Ingredion is a Fortune 500 provider of ingredient solutions that helps nourish, comfort, sustain, and delight people around the world. The company’s wide range of ingredient solutions is strategically designed to address changing consumer trends and preferences in a planet-friendly sustainable manner. Ingredion co-creates with customers and fulfils its purpose of bringing the potential of people, nature and technology together to make life better. Its specialty portfolio includes Starch-based Texturizers, Clean and Simple Ingredients, Plant-based Proteins, Sugar Reduction and Specialty Sweeteners, and Food Systems. Ingredion was named to Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list in 2022.
Ingredion invests heavily in innovation to maintain its leading position in its diverse business areas. Protection of Intellectual Property, derived during an innovation process, is essential to Ingredion in order to leverage value from the ideas. Intellectual Property enjoys a high profile within Ingredion and is acknowledged as being of paramount importance to the organization’s continued commercial success. Ingredion is now seeking for a Chief IP Counsel who will be a part of the Global Legal, Business Integrity, and Government Affairs Leadership Team, as well as the Global Innovation Leadership Team.
Elements of the Chief IP Counsel role are:
- Championing IP, creativity, and innovation in all forms to help build and enhance a growth and innovation culture across the Company, and providing leadership, strategic partnering with the business, and subject matter expertise across the Company.
- Partnering with the Global Innovation Group and global business leadership across core and specialty growth platforms, to develop and execute intellectual property strategies and best practices for internal and external innovation.
- Ongoing evaluation of the patent portfolio and trade secrets, including strategic leadership in intellectual property assessment in the M&A context, and prospective new patents against key platforms for strategic alignment.
- Partnering with and advising the business to determine what inventions merit patent applications and where they should be filed and maintained.
- Managing strategic and defensive intellectual property related litigation.
- Providing clear and practical legal guidance and risk assessment on freedom to operate and validity inclusive of risk assessment.
- Identifying risks and providing counselling and leadership in implementation to result in efficient commercial exploitation, strategic development and effective protection of intellectual property assets in service of the Company’s strategic and growth objectives globally.
- Subject matter expertise, strategic thinking, and leadership in considering M&A and venture capital opportunities to acquire innovation or capabilities to drive greater innovation in the Company.
- Also accountable for “soft IP” including but not limited to setting and executing strategy for trademarks development, registration, and maintenance, as well as domain name exploitation.
Ingredion has a collaborative culture and is looking for a commercially minded Patent Attorney with the ambition to continue to build on this strong foundation. The successful candidate is likely to possess the following criteria:
- Juris Doctorate or L.L.M. in intellectual property
- At least 15 years of experience in the full scope of intellectual property (patents, trademarks, domains, copyrights and trade secrets). Significant experience in-house preferred, food and beverage ingredient or adjacent industry experience a plus.
- Admission in good standing to a U.S. state bar, plus registered to practice before the USPTO.
- Experience and passion for managing intellectual property on a global basis, with demonstrated ability to strategize and provide counsel on protecting intellectual property in diverse countries such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and in EPO/European Union.
- MS or PhD degree in chemistry, biochemistry or related scientific field; subject matter expertise in the areas of starch chemistry, hydrocolloids, or food research and applications a plus.
- Business acumen and demonstrated ability to partner with business, including pragmatic, business-astute counselling ability.
- Excellent drafting, communication and negotiation skills.
- Effective strategic and analytical leader with creative problem-solving abilities to properly balance risk with commercial objectives, providing creative solutions.
- Organized with excellent attention to detail and ability to prioritize and simultaneously manage numerous assignments.
- Demonstrated ability to manage a team and develop people.
- Demonstrated ability to manage outside counsel and to work efficiently and effectively with limited resources.
- Demonstrated ability effectively to communicate with all levels of management and all departments, subsidiaries and affiliates, including international affiliates, with tact and diplomacy.
- Ability to provide strategic legal advice and risk analysis clearly, both verbally and in writing.
- Ability to work as part of a business team.
- Proven ability to work under pressure and within tight time frames.