Senior Counsel and Head of Intellectual Property, Evoqua
Gary Ganzi, Senior Counsel and Head of Intellectual Property at Evoqua, has been working with water for the better part of four decades.
Fresh out of graduate school, Gary worked in the area of water purification, which wasn’t quite as high tech as he expected.
After some years working for various companies, Gary noticed the increasing importance of patent protection on the water technologies he was working with.
“I started to see people infringing on our patents,” he explains, “which made me decide that I needed to understand IP in R&D. [After an acquisition, the company] became US Filter, and we acquired 250 companies in five years.”
“It was an unbelievable pace. Each one of those 250 companies we acquired had their own IP law firms,” Gary says. “We fired 249 of those firms, and kept Lando & Anastasi, which remains our go-to firm for patenting.”
“We need technical expertise from our IP firm, plus a deep understanding of our business. From Lando & Anastasi, we get wise recommendations about our business and advancing our technology.”
“What sets them apart is a deep understanding of the technology, to the point where they can converse with the technical people on an equal basis. This considerable understanding translates into very high quality patents.”
“Low cost copycats are trying to mimic our technology and trademarks all the time. We can’t invest in new technology if someone is going to copy it immediately.”
Evoqua’s technologies are critically important today, for example, helping healthcare institutions manage the Covid-19 pandemic. Hospitals, research labs and pharmaceutical companies rely on ultra high purity water, which must be sterile and have an extremely low biological count.
“It has to be consistent,” Gary says. “We use multiple different technologies to get highly reliable systems and techniques.”
“Lando & Anastasi is a great fit for Evoqua,” he says. “They have had a huge impact, helping us turn the water business into a technology business. We’re a patent leader, and we’re known as a technology leader in the water space. Almost everything we do has an environmental advantage.”
As for Gary, he’s not quite finished working with water. “We haven’t cleaned all the water [in the world] yet. That’s my goal.”