This Valentine’s Day: Hear the IPWatchdog Love Story

By Eileen McDermott
February 14, 2019

Many readers will know that IPWatchdog, Inc. is run by partners in marriage and business, Founder and CEO Gene Quinn and Chief Operating Officer Renée Quinn. But fewer may know the story behind the couple, or how and why Renée chose to make the obscure world of intellectual property—a term she knew very little about prior to meeting Gene—her own.

They Meet

Gene, Joseph and Renée – 2006

It was 2002, and Renée was a single mother, living in the Collegeville, Pennsylvania area, working full time and attending graduate school. With a six-year old son—Joseph Compasso (pictured left, center)—to care for, dating was difficult, so she made the (bold for the time) decision to join Yahoo! Personals and Match.com. Gene was temporarily teaching law at Temple, University in Philadelphia and didn’t know many people in the area, so had also joined Yahoo! Personals. He soon picked out Renée’s profile and they began chatting habitually.

Their online chats quickly moved to phone calls and laborious, 2002 texts, until one night, after an extended conversation, Renée suggested that Gene just come over. She didn’t have to ask twice—he quickly made the hour’s drive and they met in person for the first time. They hit it off right away and talked for hours.

First Date

Photo taken by six-year old Joseph Compasso – Nov. 2002

Their first official date was Outback Steakhouse. They ate and continued their conversation well after they had finished dinner. “I thought it was going really well,” says Gene. “When the date was over, I walked her to the car and, not that I expected a big wet kiss, but she gave me the Heisman; she reached her hand out as far as she could away from her body to shake mine and said, ‘Thanks’. So, I thought, ‘She’s not that into me.’ I had a very long ride home.”

Upon arriving home, however, Gene found an email from Renee. She had had a great time and wanted to do it again. Perplexed but rejuvenated, Gene replied in kind and they were soon an item. (Renée claims she “just felt odd” about the goodbye, but Gene remains convinced it was about his hair. “I had longer, thick hair then, and I used grease to slick it back—she didn’t like that look.”)

Intro to IP

By Christmas of 2002, Gene moved in with Renée and Joseph. He had launched IPWatchdog.com just over three years earlier as a static website and was doing a weekly newsletter in which he summarized every IP case he could find. “Renée came up to me one day and asked, skeptically, ‘So what is this that you do all day?’” Gene put on his patent law professor hat, and Renée was thus introduced to IP.

The Partnership Begins

Gene and Renee moved to Syracuse, NY, in July of 2004.  It was there,  on the steps of their first home, that Gene proposed to Renée on July 3, 2005.  They were married on September 9, 2006, in Cicero, New York at the Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club on Oneida Lake and have been living and working together full time since moving to Virginia in 2008.

July 3, 2005: The day Gene proposed.

While Renée didn’t initially intend to take on IPWatchdog as her full-time career, when the business began to take off in 2010/ 2011, Gene needed help and she began to take some of the work off his hands. “We realized that we both have different strengths and when we work together, we balance each other out,” Renée says. The Invent + Patent System™ is just one result of the couple’s teamwork at its best. The two also conduct all IPWatchdog webinars and live and online courses together.

A selfie with a real camera, before they were common (or easy).

When asked how the couple handles juggling shared careers and marriage, Renée says, “Boy, that took a while.” She adds: “Gene jokes that when he realized I was really the boss, it got better. He likes to say that he’s the talent, and I monetize the talent.” The real secret is revealed later in the conversation though, when she remarks, “We have a great time together.”

More than ten years in, Renée has also found her niche in the IP community. “I used to say, ‘it’s not my field,’ but it is now. I’ve been so proud to watch Gene grow in this business, and I am so proud to be on the journey with him” she says.  As she has become steeped in the IP world, it’s not only her love for Gene that has grown. “The people I’ve met in this community are so great and so easy to talk to; I just love it.”

Happy Valentine’s Day from the IPWatchdog team!

The Author

Eileen McDermott

Eileen McDermott is the Editor-in-Chief of IPWatchdog.com. Eileen is a veteran IP and legal journalist, and no stranger to the intellectual property world, having held editorial and managerial positions at several publications and industry organizations. She has acted as editorial consultant for the International Trademark Association (INTA), chiefly overseeing the editorial process for the Association’s twice-monthly newsletter, the INTA Bulletin. Eileen has also served as a freelance editor for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); as senior consulting editor for the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) from 2015 to 2017; as Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief at INTA from 2013 to 2016; and was Americas Editor for Managing Intellectual Property magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 26 Comments comments. Join the discussion.

  1. Night Writer February 14, 2019 2:59 pm

    They are both aces with me. They do a great job! I hate to think of where patent law would be without them. Thanks and may your love last for eternity!

  2. Renee C. Quinn February 14, 2019 3:03 pm

    Thank you Night Writer! We appreciate all of your support and the support of all of our readers, authors and commenters such as yourself. We do what we do for and because of all of you!

  3. Gene Quinn February 14, 2019 3:38 pm

    Thanks Night! Like the ‘boss’ says… we appreciate all the support from the regulars like you over the years! Without you guys we’d just be pumping out into the nothingness of the Internet.

    Renee and I are at 12 years married now, with many more to come no doubt. She is the love of my life!

  4. Renée C. Quinn February 14, 2019 4:45 pm

    I concer! And Gene, you are, absolutely the love of mine!!!

  5. Nancy Braman February 14, 2019 5:29 pm

    This was a wonderful read! Thanks for the sweet backstory behind IP Law’s power couple.

  6. Elisa Rodgers February 14, 2019 5:43 pm

    What a sweet story– thanks for sharing!!

  7. Renee C. Quinn February 14, 2019 5:52 pm

    Thank you Nancy and Lisa. IP Law’s Power Couple! I love it! Thank you! We’ve enjoyed sharing our story with all of you!

  8. The Time Os Now To Act February 14, 2019 6:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing your personal story as a couple and family. And, thanks for bringing your energy and soul to IP.

    So glad you guys teamed up!

  9. The Time Is Now To Act February 14, 2019 6:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing your personal story as a couple and family. And, thanks for bringing your energy and soul to IP.

    So glad you guys teamed up!

  10. The Time Is Now To Act February 14, 2019 6:34 pm

    Also, hats off for braving online dating in ‘02. Truly, the Wild West back then.

  11. Renee C. Quinn February 14, 2019 9:26 pm

    Thanks, Act – I was reluctant, especially being a single mom. BUT… the good things was we didn’t have to exchange phone numbers until after we had gotten to know each other a few weeks. Luckily Crazy rears it’s ugly head pretty quickly, and since it hadn’t, I figured it was pretty safe! = )

  12. Steve B. February 15, 2019 5:36 am

    Renee and Gene, what a wonderful background on you two. I have been reading you for many years and even though IANAL, I pick up your words of wisdom all of the time..hope you both continue to add value to all of us people looking for pertinent IP news and insights….Thanks much and hope you had a Happy “V” Day.

  13. Renee C. Quinn February 15, 2019 11:45 am

    Thank you Steve B. When Eileen suggested it, I thought it would be a fun idea. Everyone know we work together and they see us at functions frequently together, but it was fun to share our journey we’ve taken together with all of you! And yes, we did, indeed, have a very happy and fun Valentine’s day! And Gene being the romantic that he is, has additional plans for us this evening as well. I am a very lucky lady, indeed!

  14. Pro Say February 15, 2019 12:32 pm

    Great love story Gene & Renee.

    The IP world just wouldn’t be the same without you … both.

    Thank you for sharing.

  15. Dave K February 15, 2019 1:21 pm

    I’m a regular reader that very rarely comments, but thanks to you both for the content of this blog. And congrats as well 🙂

  16. Renee C. Quinn February 15, 2019 1:57 pm

    Pro Say, thanks for your comment. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this journey with Gene.

  17. Joe Martin February 15, 2019 3:31 pm

    Great story! Congrats to you both! 🙂

  18. Angelina February 16, 2019 5:02 am

    Beautiful story!!

  19. Albert T Keyack February 16, 2019 11:28 am

    What a great story! Very (non-CAFC) appealing! (groan)

    Congrats to you both and see you soon!

  20. patent leather February 17, 2019 10:47 am

    Congrats, Renee and Gene! Great story. So Renee, you just invited Gene over for your first meeting? Pretty bold move! 🙂 I guess Joseph is grown now, is he interested in law?

  21. EG February 18, 2019 8:41 am

    Hey Renee/Gene,

    A great “love story” for a wonderful couple. And better than those told in the cinema!

  22. ELiz February 18, 2019 10:29 am

    This is so lovely! Wonderful story, wonderful couple!

  23. Renee C. Quinn February 18, 2019 10:43 am

    Patent Leather,

    Yes, I took a chance and invited him over. My son was already asleep in the next room. And we talked for hours. Joe is now 22 years old and no, he doesn’t have interest in law. He is a Personal Trainer for LA Fitness, still finding his way in life.

  24. Renee C. Quinn February 18, 2019 10:45 am

    Thank you Joe, Angelina, Albert, EG and ELiz. We appreciate your taking the time to read and comment. So glad you enjoyed our story! It was fun to share it!

  25. Brad Olson February 18, 2019 6:10 pm

    What a wonderful loving couple! How refreshing to see such a compatible couple doing something that is of great benefit to the profession and to society as a whole for so many years. I am not ashamed to say the photos and backstory left me a little verklempt .

  26. Kimberly Chotkowski February 21, 2019 7:12 am

    Congratulations and Happy belated Valentines! You are a model copule and your love truly shows. Alex and I wish you all the best in your future!

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