Speakers‘ CVs

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Stephen Adams

Stephen Adams is the Managing Director of Magister Ltd., a consultancy specialising in patents information which was founded in 1997.  After training as a chemist at the University of Bristol, he gained an M.Sc. in Information Science from City University, London in 1982 and subsequently worked in a variety of government, private research and industrial information departments, specialising in patent information since 1988. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Elsevier's journal "World Patent Information", and the current Vice-Chair of PIUG, Inc, the International Society for Patent Information.  In 2012, he received the International Patent Information (IPI) Award for contributions to patent information.

Matthieu Azzopardi

Matthieu Azzopardi  is 27 years old and a graduate electrical engineer. He holds an

MBA in general management

Since 2013, Matthieu Azzopardi has worked as a patent search engineer at the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI) in Paris, France. His areas of activity include realisation of prior art, novelty, patent monitoring on quotation

Ingrid Baele

Ingrid Baele  is Vice President, Philips Intellectual Property and Standards

She is a Belgian national, and joined Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, The Netherlands in 1987. She has a background in physics from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

In 1990 she joined Philips Intellectual Property & Standards (IP&S), the unit that handles all IP matters for Philips. She started as IP Counsel and became member of the IP&S management team in 1999. In her current position Ingrid is responsible for the IP&S operations and all IP&S offices worldwide. 

She is member of the leadership team of the ICC IP Commission and chaired the 2014 edition of the IP Roadmap task force. She is board member of two institutes for IP education

Hana Churáčková

Hana Churáčková worked from 1997 to 2006 at the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic, at first in the Patent Files Section, then she was promoted to head of section and later she became Deputy Director of the Patent Information Department. After her maternity leave she returned to the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic where she now works as head of the Digitalisation Section.

Hana Churáčková received her bachelor‘s degree, BSc. in 1993 at the Faculty of Philosophy and Science of the Silesian University in Opava, where she studied Czech literature, its documentation and creative use, specialising in librarianship.

She continued her studies at the Charles University in Prague where she did her Master degree (Mgr.) from 1994 to 1997 at the Faculty of Arts on Information Studies and Librarianship.

Presently Hana Churáčková is also studying for a PhD on international and regional relations in industrial property at the Metropolitan University of Prague.

Ms Churáčková has been teaching at the Industrial Property Training Institute on patent information and searches since 1999 and lecturing on patent and trade mark information and searches at the Metropolitan University Prague since 2012.

Irini Efthimiadou

Irini Efthimiadou is the Service Liaison Manager of the "Innovating for Growth" project of the British Library's Business & IP Centre, acting as point of liaison between the project and the core services offered. She is an expert in business information research, having also experience in IP research and IP training. She has 20 years of previous work experience as innovation management consultant for businesses and public organisations

Belkis Fava

Belkis Fava has a Master of Arts in Linguistics, with specialisation in terminology.  She speaks English, French, German and Spanish.  She began her carrier at WIPO in 1990 and has more than ten years' experience in the administration of the Nice, Vienna and Locarno Classifications.  Since 2007, she has been the Head of the WIPO Mark and Design Classifications Unit.  The main task of this unit is to organise and assume the secretariat of the international meetings that decide on changes to the classifications and prepare and publish the new editions of the classifications in accordance with those decisions.  The unit also gives classification advice to national industrial property offices and training on the application of classifications to developing countries.

Alejandro Flores Jiménez

Alejandro Flores Jiménez has headed the Didactics and Databases unit in the European Patent Academy since 2010. The unit is in charge of the developing, maintenance and conducting of all on-line courses of the Academy, as well as a training material repository and speakers databases. Prior to taking charge of the unit, he had worked as a patent examiner in search, examination and opposition since 1999. He holds a PhD in Telecommunication Engineering, an M.A. in Law and has passed the European Qualifying Examination.

Alex Gardiner

Alex Gardiner graduated from Aberdeen University in Scotland and worked on oil platforms as a telecommunications engineer and radio operator. He has been an examiner at the EPO since 1991, first in Munich, then in The Hague for ten years before returning to Munich in 2007. He has worked in various fields such as connectors and amplifiers, as well as computer bus and backup memory systems. His field of work since 1997 has been computer implemented inventions in the area of business methods and the internet. Due to the high refusal rate in that field, he became an expert (by necessity!) in oral proceedings before the EPO. He has also participated in various groups which have considered legal procedures within the EPC.

Alex is active as a trainer both for examiners and to external participants.

Roland Gissler

A physicist, Roland Gissler has been in the patent information business since 2001 and at Questel, a leading provider of professional IP-services since 2004.

Before joining the patent information business, he held positions as project manager for electronic publications of technical information (e.g. first CD-ROM with retrievable federal budget for German Ministry of Finance) and gained experience in highly parallel computing for scientific and technical applications.  He also worked in management positions in Federal Management Consultant Association.

Roland is the author of case studies for evaluating technical and competition trends; experience in portfolio pruning and evaluation of licensing opportunities

Barnaby Hoyal

Barnaby Hoyal is a British national, living in southern Germany since 1998. After completing his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge, he worked for ten years as an engineering and management consultant for a number of international companies.

In 2005 Barnaby joined the EPO as an examiner in the field of industrial chemistry. As of 2012, on a posting to the multilateral co-operation directorate in DG 5, he has been co-ordinating the EPO's involvement in the IP5 collaboration in the IT-supported projects working group. In particular this co-ordination work covers the EPO's activities in the Global Dossier project.

Michal Kazimierczak

Michal Kazimierczak is an economist at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and a PhD fellow at joint PhD program of Maastricht University and United Nations University on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT). At OHIM he has been involved in several research projects focusing on IP contribution to the European economy and performance of European companies. Within those projects he was responsible for preparing IP data and merging it with external sources of demographic and financial data of IP owners.

Before joining OHIM he was working as a civil servant in the Polish government and as a consultant for Deloitte.

Dierk-Oliver Kiehne

Dierk-Oliver Kiehne studied medical and mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen. He started work at Dornier Medical Devices and began his scientific career at the Fraunhofer Group where he finally headed the branch offices. He founded InTraCoM GmbH in 2000 and was CEO until 2010 when he split the company into a consulting and a software company, InTraCoM and IPR-Systems. Since 2010 he also heads IPR-Systems located in Berlin. InTraCoM and IPR-Systems are focused on innovation management consulting and software solutions in the intellectual property field researching, analysing and valuation of IP.

Dierk-Oliver Kiehne's research focus is on intellectual property valuation as well as innovation management method and software tool development. He aims at developing applications for efficient IP data sourcing and IP valuation  

Heidrun Krestel

Heidrun Krestel holds a master's degree in Material Science. Having been the head of one of the largest patent information centres in Germany, the PATLIB Centre in Nürnberg for 14 years, she has a long term background in the area of patent information.

In 2002, she joined the European Patent Office in Vienna, as liaison officer. As country co-ordinator for several member states in the European Affairs Department she took care of the development of the EPO's co-operation policy and co-ordinated the implementation of co-operation activities with national offices in the member states. She also managed the pilot project to reorient patent information centres.

Since December 2014, she has been co-ordinating contacts with external stakeholders within the Patent Information Promotion Department. In this capacity she is in charge of activities related to the entire PATLIB network. 

Sabine Kruspig

Sabine Kruspig was born in Berlin in 1955. She studied automation technology at University of Technology Dresden and the protection of intellectual property at Humboldt-University Berlin, with a final thesis on the protection of software by patents


  • 1977 - 1983 Patent examiner at the Patent Office of the GDR (German Democratic Republic), Berlin
  • 1983 - 1991 Patent engineer and research assistant at Institute of Informatics and Computer Technology, Berlin, Academy of Sciences GDR
  • 1992 - 2003 Patent examiner in core areas of computing and in business methods at the European Patent Office Munich, Germany
  • 2003 - 2014 Director of a group of patent examiners in Directorate 2211 - Joint Cluster Computer
  • 2014 Director Telecommunications & Computer, Dir 1.8

Publications/other activities

  • several presentations on the protection of software by patents at national and international conferences
  • member of ACM, IEEE and German Society of Informatics (GI)
  • participation in the creation of a position paper of the German Society of Informatics on the protection of software by patents in 2005
  • seminars on the protection of software by patents at FORUM Institut für Management GmbH since 2011
  • co-author of the book (in German) Schwarz/Kruspig "Computerimplementierte Erfindungen - Patentschutz für Software?" 2011, Heymanns Verlag

Sofie Leplae

Sofie Leplae graduated from the University of Leuven in Belgium. She joined the EPO in 2007 as a patent information officer in the patent data services team. She is involved in data analysis and data correction for the legal status database. She also works on the distribution of raw data and offers expert user support to external users.

Sofie is active as a trainer on patent information subjects like patent families and the legal status database.

Gillian E McFadzean

Director of Research and Enterprise Services at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh between 2000-2013, Gillian is now with Helix Advisory Services, advising universities worldwide on capacity building in research development and technology and knowledge transfer support.  She was an initiator of both Interface and of UT.com and chaired the Scottish Research Development and Commercialisation Directors when standard contracts were agreed and published for a range of activities.

She has chaired AURIL in the UK and ProTon Europe and has also served on various Commission expert groups. She chaired EC  Expert Group "Knowledge Sharing in the ERA" that led to the European Commission's recommendation to member states on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities and to a code of practice for universities and other public research organisations    

Theodor Nyfeler

Theodor Nyfeler is deputy head of the patent department and head of patent and technology searches at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property. He began at the Institute in 1999 as a patent examiner in the field of mechanical engineering and in 2001, became head of a team of patent experts. Since 2003, he has been responsible for the commercial and federal patent search services. He has a university degree in mechanical engineering and in 2000, completed postgraduate studies in engineering management. In 2010, he received his Executive MBA in Innovation Management from the Bern University of Applied Sciences.

Nils Omland

Nils created the Patent Asset Index - a measure of patent portfolio strength used by leading technology companies in investor relations, M&A and corporate IP management. Nils' mission is to make useful knowledge on patent portfolios available to decision makers. He is co-founder and managing partner of PatentSight, a firm that runs a global patent information platform designed to support strategic management. The method has earned the support of Chief Technology Officers and patent experts of international corporations from many industries.

Nils' interest in IP was sparked during his Master thesis at Germany's leading business school where he conducted an empirical study on the profit impact of active IP management. In subsequent PhD studies, he investigated how patent portfolios could be evaluated to provide guidance to strategic management. The research in this area and the consulting work that he performed for blue chip companies and the European Patent Office led to the creation of a new concept of how IP information can be better analysed and presented for management, which in turn became the foundation of PatentSight's unique technology platform.

Ilja Rudyk

Ilja Rudyk is currently employed as Senior Economist in the Chief Economist unit of the European Patent Office. The Chief Economist (CE) unit was set up to provide economic insight into issues relating to patents, innovation and economic growth. It aims to contribute high level expertise and analysis to public and expert forums and to foster well-informed debate.

Before joining the EPO Ilja was working as Financial Architect for Atos, an IT service company, and as researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. He holds a PH.D. in economics from the University of Munich. In his dissertation he investigated the economic effects of different design issues of patent systems using economic and patent data.

Irene Schellner

Irene Schellner is co-ordinator of Trilateral and IP5 projects at the European Patent Office (EPO). After completing her studies in Japanese at the University of Vienna, Irene Schellner joined the EPO in 1994 and worked as a Japanese and Asian patent information specialist. She carried out searches in Japanese patent databases and was in charge of the EPO's support service for European users of patent information from Japan and Asia. In 2012, Irene joined the EPO's department for International Organisations, Trilateral and IP5 where she co-ordinates projects between the EPO and the patent offices of Japan, China, Korea and the USA

Carlos Serpa

Carlos Serpa is presently CEO of the technological spin-off company LaserLeap Technologies, SA, and researcher at the Coimbra Laser Lab (Chemistry Department, University of Coimbra, Portugal). After completion of his PhD in the field of photochemistry in 2004, Carlos Serpa took a post-doc research position at Caltech. His present research interests cover a wide range of basic and applied research within the field of light and matter interactions. Co-author of over thirty papers in peer-reviewed journals, over 100 conference proceedings, two book chapters and one patent application, he was distinguished with the BES Innovation Prize 2008, the most prestigious Portuguese science and technology innovation distinction. In 2006 Carlos Serpa took the "Technological Based Entrepeneurship Course" promoted by the University of Coimbra, and maintains a strong collaboration with Portuguese innovation-driven companies

Nigel Spencer

Nigel Spencer manages services at the British Library's Business & IP Centre, a dedicated space in the Library where entrepreneurs can access a collection of free business information as well as a range of training and mentoring services and networking activities. Nigel has over 20 years of experience of managing services and projects at the British Library and regularly writes and presents on the role of information in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship

Eskil Waage

Eskil Waage was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1968. He graduated with a cand. jur. degree in 1995 (Copenhagen University) and went on to obtain a doctorate in law from the (Université de Strasbourg) in 1998.

He was assistant to Professor Dieter Stauder, CEIPI, Strasbourg, 1994-1998 and a staff lawyer at the European Patent Office's Directorate for International Legal Affairs (DG5), Munich, from 1998 to 2008 and again from 2011 to date. From 2008 to 2011, he was a seconded expert at the European Commission's Directorate General for the Internal Market, Industrial Property Unit, Brussels, 2008-2011

His main fields of activity over the years have been:

  • preparatory work for the revision of the EPC (1998-2002)
  • draft EPLA (2003-2005)
  • action in favour of the London Agreement (2006-2008)
  • contribution to the UPP-UPC project (2008-to date)

Heiko Wongel

Heiko Wongel is Director of Patent Information Promotion at the European Patent Office in Vienna. The task of his team is to enable the understanding and the effective use of patent information by informing and supporting users of patent information products and services.

He holds a degree in physics from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He joined the EPO (The Hague) in 1990 as a patent examiner in the field of electro-optics. From 2009 to 2010, he was acting Director of Classification in the EPO's branch in The Hague. In 2011 he took up his current position in the Vienna sub-office of the EPO.

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