The Center for Applied Innovation is an Illinois non-profit corporation created to manage education, public policy outreach and related economic activity around applied technology and intellectual property (IP) rights in the State of Illinois and around the world. Applied technology is defined as proven IP or technology that is in use or was developed for a specific purpose and protected by patents and/or patent applications (as well as other forms of intellectual property such as trademarks and copyrights). The Center will examine the current environment and identify opportunities for IP to be utilized both in the State of Illinois and across the world to stimulate economic growth. The Center will create a critical mass of available resources and focus on redeploying existing IP, but will also encourage continued technology development.


A volunteer Board is responsible for overseeing all initiatives undertaken by the Center.

Melvin F. Jager is an intellectual property lawyer who has been engaged in the practice for 45 years. He began his legal career in Washington D.C. and continued for 35 years as a senior member of the firm of Brinks Hofer Gilson and Lione in Chicago, Illinois, where he was chair of the Licensing Practice Group. He also practiced law in Chicago with the firms of Lee, Smith and Jager and Niro, Jager and Scavone. His law practice concentrated in IP litigation, patent prosecution, licensing and general IP counseling in the areas of patent trademark and trade secrets law. He also has acted as an expert witness in patent and trade secret lawsuits, and as an arbitrator in international licensing disputes. In 2004-2005 he was a Managing Director of I|C|M|B Ocean Tomo in Chicago.

James E. Malackowski is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Tomo, LLC, an integrated Intellectual Capital Merchant Banc™ firm providing financial products and services related to Intellectual Property (IP) expert services, research, investments, risk management and transactions. Ocean Tomo assists clients – corporations, law firms, governments and institutional investors – in realizing Intellectual Capital Equity® value broadly defined. Subsidiaries of Ocean Tomo include: Ocean Tomo Capital, LLC — publisher of the Ocean Tomo 300® Patent Index (NYSE: OTPAT). Ocean Tomo is the founder and majority owner of the Intellectual Property Exchange International, Inc. Mr. Malackowski serves as the Chairman of the Exchange.

Theresa Zagnoli is a leader in the field of communication consulting. She was the founder and CEO of Zagnoli McEvoy Foley LLC and has been providing practical trial consulting and communication solutions to attorneys and business leaders for over 20 years. Zagnoli's knowledge of the American juror has made her one of the most sought-after trial consultants in the nation. She is the leading consultant in the area of pharmaceutical product liability and patent litigation. Her expertise in persuasive communication makes her a popular keynote speaker and faculty member at seminars and workshops sponsored by national bar and judicial associations, major law firms, corporations and law schools on a variety of communication and trial advocacy topics.

Kristi L. Stathis is a senior marketing executive experienced at the development and implementation of corporate brand management, advertising and promotional programs successfully driving near term revenue consistent with overall corporate strategy and business development objectives. For more than twenty years, Ms. Stathis has been responsible for creating and executing messaging, protocols and procedures both as a principal as well as on behalf of her client interests.

Earlier in her career, in response to a discovered need to address measurement for outdoor advertising, Ms. Stathis created a novel means to engage clients through abbreviated dial reverse charge telephony services. Originally formed as Cellular Linking, Inc., Ms. Stathis assisted in development of overall marketing strategy leading to sale of the company to a consortium of private equity sponsors investing a total of more than $40 million. Ms. Stathis’ inventions led to a portfolio six issued and pending United States patents.