Tag Archives: Technology Evaluation-Other Insights

Time to Strategically Manage the IP Portfolio for Tech Transfer

In preparing to give a new webinar on actively managing IP portfolios, I have been thinking a lot about efficiency. Because time is always limited, you must make the most of what you have. So, today I’m offering Fuentek’s insights about the time associated with strategically managing the IP portfolio. Continue reading

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Post Yourself at the Researcher Revolving Door: Advice for Technology Transfer

RevolvingDoor_iStock_000007542909Last month, Technology Transfer Tactics ran an in-depth article on best practices for handling departing faculty researchers, post-docs, visiting researchers, and the like. As one of the sources quoted, I was pleased to see the thorough treatment this topic received, because bad things can happen if you don’t stay in front of intellectual property (IP) issues when it comes to transitioning faculty…. There was a lot of great advice in the article. Here’s my take on a few key recommendations. Continue reading

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Lean Startup Principles Apply to Tech Transfer: A Dispatch from Poland

As I find myself back in Poland to deliver another round of training courses on entrepreneurship to university researchers, I’m reminded of Steve Blank’s fireside chat at the AUTM® national meeting in New Orleans last month. Specifically, I’m thinking about how the feedback loop that plays a major role in the Lean Startup methodology also has a role to play long before a startup is even a gleam in an entrepreneurial researcher’s eye. What’s the Lean Startup feedback loop? Well, according to Eric Ries: “The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.” Continue reading

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Advice for University Translational Research to Close the Valley of Death

kml0000In her recent Wall Street Journal article “Universities Push Harder Into Realm of Startups,” reporter Ruth Simon observed that “universities are stepping up efforts to create ‘spinouts,’ or business startups born from some of the cutting-edge research of their students or faculty. Some schools are creating funds that help cover startup costs.” She mentions several schools’ efforts to support their spinout/startup companies, including the University of Minnesota’s Discovery Capital Investment Program, the University of Wisconsin’s Ideadvance Seed Fund, and the University of California’s independent UC Ventures. Yet another funding trend is occurring that focuses on an earlier segment of the commercialization pipeline, seeking to address what Simon rightly observed as an obstacle to university spinouts: “Technologies emerging from research labs are often embryonic.” This trend, known as translational funding, is more and more in the news. Continue reading

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What to Do When a Patent Is a Couch Potato

I’m back, with another post about the AUTM® Eastern Region Meeting, which I first blogged about last week. Today’s topic: The workshop session “Strategies to Offload Patents that Are Doing Nothing for Too Long.” This session, which I came to think of as the “couch-potato patent session,” was moderated by… Continue reading

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External Advisory Boards: A Short-Term Tool for Tech Transfer (or “Not Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now”)

I was recently asked for my insights about technology transfer office (TTO) use of external advisory boards or committees. Such boards have been frequently cited in reports and the press as a useful tool — or even a required element — for improved tech transfer operations. The thinking is that external boards provide a means to obtain objective industry/market opinions about new technologies and/or to tap into technical expertise not available within the TTO. I am all in favor of… Continue reading

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Patent Mapping Tools: Sometimes a Picture Is Worth a Couple Hundred Words

Last week, a tech transfer professional at a university asked me which patent analysis tools Fuentek uses in our market-based technology assessments. Our conversation then evolved into a discussion about how we use patent mapping as well as the value patent maps provide in evaluating a technology’s commercial potential. I’d like to share with you the perspective that I shared with him. Let me begin by being crystal clear: I firmly believe that analysis tools providing visual maps of the patent landscape play a useful role in… Continue reading

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Patent Filings Gone Wild (or The Biggest Mistake You Can Make Under the America Invents Act)

Don't file blindlyThe impending shift from a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” structure under the recently passed America Invents Act is causing quite a bit of turmoil in the technology transfer industry. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has provided some explanations via FAQs and a letter from director Kappos, yet the rumblings continue. Some in the industry suggest that the appropriate response is to file quick-and-dirty provisionals on virtually everything that comes in the door. I’m sure technology transfer offices (TTOs) hear this advice. But I sincerely hope they do not heed it. Continue reading

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Getting Faculty on Your Side through Systematic Screening and Interns: Stories from the Field

Faculty Support - Before and AfterA recent conversation on one of the AUTM® discussion groups focused on formalizing a technology transfer office’s (TTO’s) triage process. The director initiating the discussion was contemplating using interns for technology triage because his resources are limited and he wanted his licensing project managers to remain focused on getting deals executed. Overall his plan was to start providing feedback on inventions in a standardized format and within a certain timeframe as a way to improve relations and build credibility with faculty. All of this sent me down memory lane!… Continue reading

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Do TTOs Consider Market Potential When Patenting Innovations? Poll Results Show “Yes”

Ask anyone who works in intellectual property management and they’ll tell you: Patents ain’t cheap. (Well, some would use better grammar, but the sentiment is the same.) We’re talking $20K for a U.S. filing alone, and that doesn’t include the … Continue reading

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