Earlier this year, the world of IP sadly lost one of its leading figures and Iprova lost someone who, as an advisor, advocate and ally, had  worked with, inspired and supported the Iprova team in the company’s development.  Stephen Potter passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in May this year.  After a glittering academic career, Stephen then had a successful, interesting and varied business career, which took him all around the world.  This weekend, friends, family and former colleagues came together at Les Paccots in the Swiss Alps near Vevey to remember Stephen and share some wonderful memories of him. 

The tributes to Stephen were many and varied, but they managed to capture the essence of someone who provided wisdom and wit in roughly equal measures, but who was also extremely courteous, inquisitive, generous and enthusiastic.  He was knowledgeable not just on IP matters, but also on many others, of which food and wine were maybe the most notable.  In amongst the tributes, the phrases “he lit up a room”, “one of a kind” and “unique sartorial elegance” stand out as ones that will resonate with many of those who knew him. 

Joff Wild, former editor of leading IP publication IAM and also a member of the Iprova Advisory Board, knew Stephen well and summed him up as “One of the leading figures in European IP value creation. An enthusiast who knew his market backwards, a passionate and unashamed advocate for IP and wonderful company over a drink or two.”

The sentiment was echoed by Julian Nolan, Iprova Founder and CEO, who had worked with Stephen for many years. “Stephen was a close friend and also a respected mentor and business partner, who had the rare combination of a very nice sense of humour, great intellect and an easy-going wisdom which was omnipresent, no matter what the situation. He contributed the “signal” in the noise of both life and business, readily seeing through the fluff of politics, business and life itself to provide insightful views and opinions. Somehow, with Stephen’s passing the world just became more boring.”

The final word should go to Stephen who, earlier this year, responded to the question as to what advice he would give to his younger self, with the following: “To continue with a disinterested search for truth and beauty and always learn, always be open to things, and always give it a go! Chemists can truly do anything!’.  Wise words indeed!

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