What does a Startup need to know about Intellectual Property?
Startups are founded on new ideas, and generate more new ideas every day – anything from new techniques for 3D printing, to new machines for making wontons, to new teaching methods, to edible firefighting gels. These new ideas can become the most valuable assets of a company, but only with the right protection in place.
When it comes to their Intellectual Property (IP), too many new ventures stumble right out of the gate, which adds significant challenges to the already rocky road ahead. Startups are ruled by competing priorities: product development, generating sales (revenue is still a dream), seeking out investment, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, in a startup’s early days, IP can be considered to be an expensive luxury or just yet another distraction.
During this interactive workshop, two intellectual property experts, experienced in working with startups, will demonstrate to participants that IP protection is an essential early step for new companies. Topics covered will range from patent basics to real world examples of best practices for IP protection that will complement early business strategies.At the end of the workshop participants will leave armed with essential tools for maximizing the value of their IP -- to help them defy the odds and succeed where others have failed!
Dr. Carol Miernicki is a Canadian and U.S. patent agent with 25 years of experience spanning many disciplines, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, engineering, informatics, chemistry and materials. Currently, she is acting as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Launch Lab, the regional innovation centre for southeastern Ontario. She also is an in-demand consultant for matters of patent strategy. For 18 years, Dr. Miernicki held the position of Vice President, Intellectual Property at PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen’s University. Her responsibilities at PARTEQ included assessing the patentability of inventions, drafting patent applications, prosecuting patent applications in the U.S. and Canadian Patent Offices, giving validity and infringement opinions, managing the university’s extensive foreign patent portfolio, heading the PARTEQ patent group and guiding the patent portfolios of over 20 PARTEQ spinoff companies. She was a key player in developing a patent strategy and licensing framework for GreenCentre Canada, a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, and she managed GreenCentre’s patent portfolio for its initial years.
Dr. Stephanie White is an accomplished patent professional at MBM Intellectual Property Law, an Intellectual Property Law office that offers IP legal protection service to Canadian and international clients for patents, trademarks and copyright. She has a proven record in building and maximizing the value of her clients' intellectual property assets. Stephanie has over 17 years of experience in patent portfolio development and IP counseling, where she is skilled in integrating IP strategy with business strategy. Her practice concentrates on the protection of chemical and biochemical technologies in various industry sectors, including cleantech, chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical device, life science, oil & gas and alternative energy. Stephanie also applies her expertise to technical and IP support in pharmaceutical litigation and commercial transactions. Prior to joining MBM, Stephanie served as the Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for a Canadian not-for-profit organization focused on commercialization of green chemistry technologies. This role afforded Stephanie the opportunity to enhance her skills in IP portfolio development, valuation and monetization within an open innovation environment. In addition, Stephanie spent over 11 years working as a senior patent agent in a large national firm, where her practice focused mainly on assisting small and medium-sized companies in growing, perfecting and enforcing their intellectual property assets.
Please RSVP if you plan to attend! There will be a light lunch after the workshop ends at around 12:30, and then an opportunity to network with other attendees and speak with Carol and Stephanie one-on-one.