Innovation fuels Westlake PatentFest 2016

By Thomas McGuire

You know when you are onto something good when you hear all yeses to a proposal. What started off a few months ago as a small proposal to pitch a patent seminar to Fidelity’s technology leadership team in Westlake, Texas, turned into a pretty sizeable event in August 2016.

Fidelity has had a few PatentFest events in other locations across the firm, kicking off in North Carolina, then moving to a weeklong event in India last year. This year we also held events in Ireland and China.

However, this being Texas, we don’t do things small. I now see why the longhorn cattle are so popular – everything is bigger here. Our remarkable team took the traditional model of patent seminars, ripped it apart and expanded it. The Westlake PatentFest morphed into Innovate 2016, a daylong event that was packed full of super speakers, panel discussions, and activities that generated many ideas. More than 200 Fidelity associates attended.

Positive disruption

While the focus was on innovation, potential patents, and how we create and look at new ideas with Fidelity associates’ crowdsourcing tools, our event leaders also injected a positive disruption to the “status quo” by bringing in outstanding guest speakers. The day was kicked off by Mike Gabree, Head of Technology for Fidelity Pricing and Cash Management. He reminded us that all kids are innovators and perhaps we adults should try to retain that outlook.

A few things I took away from our speakers is that you have to persevere in order to succeed—an idea on its own is not going to cut it—and appreciate the alignment of one’s core values will fuel the desire to do the right thing. Truly inspiring.

We also had a few interactive sessions that were very hands-on (and fun!) to spark innovation and brainstorm all sorts of ideas—a few that, someday, might have a significant impact to Fidelity, our clients, and perhaps the world. The most viable concepts will be added to the growing pipeline of potential patent applications by new Fidelity inventors. At the very least, attendees learned techniques to inspire great ideas.

It’s important to get people to start thinking about patents and understand the criteria involved. It’s equally important to have fun and try alternative methods of generating ideas—some that might become patented someday.

Keep on Innovating!

About the Fidelity Patent Program

In 2012 Fidelity created the Fidelity Patent Program to encourage, develop and grow intellectual property at the firm. In four short years, 151 U.S. patents and 44 international patents to Fidelity employees have come from the Fidelity Patent Program. Fidelity’s invention legacy can be found at the United States Patent & Trademark Office.