By Thomas Galassi and Sarah Kishinevsky
A new series teaches academic inventors how to use patents to attract funding
Patent strategies are crucial to the success of many biotech companies. Compared to other industries, investments in new medical inventions are relatively costly to develop, but less costly to imitate. Proper patent protection reduces the likelihood of imitation by competitors and therefore incentivizes investment in product development.
The importance of patents was not lost on our community. A recent Bench to Bedside Initiative poll found that:
- Over 60% of the Tri-I community was interested in attending a class on patent law, intellectual property, and university tech transfer.
- Over 88% of the Tri-I community felt it was necessary to pursue opportunities outside his/her university in order to expand his/her C.V.
To address this unmet need, Weill Cornell’s Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab teamed up with the Cornell Center for Technology Licensing (CTL). Within one month of the survey’s publication, the Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab and CTL hosted their first “Patent Class Mini Series.”
This series consisted of 4 sessions, and aimed to educate academics on how start-up companies founded from academic institutions can best protect their intellectual property. Lectures covered topics ranging from “what is patentable” to how to avoid the mistakes that frequently doom biotech start-ups shortly after inception.
Attendees of the patent class enjoy conversation during the networking reception
Upon the class’s completion, respondents rated each lecture and the class as a whole. The results of the evaluations indicated an overwhelmingly positive reaction. Even more telling was that when asked for suggestions, several respondents indicated a desire for additional lectures.
Table 1: Summary of Patent Mini Series Evaluations (1 = worst rating and 5 = best).
|How would you rate lecture 1?||4.79|
|How would you rate lecture 2?||4.67|
|How would you rate lecture 3?||4.23|
|How would you rate lecture 4?||4.94|
|How informative was the series?||4.71|
|How interesting was the series?||4.58|
In response to these evaluations, the Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab and CTL will be holding another series on patents this winter. Classes such as these are sure to build up Tri-I and NYC’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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