Title

Multidisciplinary Training to Meet the Legal Needs of Intellectual Property Start-Ups

Prize Winner

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Type of Proposal

Oral presentation

Start Date

31-3-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

31-3-2017 3:20 PM

Faculty

Faculty of Law

Faculty Sponsor

Myra Tawfik

Abstract

This report explored whether multidisciplinary programming (e.g., law, business, and science faculty collaboration) in universities can assist in bringing meaningful and affordable intellectual property (IP) knowledge to IP start-ups. An IP start-up refers to a start-up company with an IP-intensive component (e.g., scientific innovation) that can be commercialized (Tawfik, 2016). Research completed by Tawfik (2016) has found that there is a “fault line in Canada’s innovation capacity” as Canada has not taken the steps to actively ensure that IP start-ups are able to successfully commercialize on their IP. Consequently, this report has taken a critical look at one of the recommendations put forward by Tawfik (2016), which is to support early stage IP start-ups through multidisciplinary programming in universities. The researcher, a JD/MBA student at the University of Windsor, chose to explore this recommendation by observing business students as they provided consulting services to IP start-ups being worked on by science students. Through participant observation (Kawulich, 2005), the researcher was able to become fully integrated in the consulting process and privately flag relevant legal issues that were either addressed or missed by the business students. After analyzing the data collected, the researcher found that both the science and business students did not have a working knowledge of IP and the complexity of developing a comprehensive IP strategy. Nonetheless, the business students were able to provide deliverables that addressed some of the relevant IP legal issues after seeking legal information from the researcher. Thus, a conclusion was made that the unique skill sets of business, law, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) faculties, will be shared with all students engaged in multidisciplinary programming. Specifically, it is believed that business students would be able to learn how to flag relevant IP legal issues by collaborating fully with law students in multidisciplinary programming during their university training. Ideally, the business students will later be able to flag relevant legal issues when working with IP start-ups in practice so that they can engage the services of a lawyer early on in the commercialization process or not need to at all.

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Mar 31st, 2:00 PM Mar 31st, 3:20 PM

Multidisciplinary Training to Meet the Legal Needs of Intellectual Property Start-Ups

This report explored whether multidisciplinary programming (e.g., law, business, and science faculty collaboration) in universities can assist in bringing meaningful and affordable intellectual property (IP) knowledge to IP start-ups. An IP start-up refers to a start-up company with an IP-intensive component (e.g., scientific innovation) that can be commercialized (Tawfik, 2016). Research completed by Tawfik (2016) has found that there is a “fault line in Canada’s innovation capacity” as Canada has not taken the steps to actively ensure that IP start-ups are able to successfully commercialize on their IP. Consequently, this report has taken a critical look at one of the recommendations put forward by Tawfik (2016), which is to support early stage IP start-ups through multidisciplinary programming in universities. The researcher, a JD/MBA student at the University of Windsor, chose to explore this recommendation by observing business students as they provided consulting services to IP start-ups being worked on by science students. Through participant observation (Kawulich, 2005), the researcher was able to become fully integrated in the consulting process and privately flag relevant legal issues that were either addressed or missed by the business students. After analyzing the data collected, the researcher found that both the science and business students did not have a working knowledge of IP and the complexity of developing a comprehensive IP strategy. Nonetheless, the business students were able to provide deliverables that addressed some of the relevant IP legal issues after seeking legal information from the researcher. Thus, a conclusion was made that the unique skill sets of business, law, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) faculties, will be shared with all students engaged in multidisciplinary programming. Specifically, it is believed that business students would be able to learn how to flag relevant IP legal issues by collaborating fully with law students in multidisciplinary programming during their university training. Ideally, the business students will later be able to flag relevant legal issues when working with IP start-ups in practice so that they can engage the services of a lawyer early on in the commercialization process or not need to at all.