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Making the most of IP - A one day workshop

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Workshop to provide intellectual property strategies

A one-day workshop on making the best use of developing intellectual property, aimed at universities and young companies in the biotech sector, was held at Belgrave Square, London on 24 April 2008.

Intellectual property (IP) is a crucial factor for growth and success in knowledge-based businesses, but can be a bewildering subject for non-specialists or individuals new to the commercial exploitation of science. This workshop provided an introduction to IP for newcomers to the business of science, and helped develop the strategic thinking of more experienced delegates.

The meeting provided a series of thought-provoking talks covering the ‘how, why, when’ of capturing IP and how best to achieve this. The speakers included patent attorneys with considerable experience representing the biosciences industry sector within Europe and the US – both in the early-stage and for more established ventures.

The talks covered all key areas of the patenting process: Mike Hutchins (MR Hutchins & Co) presented on planning and developing a coherent patent filing strategy; the types of claiming strategies available discussed by Vincent Price (Price & Co); and Rob Doherty (Gilhom Harrison) provided information on the process of ensuring sufficient disclosure.

The second half of the presentations covered the basics of licensing successful inventions (Gordon Wright, Elkington & Fife LLP); provided practical suggestions for including IP capture throughout your business planning processes (Guy Buckley and Mike Fowler; Patent Outsourcing and University of Sheffield, respectively) and included a personal perspective on protecting and exploiting university-derived intellectual property from Rich Ferrie at the University of Manchester’s UMIP.

This informal meeting provided ample opportunity for networking and closed with an informal question and answer session, where delegates were invited to bring any generic IP issues forward for consideration by the expert panel. Delegates from young biotechnology-based companies, university spin-out companies, tech transfer/business offices, or commercially-aware academics were particularly welcomed.

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