Adeia Blog

All Blogs

June 3, 2024

Adeia's CEO Explores the Role of Trust and the Future of Intellectual Property in Today's Innovation Society

Adeia's CEO Explores the Role of Trust and the Future of Intellectual Property in Today's Innovation Society

Innovation, in many respects, is like beauty; the degree to which it is appreciated depends mainly on the eye of the beholder. Unlike beauty, however, patents offer an objective metric to measure its presence and evolution. From this perspective, the trajectory of innovation in the United States has been impressive. In 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted 346,152 patents, up 90% from 2000, when 182,218 patents were issued, according to research from Statista.

There is a clear relationship between intellectual property (IP) and economic vitality, delivering widespread societal benefits in the process. Rapid rates of innovation, however, can only be sustained in an environment that all critical stakeholders trust. 

At the close of 2023, Adeia Inc. was recognized by Statista and Newsweek as one of the World's Most Trustworthy Companies. It is in this context that we sat down with Paul Davis, chief executive officer and president at Adeia, to learn more about the role of trust in the intellectual property community. Here is what he had to say:

Q: First, congratulations to you and your team for being recognized by Newsweek and Statista as one of the world's most trusted companies. It seems appropriate to start this interview by asking you to describe the role trust plays in supporting the intellectual property sector.

Paul Davis: Thank you. Trust does play a crucial role in supporting the IP sector. It's the foundational building block that enables critical stakeholders to openly communicate, share insights and build relationships that foster innovation. This is critically important because IP ecosystems are extremely diverse, vibrant and dynamic. When complicated issues are constantly changing, it can create confusion. Trust is the primary path to resolving confusion. 

Building trust requires a high degree of transparency across all participating players. Key stakeholders must be aware of the implications of innovations, the time frames over which they evolve and who benefits from patents. These different participants in the ecosystem must be willing to work together. 

When stakeholders clearly communicate and build relationships within the community, they establish credibility and reputation. We feel this is essential, which is why we are so happy that Adeia received recognition from Statista and Newsweek as one of the most trusted companies in the media & entertainment sector. 

Without trust, the future of the IP industry and its ability to adapt to the accelerating pace of innovation is compromised.

Q: Does that premise hold for the patent system itself? 

Davis: Yes. Trust and sharing always go hand in hand. The patent system was designed to promote innovation and encourage the sharing of inventions with the public. By granting exclusive rights to inventors for a limited period, the patent system aims to incentivize inventors to disclose their inventions and contribute to the overall progress of society. 

This, in turn, fosters trust and confidence in the sustainability of innovation over the long term.

The patent system is fundamental because, without it, inventors would be incentivized to keep their innovations all to themselves and hold them as trade secrets. From an ecosystem standpoint, not having the patent system in place would inhibit the ability for new offerings to emerge or for products and services to improve over time. 

Q: There has been significant vitriolic commentary about enforcing intellectual property rights. Is there a need to redefine, re-educate and restore trust? 

Davis: It is always important to consider the source when reviewing critiques of the IP environment.

From my point of view, two key priorities must be pursued to maintain a healthy innovation economy. We should support a patent system that is designed to share ideas, innovation and technologies so that we can all advance. We must also be diligent in respecting contributions with appropriate recognition and compensation. 

Pursuing these objectives can be challenging because certain players in the market make public statements and operate in ways that devalue the patent system. A lot of important perspective can be lost in the narrative.

All too often, companies that hold a "limiting" view of the IP sector have already taken advantage of patented technologies. However, once they reach a certain level of funding and growth, they opt to denigrate patent holders. 

There has been a well-orchestrated campaign to make patents seem negative while "forgetting" that patents helped those who hold this view build their current position in the market. Framing patents as a negative thing damages the entire ecosystem and stunts technological innovation. 

It erodes trust. 

Having said that, there's immense value within the patent system and the broader intellectual property ecosystem, and the outlook is promising. I'm confident that innovation will persistently progress towards trust that is bolstered by a broader appreciation of the patent system's significance. There is increasing recognition among stakeholders in this ecosystem, including consumers, of the pivotal role patents play in driving technological advancement.

Q: There is so much talk about artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI these days. What impact do you see this having on the IP sector?

Davis: The impact is already immense. We're seeing a lot of innovation in artificial intelligence and generative AI. Tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot are reshaping corporate operations because they boost efficiency, particularly in software development and content creation. 

These innovations are extremely exciting and offer unlimited potential. 

But caution and vigilance are also in order.

Integrating AI tools and aggregating data -- including copyright, trademarked and patented information -- can pose challenges to intellectual property rights. The risk of losing IP rights through AI-generated data is significant, especially in the U.S., where patent laws are strict about public disclosures. 

The underlying innovations that underpin emerging AI technologies are not owned by any single brand or company. These emerging technologies have been built on years of technological innovation and advancement. Much, if not all, of the foundational capabilities of today's AI were made possible by early patented technologies. That's why re-educating the community and reestablishing the power of patents in the context of today's innovation economy is essential.

I think these challenges can be overcome by communities willing to work together. Innovation works best when it is a team sport with many contributors. That's the beauty of the patent system. Different patents often interact to create value greater than the sum of their parts. 

Q: How is Adeia building trust and enhancing faith in the IP sector and patent system? 

Davis: Adeia is a technology innovator. Our primary focus is to invent the future of media and semiconductor technology. To that end, we firmly believe in the power of patents, we actively patent our ideas and we share our knowledge by contributing to trade and scientific publications and participating in leading conferences worldwide. 

We believe in maintaining a high level of transparency in our licensing discussions to explore -- and mutually agree on -- the value of our IP so that, together with our partners, we can create viable technological solutions that advance the industries we serve. 

We look forward to continuing our time-tested practices of building relationships and being transparent to ethically license our intellectual property to advance technological innovations for many generations.

Thomas Workman Wins "Best Paper 2023" at ECTC

Increasing the Throughput of Hybrid Bonding Inspection Using Novel Methods and Machine Learning

Adeia Presents Hybrid Bonding Technology at 2024 LES Silicon Valley Conference

Adeia Inc. Celebrates Remarkable Semiconductor Achievements in 2024

Paul Davis


Paul Davis is Chief Executive Officer and serves as a member of Adeia Inc.’s Board of Directors. Prior to the spin-off of our product business, Xperi Inc., from our IP licensing business in 2022, he served as the Chief Legal Officer and President of the IP Licensing business of Xperi Holding Corporation (renamed Adeia Inc. at the time of the spin-off). He served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Xperi Corporation, the predecessor to Xperi Holding Corporation, prior to the merger with TiVo Corporation in 2020. Paul joined the company in 2011 and in 2013 was promoted to Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Tessera Technologies, Inc., the predecessor to Xperi Corporation before the acquisition of DTS, Inc. in 2016. Before joining the company, he was an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate securities matters and corporate governance. Paul holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and B.A. degrees in history and political science from the University of California, San Diego.