FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Tracey R. Thomas

Tracey R. Thomas

American Express
CEO of The IPZONE and Chief IP Strategist and License Negotiator
New York, NY, USA


Tracey Thomas is presently Chief IP Strategist and License Negotiator at American Express in New York City. He is also CEO of the IP Zone, an American Express business that facilitates commercialization of technology.  In his current role, Mr. Thomas runs the IP Licensing Business and is primarily responsible for commercializing American Express’s global intellectual property (IP) portfolio, including the development and implementation of intellectual property and technology licensing and protection strategies.

Prior to joining American Express, Mr. Thomas practiced in the Chicago offices of McDermott, Will & Emery, Rudnick and Wolfe, and Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, where he focused on all aspects of intellectual property law, including IP licensing, litigation and patent preparation and prosecution.   While in private practice, he also practiced sports and entertainment law representing over 20 professional athletes and artists, record labels, music producers and musicians.

Mr. Thomas is admitted to the New York, Illinois and Wisconsin bars, and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Prior to attending law school, Mr. Thomas was an electrical engineer at Wisconsin Electric Power Company in Milwaukee and a software engineer at Bear Automotive in New Berlin, Wisconsin. 

Mr. Thomas received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School School (1993), where he was a Managing Editor of the Law Review, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Marquette University (1986).

Mr. Thomas frequently speaks and writes on issues relating to intellectual property best practices, licensing and litigation-avoidance strategies.  He serves in an advisory capacity to the Consumer and Merchant Awareness Foundation, a foundation established by American Express to educate consumers and merchants about fraud, identity theft and other security-related issues in the payments industry leveraging intellectual property contributed by American Express.  Mr. Thomas previously served on the board of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) and founded and led the American Express e-Mentoring program where American Express employees mentored Manhattan-based elementary school students over the Internet. 

Mr. Thomas is the author of “Driving IP Deals: Internal Decisions and Processes” and is working on a follow-up book focusing on the execution of intellectual property transactions.  He resides in New Jersey with his wife and kids.

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