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Heneka Watkis-Porter Interviews Prof.Gerard Conley

Biography

Kellogg School of Management
Clinical Professor of Technology

James Conley is an inventor who serves as a faculty member in the Kellogg Center for Research in Technology & Innovation and as a Faculty Fellow at the Northwestern University Segal Design Institute.

Beyond Northwestern, he served as an appointed member on the United States Department of Commerce Trademark Public Advisory Committee to the Patent and Trademark Office and is a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. 

His research investigates the strategic use of intangible assets and intellectual properties to build and sustain competitive advantage. Research sponsors have  included the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), National Science Foundation, NASA, FAA, NIST, the Department of Defense, Motorola, Daimler-Chrysler,  and others.

In 2004, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016, he received the Professor of the Year award from the Master of Product Development program at Northwestern University.  In 2013 he received the Professor of the Year award from the Master of Science program at the WHU in Germany.

He has been called to offer testimony on intellectual property related matters in legal forums including the International Trade Commission, US Federal District Court and US Federal Tax Court..

He served as the General Electric Foundation Professor and the Pentair-Nugent Professor of Manufacturing and Business Leadership from 1994 to 2000. Additionally, his publications have been recognized with "Best Paper" commendations from the American Foundry Society, the Society of Automotive Engineers, The Rapid Prototyping Journal and others. Mainstream outlets for his scholarship include the Wall Street Journal, the Sloan Management Review and the California Management Review.

Areas of Expertise Intellectual Property (Biotechnology)
Brands and Trademarks
Information Technology
Innovation
Intellectual Property
New Product Development
Strategy
Technology

Education MBA, 1992, Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

PhD, 1987, Materials Engineering, Northwestern University

BS, 1983, Nuclear Engineering, University of Virginia

Academic Positions Faculty Fellow, Segal Design Institute, Segal Design Institute, 2005-2015

Faculty Member, Kellogg International Executive MBA Programs, Otto Recanati IEMBA/HTMS Programs, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2001-present

Clinical Professor, Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences, Center for Research in Technology & Innovation, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2000-present

Faculty Member, Kellogg International Executive MBA Programs, Schulich School, York University, Toronto, Canada, 2001-2007

Visiting Professor, Management, Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management, WHU, 2008-2016

Visiting Professor, Management, Keio Business School, Keio University, 2002-2004

Faculty Member, Mechanical Engineering, Segal Design Institute, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University, 1994-present

Other Professional Experience Engineering Manager, Ryobi Limited Group of Companies, 1987-1994

Director, Global Economics Group, 2012-present

Honors and Awards Selected as Lead Expert on Use of the Public Domain, United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization, 9/2016-3/2018

Invited to serve on Editorial Board of California Management Review, University of California System

Invited to serve on Impact Evaluation Panel of Republic of Ireland National Centers program, Science Foundation Ireland

2016 Faculty of the Year, Northwestern University Master of Product Design and Development program, 2016

Appointed to serve on the Brands and Innovation committee, International Trademark Association, 2016-2018

2105 Faculty of the Year, Master of Product Design & Development Program, Northwestern University., 2015

2014 Faculty of the Year, MPDD Program Northwestern University, 2014

Professor of the Year, WHU Master of Science Program, 2013-2014

Charter Fellow, National Academy of Inventors, 2013, ongoing

Faculty Impact Award, Kellogg School of Management teaching in AY2012

Recipient, Certificate of Impact, Kellogg, 2012, one quarter

Editorial Positions Editorial Board Member, California Management Review, 2017-2022

Special Issue Editor, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors, Volume 19, no. 2 on Technology and Innovation management curricula across the academy., 2016

Editorial Board Member, Technology and Innovation, 2013

Education Academic Positions Other Professional Experience Honors and Awards Editorial Positions

Read about executive education

Cases

Conley, James Gerard. 1998. The Roybi "Air Clean" 4-Cycle Engine: A case Study in Engineering and Manufacturing Management. Engineering Management Journal. 10(2): 23-32.

Wang, W, James Gerard Conley and H. W. Stoll. 2010. Rapid Tooling Guidelines for Sand Casting. SpringerLink Publications, 1st.

Rapid Tooling Guidelines For Sand Casting is a comprehensive tool for those who wish to improve their products and realization processes by better understanding the decisions involved in selecting sand casting tooling path and, in turn, improving cost, quality and delivery. Based on extensive research into the relationship between part geometry, production quantity, tool materials, tooling fabrication method and production tolerances, the book presents a variety of decision methods and case studies that address topics such as: Identification of part geometries that are suitable for sand casting Evaluation of error sources and alternative methods for creating tooling Optimal tooling path selection and its effects on production dimensional accuracy Analysis of tooling related costs and lead times Rapid Tooling Guidelines For Sand Casting is a useful resource for engineers, researchers and students in the sand casting and the rapid tooling industry.

Conley, James Gerard, Robert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Strategic Challenges in the Launch of a Second-Generation Drug. Case 5-404-752 (KEL334).

Tom McKillop, CEO of AstraZeneca, faced the classic quandary of large pharmaceutical firms. Within the year, the firm’s patent for Prilosec (active ingredient omeprazole) was expiring. Prilosec was a US$6.2 billion/year blockbuster that revolutionized the treatment of chronic gastro-esophageal reflux disorders (GERD). Severe cost-based competition from generic drug manufacturers was, however, inevitable. Patent expirations were nothing new for the US$15.8 billion in revenues drug firm. AstraZeneca had Nexium, an improvement on the original Prilosec molecule, in the pipeline. Ideally, it would like to move brand-loyal Prilosec customers to Nexium. Additionally, the company had the opportunity to introduce its own version of generic omeprazole, hence becoming the first mover in the generic segment, and/or introduce an over-the-counter (OTC) version of omeprazole. Tactically, AstraZeneca would like to use regulatory incentives and intellectual property rights to strengthen its competitive position. How could the company use its entire portfolio of intellectual properties—including patents and trademarks—to actively manage the priced-based competition and achieve a revenue growth strategy in the GERD market? Use with Case Supplement #5-404-753 (KEL335).

Conley, James Gerard, Robert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Marketing Challenges in the Launch of a Second-Generation Drug. Case 5-404-775 (KEL336).

Tom McKillop, CEO of AstraZeneca, faced the classic quandary of large pharmaceutical firms. The firm’s patent for Prilosec (active ingredient omeprazole) was expiring. Severe cost-based competition from generic drug manufacturers was inevitable. Patent expirations were nothing new for the US$15.8 billion in revenues drug firm, but Prilosec was the firm’s most successful drug franchise, with global sales of US$6.2 billion. How could the company innovate its way around the generic cost-based competition and avoid the drop in revenues associated with generic drug market entry? AstraZeneca had other follow-on drugs in the pipeline—namely Nexium, an improvement on the original Prilosec molecule. Additionally, the company had the opportunity to introduce its own version of generic omeprazole, hence becoming the first mover in the generic segment, and/or introduce an OTC version of omeprazole that might tap into other markets. Ideally, AstraZeneca would like to move brand-loyal Prilosec customers to Nexium. In this market, direct-to-consumer advertising has remarkable efficacy. Classical marketing challenges of pricing and promotion need to be resolved for the Nexium launch as well as possible product and place challenges for the generic or OTC opportunity. Which combination of marketing options will allow the firm to best sustain the value of the original omeprazole innovation?

Conley, James Gerard and David Orozco. 2005. Intellectual Property: The Ground Rules. Case 7-305-501 (KEL140).

Intellectual property rights are a major source of wealth creation in the modern global economy and continue to grow in significance. In order for managers and entreprenerus to appropriate the value of IP's strategic optionality, it is helpful to be conversant in the unique aspects of these legal rights regimes. This technical note provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the intellectual property rights regimes consisting of: trade secrets, patents, copyrights, trade dress, and trademarks.

Conley, James Gerard, Robert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Case Supplement. Case 5-404-753 (KEL335).

Use with Case #5-404-752 (KEL334).

Conley, James Gerard, Feng Qu, Geoff Nudd and Cooper Marcus. 2006. ttools (B): The Value of a Patent to the Entrepreneur. Case 5-306-509(B) (KEL280).

A self-employed innovator developed and patented a novel combination pen and stylus device to complement the recently released Palm Pilot personal digital assistant. He presented his design to Palm under a Non-Disclosure Agreement to discuss the market response to the product, and ttools was allowed to advertise the device in a monthly email to Palm customers. Subsequent to ttools’ release of the Throttle pen/stylus, Palm and the design firm IDEO introduced a similar pen/stylus device that appeared to infringe on ttools’ patent. ttools, being a small, resource-constrained company, was in a precarious position. Its competitive advantage and rights as a patent holder were being threatened. It had few financial resources to draw upon, and thus, its livelihood as a company was at stake. The case investigates the options ttools had available to respond to Palm and IDEO’s actions.

Conley, James Gerard, Feng Qu, Geoff Nudd and Cooper Marcus. 2006. ttools (A): The Value of a Patent to the Entrepreneur. Case 5-306-509(A) (KEL279).

A self-employed innovator developed and patented a novel combination pen and stylus device to complement the recently released Palm Pilot personal digital assistant. He presented his design to Palm under a Non-Disclosure Agreement to discuss the market response to the product, and ttools was allowed to advertise the device in a monthly email to Palm customers. Subsequent to ttools’ release of the Throttle pen/stylus, Palm and the design firm IDEO introduced a similar pen/stylus device that appeared to infringe on ttools’ patent. ttools, being a small, resource-constrained company, was in a precarious position. Its competitive advantage and rights as a patent holder were being threatened. It had few financial resources to draw upon, and thus, its livelihood as a company was at stake. The case investigates the options ttools had available to respond to Palm and IDEO’s actions.

Conley, James Gerard and David Orozco. 2006. Innovation and Invention: A Patent Landscape. Case 7-406-750 (KEL104).

The patent system is introduced to the non-legal professional by reviewing the historical justification for having a patent system and foundations of the U.S. patent system, contrasting patents with trade secrets, exploring invention requirements for obtaining a patent, and reviewing the patent application process, international patent protection, and the elements of infringement, validity, and enforcement through litigation.

Conley, James Gerard, Susan Deutsch, James Fields and Richard Wong. 2006. 3M ESPE AG. Case 5-406-753 (KEL288).

ESPE, the market leader, is a medium-sized German manufacturer of precision dental impression materials competing in a shrinking market. To grow the business, ESPE invests substantial resources in innovating impression materials and associated distribution mechanisms. Squeezed by the shrinking market, the competition is increasingly using the proprietary channels (dispensing mechanisms) and brand equity (trademark) of ESPE to maintain their market share. There is a potential infringement. The case explores how ESPE is organized to execute on the options imbedded in their IP rights.

Conley, James Gerard. 1998. The Roybi "Air Clean" 4-Cycle Engine: A case Study in Engineering and Manufacturing Management. Engineering Management Journal. 10(2): 23-32.

Wang, W, James Gerard Conley and H. W. Stoll. 2010. Rapid Tooling Guidelines for Sand Casting. SpringerLink Publications, 1st.

Rapid Tooling Guidelines For Sand Casting is a comprehensive tool for those who wish to improve their products and realization processes by better understanding the decisions involved in selecting sand casting tooling path and, in turn, improving cost, quality and delivery. Based on extensive research into the relationship between part geometry, production quantity, tool materials, tooling fabrication method and production tolerances, the book presents a variety of decision methods and case studies that address topics such as: Identification of part geometries that are suitable for sand casting Evaluation of error sources and alternative methods for creating tooling Optimal tooling path selection and its effects on production dimensional accuracy Analysis of tooling related costs and lead times Rapid Tooling Guidelines For Sand Casting is a useful resource for engineers, researchers and students in the sand casting and the rapid tooling industry.

Conley, James GerardRobert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Strategic Challenges in the Launch of a Second-Generation Drug. Case 5-404-752 (KEL334).

Tom McKillop, CEO of AstraZeneca, faced the classic quandary of large pharmaceutical firms. Within the year, the firm’s patent for Prilosec (active ingredient omeprazole) was expiring. Prilosec was a US$6.2 billion/year blockbuster that revolutionized the treatment of chronic gastro-esophageal reflux disorders (GERD). Severe cost-based competition from generic drug manufacturers was, however, inevitable. Patent expirations were nothing new for the US$15.8 billion in revenues drug firm. AstraZeneca had Nexium, an improvement on the original Prilosec molecule, in the pipeline. Ideally, it would like to move brand-loyal Prilosec customers to Nexium. Additionally, the company had the opportunity to introduce its own version of generic omeprazole, hence becoming the first mover in the generic segment, and/or introduce an over-the-counter (OTC) version of omeprazole. Tactically, AstraZeneca would like to use regulatory incentives and intellectual property rights to strengthen its competitive position. How could the company use its entire portfolio of intellectual properties—including patents and trademarks—to actively manage the priced-based competition and achieve a revenue growth strategy in the GERD market? Use with Case Supplement #5-404-753 (KEL335).

Conley, James GerardRobert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Marketing Challenges in the Launch of a Second-Generation Drug. Case 5-404-775 (KEL336).

Tom McKillop, CEO of AstraZeneca, faced the classic quandary of large pharmaceutical firms. The firm’s patent for Prilosec (active ingredient omeprazole) was expiring. Severe cost-based competition from generic drug manufacturers was inevitable. Patent expirations were nothing new for the US$15.8 billion in revenues drug firm, but Prilosec was the firm’s most successful drug franchise, with global sales of US$6.2 billion. How could the company innovate its way around the generic cost-based competition and avoid the drop in revenues associated with generic drug market entry? AstraZeneca had other follow-on drugs in the pipeline—namely Nexium, an improvement on the original Prilosec molecule. Additionally, the company had the opportunity to introduce its own version of generic omeprazole, hence becoming the first mover in the generic segment, and/or introduce an OTC version of omeprazole that might tap into other markets. Ideally, AstraZeneca would like to move brand-loyal Prilosec customers to Nexium. In this market, direct-to-consumer advertising has remarkable efficacy. Classical marketing challenges of pricing and promotion need to be resolved for the Nexium launch as well as possible product and place challenges for the generic or OTC opportunity. Which combination of marketing options will allow the firm to best sustain the value of the original omeprazole innovation?

Conley, James Gerard and David Orozco. 2005. Intellectual Property: The Ground Rules. Case 7-305-501 (KEL140).

Intellectual property rights are a major source of wealth creation in the modern global economy and continue to grow in significance. In order for managers and entreprenerus to appropriate the value of IP's strategic optionality, it is helpful to be conversant in the unique aspects of these legal rights regimes. This technical note provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the intellectual property rights regimes consisting of: trade secrets, patents, copyrights, trade dress, and trademarks.

Conley, James GerardRobert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Case Supplement. Case 5-404-753 (KEL335).

Use with Case #5-404-752 (KEL334).

Conley, James Gerard, Feng Qu, Geoff Nudd and Cooper Marcus. 2006. ttools (B): The Value of a Patent to the Entrepreneur. Case 5-306-509(B) (KEL280).

A self-employed innovator developed and patented a novel combination pen and stylus device to complement the recently released Palm Pilot personal digital assistant. He presented his design to Palm under a Non-Disclosure Agreement to discuss the market response to the product, and ttools was allowed to advertise the device in a monthly email to Palm customers. Subsequent to ttools’ release of the Throttle pen/stylus, Palm and the design firm IDEO introduced a similar pen/stylus device that appeared to infringe on ttools’ patent. ttools, being a small, resource-constrained company, was in a precarious position. Its competitive advantage and rights as a patent holder were being threatened. It had few financial resources to draw upon, and thus, its livelihood as a company was at stake. The case investigates the options ttools had available to respond to Palm and IDEO’s actions.

Conley, James Gerard, Feng Qu, Geoff Nudd and Cooper Marcus. 2006. ttools (A): The Value of a Patent to the Entrepreneur. Case 5-306-509(A) (KEL279).

A self-employed innovator developed and patented a novel combination pen and stylus device to complement the recently released Palm Pilot personal digital assistant. He presented his design to Palm under a Non-Disclosure Agreement to discuss the market response to the product, and ttools was allowed to advertise the device in a monthly email to Palm customers. Subsequent to ttools’ release of the Throttle pen/stylus, Palm and the design firm IDEO introduced a similar pen/stylus device that appeared to infringe on ttools’ patent. ttools, being a small, resource-constrained company, was in a precarious position. Its competitive advantage and rights as a patent holder were being threatened. It had few financial resources to draw upon, and thus, its livelihood as a company was at stake. The case investigates the options ttools had available to respond to Palm and IDEO’s actions.

Conley, James Gerard and David Orozco. 2006. Innovation and Invention: A Patent Landscape. Case 7-406-750 (KEL104).

The patent system is introduced to the non-legal professional by reviewing the historical justification for having a patent system and foundations of the U.S. patent system, contrasting patents with trade secrets, exploring invention requirements for obtaining a patent, and reviewing the patent application process, international patent protection, and the elements of infringement, validity, and enforcement through litigation.

Conley, James Gerard, Susan Deutsch, James Fields and Richard Wong. 2006. 3M ESPE AG. Case 5-406-753 (KEL288).

ESPE, the market leader, is a medium-sized German manufacturer of precision dental impression materials competing in a shrinking market. To grow the business, ESPE invests substantial resources in innovating impression materials and associated distribution mechanisms. Squeezed by the shrinking market, the competition is increasingly using the proprietary channels (dispensing mechanisms) and brand equity (trademark) of ESPE to maintain their market share. There is a potential infringement. The case explores how ESPE is organized to execute on the options imbedded in their IP rights.

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