July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
Many academic institutions are experiencing a rampant push for intellectual property to be developed from research activity, so much so, that university technology transfer is ranked by independent groups. For many institutions, it is the pride of the volume of intellectual property applications, the promise of making money from licensing, or the ultimate expression of economic development in their communities, spin-off, and start-up companies. Although this is a laudable goal for faculty and institutions, it creates an incentive to file for as much intellectual property as possible without careful consideration of the follow-up time, effort, and resources that will need to be dedicated to seeing the intellectual property through. Furthermore, legal advisors are financially incentivized to also file for intellectual property even if there is no clear path to commercialization and return on investment. Instead of looking through the academic or legal lens, we explore the question of whether to file for various types of intellectual property from the entrepreneur, intrapreneur, and start-up perspectives. We review arguments for and against IP use and drill down to the details of each type of IP, their costs, and potential benefits. The most expensive are patent costs which typically range from $5K to $16K+ in the United States alone, with roughly $100K lifetime costs. Due to these costs, we offer strategies that we teach to our student entrepreneurs for optimizing the timing and choice of IP to use. We conclude that the IP return on investment, based on IP duration to total costs, is greatest for copyrights and lowest for complex utility patents.
Kennedy, C. E. (2021, July), To File or Not to File Intellectual Property is Not the Only Question Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37912
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