Tech Transfer Central

Protect Your University’s Patents while Avoiding “Troll” Allegations

Legal and Public Relations Guidance that Preserves Your IP and Your Reputation
Format: On-Demand Video/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: December 15, 2016

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Price: $197
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As hotbeds of innovation, research universities collectively represent a massive force when it comes to patents. In fact, a huge percentage of scientific and medical advances get their start in university labs, and patented research has formed the basis for an equally huge percentage of economic growth around the globe. Despite the massive value inherent in these innovations, however, universities rarely go to court to protect their IP rights. And on the rare occasions when they do assert their rights in a legal forum, critics are quick to throw accusations of greed and troll-like behavior, even when the only way to preserve the innovation for the greater good is to defend it against infringers in the court system.

Harvard University expertly sidestepped public and internal criticism when they filed suit against Micron and Global Foundries for infringing the school’s valuable patents. They chose to tell their story proactively in a public forum to set the record straight on why they were filing, why it was imperative to protect publicly funded research, and how the suit supports their researchers’ rights as well as the university’s.

Technology Transfer Tactics is offering this essential distance learning program to help you identify when to assert your IP rights, and how to do it in a way that staves off bad PR related to misconceptions of troll-like behaviors. During this session, you’ll find out how this PR tactic worked, and how your university can learn from Harvard’s example, as well as other universities’ experiences:

Protect Your University’s Patents while Avoiding “Troll” Allegations: Legal and Public Relations Guidance that Preserves Your IP and Your Reputation 

We’ve invited IP expert Mary An Marchant, PhD, JD, to lead this 60-minute session that will help you make critical decisions surrounding infringement actions, address public and internal perceptions, and mitigate any reputational damage to the university and its research efforts. Join us as Dr. Marchant covers:

  • Defining the differences between trolls and universities as NPEs
    • Federal Trade Commission’s Patent Assertion Entity activity
    • Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Committees on factors that affect patent infringement litigation
  • Key Issues for the university and TTO to consider, including:
    • Public relations with faculty, administration, alumni
    • Protecting university technology and sending a message to potential infringers
    • Public institutions as good stewards of taxpayer funds
  • Proactive PR best practices
    • with faculty and other internal stakeholders
    • with the court of public opinion
  • Examples of positively and negatively viewed suits from several universities, including:
    • RPI v. Apple
    • Harvard v. Micron and Global Foundries
    • Carnegie Mellon v. Marvell
    • WARF v. Apple

PLUS! Hear the original recording of the live Q&A portion of the program.

Meet Your Expert Presenter:

Mary Anthony MarchantMary Anthony Marchant, PhD, JD
Morris, Manning and Martin, LLP

Mary An Merchant is a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice. She focuses her practice on intellectual property law, including trademark registration and patent procurement, with an emphasis on the life sciences, including products and inventions in the fields of biotechnology, veterinary and human biologics, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, cosmetics, consumer products, nutraceuticals, and medical devices.

Dr. Merchant’s experience encompasses patent prosecution, litigation, reissue and reexamination, post-grant proceedings, licensing, due diligence, and freedom to operate opinions. She provides IP counsel to a variety of clients, including multinational corporations, mid-cap companies, and start-up biotech and medical-device companies.

Dr. Merchant also provides counsel related to issues involving regulatory matters before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She works with emerging-growth companies, both domestically and internationally, and has been involved with financial transactions involving initial public offerings, sales and procurements of assets, and mergers and acquisitions.

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