The Chicago inventors’ organization (CIO) is a non-profit organization whose vision includes being the premier provider of positive, affordable, credible resources to inventors whose products range across all markets including digital apps. Recognized by the US patent and Trademark office, our organization of its kind in the Chicagoland area. Our previous conferences have been attended by more than 2,000 people with presenters from Los Angeles, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Chicago.

This year’s conference is the 7th of its kind themed: “Licensing Your Dream” and was held at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, United States. The conference brought about people from all walks of life ranging from people from various sectors as well as young inventors with or without patents.

Amongst the keynote speakers at this year’s conference, we have Jonathan Allen who happens to be a business development manager, Michael Frerichs, Illinois state treasurer, Stephen Key, Founder of InventRight and Arthur Tan-chi Yuan, director, Chinese IP resource centre/director, john Marshall law school patent clinic.

The morning session commenced at 8:00am with speech by Jonathan Allen, he spoke on the topic Doing Business with Amazon. This first part was meant for registered members of Chicago Inventors Organization only and it ended at 9:15am. The second session was handled by the president of the society, Calvin Flowers. This session was the welcome address aimed at welcoming all the invited guests, members and everyone in attendance.

Afterwards, the third session started with the topic: Negotiating Licensing Deals immediately after the President’s welcome address by Dan McDowney from Ocean Tomo, LLC. The Major issues concerning the Licensing of patents were discussed and later Illinois state treasurer Michael Frerichs contributed his own quota to the discussion and the session ended at 11:50am.

The afternoon session commenced at noon with the topic: Selling Your Product by Stephen Key who happens to be the founder of InventRight one of the household names when it comes to invention. In this session, various techniques of marketing one’s products were discussed!

There was a break from 1:00pm till 2:00pm when the afternoon session commenced with the topic: How to Prepare To Do Business With China by Arthur Tan-Chi Yuan who is the director of Chinese IP resource center and John Marshall Law School patent clinic and Jay Sha of Liu Shen and associates.

The final session commenced immediately with the topic of discussion being Inventors Pitching to The Experts and the discussant was Warren Tuttle from Lifetime brands. Below are some of the contributors:

  • Steve Silbiger, Cmo(Top Dog)
  • Scott Hynd, Product Scout (QVC)
  • Charles Ferrer, President & CEO (CMS World Sport)
  • Charis Marquez, Head of Ecommerce Merchandising for The American Region, (Levi Strauss & Co.)

This year’s conference also witnessed the Pitch to the Experts Contest which was open to the general public. The candidates were selected based on the quality of the prototype of their inventions not with a Video or 3D animation but their actual works. It was also ensured that the quality of the idea and work product submitted by each candidate were their original ideas and has copyright and/or trademark. At the end of the contest five inventors were picked randomly by innovation and buyer expert judges which were composed of nationally recognized innovators and the prize awarded to the winners was valued up to $10,000.

Below are the Pitch panel moderators and panellists:

  • Warren Tuttle (President, United Inventors Association)
  • Charis Marquez (Head of Ecommerce Merchandising, Levi Strauss & Co.)
  • Charles Ferrer (CEO & President CMS World Sport Group)
  • Steve Silbiger
  • Scott Hynd (Product Expert & Senior Director)

This year we have more sponsors than that of last year. Amongst them are Loeb & Loeb, Illinois Institute of Technology (Office of Community Affairs), Chicago Innovation Awards, Crain’s Chicago Business, Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago and Wrigley Global Innovation Center.

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