoFounder, US Inventor

Paul Morinville is Managing Director of US Inventor, Inc., which is an inventor organization working in Washington DC and around the US to advocate for strong patent protection for inventors and startups. Paul has been walking the halls of Congress knocking on doors and sitting down with hundreds of offices to explain the damage suffered by inventors due to patent reforms. Paul is an independent inventor with dozens of patents and pending patent applications in enterprise software. He is also CEO of OrgStructure, LLC, an early stage enterprise middleware provider in Northwest Indiana.

April 19

Smithsonian Museum

Hosted by inventRight

1300 Constitution Ave NW,
Washington, DC

Arthur Daemmrich, Director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian, leads a private tour and hosts a conversation with his colleagues.

Event Host
Arthur Daemmrich
Director, Lemelson Center

Arthur Daemmrich is the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution. Located in the National Museum of American History, the Lemelson Center carries out historical research into invention and innovation, develops educational programs to inspire the next generation of inventors, and creates exhibits that engage some 4.5 million museum visitors annually.

Daemmrich’s scholarly work analyzes the emergence of technology-based industries, explores the relationship between regulation and innovation, and compares innovation systems internationally. He is the author of Pharmacopolitics: Drug Regulation in the United States and Germany and has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and teaching cases in science and technology studies; the history of science, technology, and medicine; and health and business policy.

Before coming to the Lemelson Center, Daemmrich was an associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, a visiting professor at the China Europe International Business School, and a research fellow and director of contemporary history at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He holds a PhD from Cornell University in Science and Technology Studies and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in the History and Sociology of Science.

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