Panelist Profile


Derek Minihane

Cochlear, Head of IP Strategy (AU)


Derek Minihane has a unique perspective on the commercialisation of intellectual property from strategy creation to product commercialisation, based on more than 20 years’ experience running various aspects of research and product development programmes, business development activities and traditional IP functions. In Australia, Mr Minihane continues to build on his extensive executive management experience from Silicon Valley, California. In addition to his role at Cochlear, Mr Minihane offers advice to companies through participation on advisory boards and councils to help companies define and implement IP strategies aligned with their business goals. Mr Minihane runs various aspects of the R&D portfolio at
Cochlear Limited, including the IP function. He directs the longterm research programme that sets the direction and ensures the delivery of research outcomes and new technologies to support the product roadmap and capture future opportunities. In this role, he effectuates the open innovation programme to ensure access to the best ideas and an effective way to gain quick feedback on internal concepts. In addition, Mr Minihane is responsible for product strategy for sound processors and leads that product development group, including licensing of key IP and technology building blocks for current and future products. He also works cross-functionally to create the IP strategy and he advises the company on all aspects of IP management, including strategic alliances, research agreements, confidential information, IP risk management and patent litigation. Previously, Mr Minihane was vice president of intellectual property at Intermolecular, Inc, where he helped develop the business model and negotiate several large collaborations that supported a successful initial public offering. Before that, Mr Minihane ran the IP function for Altera Corporation (now part of Intel) and gained significant IP expertise at various law firms.

Mr Minihane holds a BS in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a JD from George Washington University. He is a practising US patent attorney and regularly speaks at IP and licensing conferences worldwide.