Innovation Forum


    Please check the Pittsburgh PDMA Events page for an updated list of upcoming events.


    America Invents Act (AIA) at Two Years  
    What Has Changed (and What Hasn't)

    April 23, 2015
    5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
    Engineers' Society of Western PA
    337 Fourth Avenue 
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222


    Join us for a panel discussion on the America Invents Act (AIA) at two years. We’ll discuss the changes and impact on the invention landscape as well as provide guidance on strategies for dealing with the changes.

    Two years have elapsed since the USA adopted the “first to file” priority. At the time experts predicted dire consequences for innovation in the USA and policy preferences for the status quo.

    “As a first-to-invent country, we have been the leader of world innovation, and those countries with first-to-file systems have been playing catch up,” said Senator Diane Feinstein. “I wouldn’t trade America’s record of innovation with anyone.”

    Has the change been as prejudicial to innovation as expected? Did the AIA create winners and losers? If so, who? And how?


    Panelists                                                                 Moderator                                                   
    Cindy Pezze, Vice President, Global Technology Development and            Dr. Irene SpitsbergPresident at InnoVentures LLC
    Chief Technology Officer Westinghouse Electric Company

    James M. Singer, Patent Attorney, Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP



    Learning Objectives

    • Understand the changes resulting from AIA and what they mean operationally
    • Discover how others are adapting processes and/or methods
    • Learn best practices in the management of intellectual property and invention
    • Understand strategies for optimization of intellectual property (IP) processes under the AIA


    Who should attend this event? Technologists, inventors, investors, product or department managers, IP managers and directors who are involved with driving the innovation efforts of an organization.


    Schedule of Events  

    4:30 - 5:00 p.m.      Registration Open and Networking 
    5:00 - 6:00 p.m.      Panel Discussion
    6:00 - 6:30 p.m.       QA
    6:30 - 7:00 p.m.       Post-Panel Networking


    Registration Fees


     Advanced Registration  

     On-Site Registration   












    About the Panelists and Moderator


    Cindy Pezze, Vice President, Global Technology Development and Chief Technology Officer, Westinghouse Electric Company

    Over the course of her 31-year Westinghouse career, Cindy Pezze has held positions of increasing technical and business leader responsibility. As vice president of Global Technology Development and Chief Technology Officer for Westinghouse Electric Company, she is responsible for overseeing development of technology that creates customer success and solidifies Westinghouse’s reputation as a global technology leader. She provides leadership for company- level programs related to innovation and engineering excellence and ensures a robust development path for the company’s technical leaders.

    Cindy has bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from Allegheny College and metallurgical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She has completed executive management programs at Duquesne University’s Beard Institute and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business


    James M. Singer, JD, Partner, Fox Rothschild, LLP

     As chair of Fox Rothschild’s Intellectual Property Department, Jim possesses a deep knowledge of patent, copyright and trade secrets laws. Jim handles strategic licensing matters, patent prosecution, freedom-to-practice studies and design-around analyses for clients across a range of industries. Jim also performs IP audits and due diligence to help investors and IP holding companies understand the value of their patents, as well identify obstacles to market entry and opportunities to expand their intellectual property rights. Jim was named a “top attorney” for both patent prosecution and licensing by Intellectual Asset Management Magazine’s “IAM 1000” (2010-2014). He has a BS in electrical engineering from Penn State and a JD, magna cum laude, from University of Pittsburgh School of Law.



    Dr. Irene Spitsberg, President, InnoVentures LLC

    Dr. Irene Spitsberg is an innovation thought leader, global technology / business development executive, author, speaker and entrepreneur. Through her career, Irene has excelled at developing innovation strategies and leading the execution of strategic initiatives.  Her successes have ranged from organization building, through technology development and commercialization, to structuring and managing alliances to achieve strategic goals. 

    An inventor and co-inventor on over 80 U.S. patents , she was a recipient of the NASA “Turn Goals to Reality” award for her leadership in developing next generation composite technology that commercialized through GE’s jet engine program  - technology which was also given the 2001 R&D 100 Award.

    Irene was a key strategist and driver behind establishing Kennametal’s Innovations Ventures Group.  Her leadership has enabled Kennametal to implement a leading industrial innovation system.

    Irene is currently President at InnoVentures LLC, a strategic innovation company that brings expertise on achieving growth through innovation in engineering and science & technology sectors. Previous positions included Director of Global R&D Business at Cristal, Senior Manager of Innovation Ventures at Kennametal, and various leadership roles at GE Aviation.  

    She holds a Ph.D. in Material Science from the Russian National University of Science and Technology and is an Executive Scholar in Financial Management at Kellogg Business School.   

    Copyright © 2018 PDMA - Product Development and Management Association. All Rights Reserved

    PDMA 1000 Westgate Drive, #252 St. Paul, MN 55114 USA   |   Phone: 651-290-6280   |   Fax: 651-290-2266

    Contact PDMA   |   Legal Policies & Agreements