Live from AUTM 2012!
AUTM 2012 began yesterday with a joint session with the Licensing Executives Society, which had its Winter Meeting here in the first half of the week. (And, no, it’s not coincidence that the LES and AUTM meetings are aligned like this. This was just one of several efforts this year in AUTM’s Strategic Alliances.)
The two associations hosted a pair of sessions together on Wednesday. The first was called “Dirty Little Tricks People Play in License Negotiations” where attendees got to hear some valuable lessons learned. The second was a mock trial billed as “The Case of the Snake-bit University: Inventorship and How Far Does a License Go?” The case involved the licensee of a university invention suing a competitor for patent infringement. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this session because I had to help set up our booth, give a welcome talk to new AUTM members, and attend the sponsorship committee meeting… all at the same time!
After the joint sessions, AUTM held a fireside chat with Dr. Mason Peck, the Chief Technologist of NASA. Mason gave a great overview of NASA’s innovation programs. He is clearly a “space nerd” (like many of us!), based on how excited he was describing the rover Curiosity that will be landing on Mars later this summer and the rocket sled experiments that helped in designing the landing systems for rovers.
He also discussed the importance of technology transfer for economic development and the need for NASA to leverage taxpayer-supported research for private industry adoption. After the talk, Mason and I had an opportunity to briefly discuss AUTM’s newly launched Global Technology Portal (GTP) and how government agencies might want to maintain their AUTM memberships so they can post on the GTP as well as any agency-specific database sites.
Today is another busy day, starting with an exciting announcement from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) director David Kappos: AUTM and USPTO are launching an initiative to help educate patent examiners (I blogged about the preliminary plans for this initiative last summer). Then I’ll be hosting a special interest group discussion about how to leverage the GTP and other associations to help attract corporations to the events for better networking and deal opportunities.
Busy, busy! We’ll blog more about AUTM 2012 in a few days!