June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
11.807.1 - 11.807.8
Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Programs: How to Hold onto Your Wallet as You Transfer Technology
Entrepreneurship programs present wonderful opportunities to allow students to practice engineering in an exciting and challenging environment. One of the challenges that students in entrepreneurship programs face is how to consider intellectual property rights while technology is transferred to and from entities outside the program. Technology transfer functions in the form of undergraduate entrepreneurship programs present unique and basic challenges such as deciding who owns any developed intellectual property, how should that property be protected, and who should do the protecting. Unfortunately, every situation is likely to be different and no one-size fits all answer can be provided. However, this paper will discuss the various issues to be considered before entering into relationships via an entrepreneurship program.
Specifically, this paper will discuss the various steps that entrepreneurship teams must take in order to protect any intellectual property generated by the team. The U.S. Patent laws as they currently stand allow for grace periods in which to file for patent protection. Given that many entrepreneurship programs occur over the span of many semesters, the expiration of these grace periods may result in forfeiture of rights. The paper will focus on how to preserve these rights in the face of demands made by our legal system
In addition, dramatic shifts in the U.S. intellectual property law landscape will be discussed in relation to entrepreneurship programs. Current legislation aims to eliminate the traditional “first to invent” system of priority in the U.S. with a “first to file” system. This change can have drastic effects on intellectual property rights.
Contract with Society
The U.S. Patent system can be viewed as a contract between society and inventors. Society agrees to grant a limited monopoly to the inventor, but only if the inventor agrees to satisfy various requirements. Even then, society, through the patent laws, agrees to impose certain constraints on the monopoly granted to the inventor.
The basic requirements that society requires is that the invention have utility, the invention is novel, and that the invention is not obvious to those with ordinary skill in the art of the invention. In addition, the inventor agrees to adequately disclose the invention in a timely fashion.
The details that make up these requirements are what make patent law so challenging to patent practitioners and so maddening to inventors. Precisely following these rules for any inventor, including inventors associated with entrepreneurship programs, may make the difference between a successful invention and a failure.
High, M., & Rossler, P., & High, K. (2006, June), Intellectual Property And Entrepreneurship Programs: How To Hold Onto Your Wallet As You Transfer Technology Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1042
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015