April 12, 2024 Issue

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“Managing Intellectual Property Risk : Facing Cataclysmic Market, Political, and Legal Changes” 


Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC, Washington, D.C. is a full-service intellectual property law firm that provides innovative solutions tailored to your business and industry. Since our founding in 1978, we have grown to become one of the largest IP specialty law firms in the United States. Our team includes attorneys, patent agents, and technical specialists with 100+ advanced degrees, including 60+ Ph.D.’s in science and engineering disciplines. We work with the world’s leading innovators and brands, ranging from individual inventors and startups to renowned universities and Fortune 500 companies.

Mr. Robert Greene Sterne, Director, Electronics Practice & Founding Partner Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox


Robert Greene Sterne is a director of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox in the Electronics Practice Group and co-chairs the firm’s Patent Office Litigation Practice. At the age of 26, and just one year out of law school, he set out to create a different kind of law firm—one that recognized the contributions of all its members and put a strong emphasis on scientific and technical knowledge. Now, four decades later, Sterne has helped to nurture and grow this revolutionary idea into one of the top five largest intellectual property specialty firms in the country. And in so doing, he has established his place as one of the leading patent lawyers in the United States. In fact, Rob has been recognized by the Financial Times as one of the "Top Ten Most Innovative Lawyers in North America 2015," and by Law360 as one of the "Top 25 Icons of IP."

Salvador M. Bezos, Director, Electronics Practice, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox


Salvador M. Bezos is a director in Sterne Kessler’s Electronics Practice Group. Sal helps clients develop enforceable patent portfolios in a wide range of technical areas, including user interfaces, financial software products, cloud computing, parallel and distributed computer architectures, 3D printing, computer graphics, networking, automotive technology, databases, and computer architectures. He helps inventors secure patents that can withstand validity challenges by leveraging his extensive experience representing patent owners and petitioners alike in trials before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), as well as by educating and working collaboratively with inventors in the business method and software areas in order to find the strongest approaches to statutory subject matter issues. Sal is one of the senior directors at the firm who actively provides support and mentorship for the PTAB’s Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP), which provides associates with training and development opportunities in PTAB proceedings, including oral argument. 

Jose Antonio Arochi is an Associate with Arochi & Lidner in the Trademarks, Patent and IP Litigation Departments. His practice includes strategic consultation in the protection, defense and exercise of intellectual property rights, mainly in the matters of trademarks and patentsas, well as consulting in the field of Information Technology and Communication, Regulatory Law, and legal advice on advertising and marketing.

His professional background includes 3 years of experience working in a premiere intellectual property law firm in Washington. Through this experience, he gained substantial knowledge of the U.S. legal system, and coupled with his knowledge of the Mexican system, his acquired expertise brought him success in acquiring national and international clients. José Antonio has a Law Degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana and a Master’s of Law Degree from the University of Washington.

Arochi & Lindner is a premier law firm with offices in Mexico and Spain and more than 25 years of experience of providing world-class advice and representation in Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, Advertising and Marketing, Civil and Commercial Dispute Resolution, Corporate, Regulatory and Data Privacy law matters.





Kevin Virta, Principal The Confluence Group LLC., is both a two-time entrepreneur and an automotive industry veteran. He spent the early part of his career at Johnson Controls in their automotive interiors division before departing to help start Crayon Interface, an pioneer in IoT solutions for vehicle and home access & control. Crayon Interface helped bring the first mobile phone-connected door lock to market through partnership with Schlage door locks. Crayon Interface was eventually acquired by Ingersoll Rand, parent company to the Schlage and Trane brands. He later founded InfiniteKey with the goal of bringing passive access systems via a mobile phone to the automotive and building controls markets. InfiniteKey was acquired by DENSO Corporation in 2017, where Kevin has spent the last 6 years leading an advanced R&D team to deliver new, secure vehicle access solutions. He recently left DENSO to begin a consulting practice focused on helping early stage companies.


Elizabeth Krear is Vice President, Electric Vehicle Practice at J.D. Power where she leads activities leveraging data and insights to support clients through the transition to an electrified product portfolio with optimum business performance.

Ms. Krear comes to J.D. Power from Stellantis where she was the Global Planning Director for Jeep Grand Wagoneer and electrified body-on-frame SUVs and trucks. Her focus was on planning and developing electrified, autonomous and connected platforms for the EV transition of this important product family at Stellantis. Prior to that, Ms. Krear was the Chief Engineer for the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator SUV vehicles, as well as the Ram 1500 Light Duty Truck portfolio. Leading up to the Chief engineering positions, Ms. Krear held a variety of leadership roles including: Ram Vehicle Line Quality Executive, Dodge Sr. Program Manager, Impact Development, Global Manufacturing, Powertrain Synthesis and Interior releasing. In 2020 Elizabeth was named “Top 100 Women in North American Auto Industry” by Automotive News. Ms. Krear holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Michigan State University Executive MBA Program. 

Randy Pappal, VP Purchasing and Supply Chain, Gentex Corporation.

Randy leads the purchasing and global supply chain at Gentex Corporation. Previously Randy was employed by Shape Corp as VP and General Manager Shape Asia since October 2021 and Vice President of Global Purchasing/Supply Chain and Business Development at Shape. Randy’s previous employment was with General Motors (GM) where he held a variety of positions, including numerous executive leadership roles, within key business and purchasing functions including Executive Director of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain for GM’s Body and Exterior team. Randy received an Associate and Bachelor of Science Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in Industrial Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Randy is a member of the Supply Chain Advisory Boards for West Virginia University, Wayne State University and Grand Valley State University.

Paul Haelterman, Vice President Autodatas.

Autodatas is a global automotive specialist focused on the EV and PHEV market. We do performance testing, vehicle teardown analysis, materials and mass analysis and we create costed BOM’s on EV’s and PHEV’s from around the world, including all of the latest vehicles in China, Europe, the US, Japan and Korea. Paul's career includes several years as Vice President at Strategic Vision wich performed New and Used Vehicle Experience studies for most of the worlds major automakers. Paul previously was the Vice President & General Manager at IHS-Markit leading automotive forecasting and Vice President at Magna International and Ford Motor Company.

Alan Amici is the President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). Alan joined CAR after a 35+ year career with Chrysler and TE Connectivity, holding a variety of positions in engineering, manufacturing, and service. His roles at TE included: VP & CTO, Transportation Solutions and VP Engineering, Automotive Americas. Highlights of his tenure at Chrysler included: Head of Global Uconnect – Infotainment and Connected Car Platform, Head of Electrical/Electronics Engineering (Torino, Italy & Auburn Hills, Michigan) and Senior Manager, Global Service & Parts (Stuttgart, Germany). Alan is the owner of two patents and is the recipient of the Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award. He holds an MBA, a Master of Science degree, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors at Penn State Harrisburg and the Department of Industrial Engineering at Wayne State University. He is a graduate of the Chrysler Institute of Engineering.

Carla Bailo, President and CEO of ECOS Consulting LLC and past President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), and is a leader in engineering and vehicle program management with 42 years of experience in the automotive industry. In addition to her role at ECOS, Ms. Bailo is currently an Independent Director on the corporate boards for SM Energy (SM), Advance Auto Parts (AAP), and Vesuvius (VSVS.L). She also serves on the following non-profit boards: Society of Automotive Engineers President-Elect, Kettering University Vice Chair, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, and Engineering Society of Detroit. Further, she is on the advisory boards for Argonne National Laboratory, BEES (Board of Energy and Environment Studies of NASEM), and Woolpert. Previously, she was the assistant vice president for mobility research and business development at The Ohio State University. She also has 25 years of experience at Nissan North America, Inc., where she served as senior vice president of research and development. Ms. Bailo also spent 10 years at General Motors. She has a MS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.

MARK R. WAKEFIELD, Global Co-head, Automotive & Industrial Practice, AlixPartners  

Mark’s work focuses on strategy and operations in the automotive and industrial sectors. He has worked across the value chain, from manufacturers to suppliers to distribution companies to aftermarket companies to finance & insurance companies and beyond. He is an expert at capturing value from shifting trends and competitive dynamics, bringing decades of experience helping companies do such things as improve operations, transform operations, or successfully execute all aspects of M&A – from due diligence to post-merger integration to full-company transformations if need be. He has also worked extensively with private-equity investors and their portfolio companies in these and other areas. Mark started his career as an engineer and program manager at tier-one auto supplier Magna International Inc., was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, and led business development at HSBC Auto Finance. Mark has been an interim CEO, COO, Managing Director and Plant Manager at suppliers and automakers. He has been a featured speaker at several industry conferences and has been quoted or featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters News, The Associated Press, CNBC TV, Bloomberg TV, ABC News, NBC News, National Public Radio, Nikkei News, Automotive News, and guest lecturer at the Wharton School and the University of Michigan. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario and a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor from the AIRA.

Kristen Siemen, Vice President of Sustainable Workplaces and Chief Sustainability Officer at General Motors, leading its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040. Prior to this, she was executive director of global energy strategy and held senior engineering positions at the firm. Passionate about promoting inclusion and gender equality, Siemen helped create GM’s Take 2 career-reentry program, co-leads the GM Women Ally Program, and is its executive representative for the Society of Women Engineers. Her recognition includes being named to the Crain’s Notable Leaders in Sustainability, Future 50 Tech, and Sustainability Magazine Top 100 Women in Sustainability lists. Siemen is an advisory board member of Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science, from which she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering.


AlGalCo – Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Supplemental hydrogen on demand from aluminum and water for Diesel engines, improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.           

Banf – Seoul, South Korea

Real-time truck tire profile ‘direct sensing’ system to improve safety and optimize tire performance.

Natrion Inc. – Champaign, Illinois, USA

Lithium Solid Ionic Composite (LISIC), a solid-state electrolyte material that reduces or eliminates the content of liquid electrolyte inside of Li-ion batteries, enabling safe, high-performance battery manufacture.

NextDriver – Delft, Netherlands

Personal and scalable coaching platform, thatsaves up to 10% on fuel consumption and realises up to 47% damage reduction through driving behaviour coaching.

Rheom, Houston, Texas, USA

We work with naturally abundant bio-based components to create the next generation of ethical materials for leather, injection molding plastic, and synthetic fabric.

SkillReal – Ramat Gan, Israel

The first solution that enables use of standard low-cost cameras for dimensional inspection at sub-mm accuracy for manufacturing lines.

Soteria Battery Innovation – Greenville, South Carolina, USA

Our technology provides safety, improved LiIon battery weight and energy density.

TGO – London, United Kingdom

Unique touch and gesture sensing smart polymers, creating ability to create true 3D shapes with complete design freedom.


Torev Motors – Arlington, Virginia, USA

Torev’s patented motor technology reduces rare earth consumption without sacrificing efficiency or size.

VePa Vertical Parking – Munich, Germany

Parking towers for space-saving and environmentally conscious parking spaces with charging capability.

The SAE International WCX draws up to 10,000 global automotive and mobility industry executives from around the world each year.

2024 SAE WCX Website & Registration Page 

You can use this LINK TO REGISTER online at the SAE WCX Website for a FREE - EXPO 3 Day Pass and select to attend the GAMIC Finals.



  • Monday April 15, 2024 - 11:30 am to 5:30 pm EDT
  • SAE WCX World Congress - Huntington Place, Port Side Ballroom, Room # 60
  • 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit, Michigan, 48226 USA


GAMIC 2024


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