Is it a great time to be an inventor or a terrible one? From some corners of the inventing community, the news is doom and gloom, but for Stephen Key, a successful creator and entrepreneur, the opportunities faced by inventive people today are as varied and exciting as the challenges. Patents, he believes, are a tool to help people share their creativity. To commercialize some products they are absolutely necessary, but to bring others to market they may not be needed. In an industry where inventors are regularly charged tens of thousands of dollars for help with inventions that will never make it to market, his unique perspective and commitment to giving back to the next generation of creators have earned him a large following.Play Episode
One contradiction of the digital era is that, while it’s become easier to make and distribute music, it’s also more difficult to earn a living doing it. Artists must accept the extremely low rates that streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube pay for their songs. What does the future look like for garage bands? And will stronger enforcement of copyright protection help? Bruce Berman, host of the “Understanding IP Matters” podcast, sought out musician, serial entrepreneur, university instructor and intellectual property advocate, David Lowery, to find out in Episode 4 of Season 2 of “Understanding IP Matters.”Play Episode
Communicating the value and importance of intellectual property to the general public — let alone investors, C-suite executives, and politicians — is a formidable challenge that exists industry-wide. This is partly due to the reality that writing cogently about intellectual property requires an understanding of business, law, science and finance. In the third episode of Season 2 of “Understanding IP Matters,” the podcast from the Center for IP Understanding, founder and host Bruce Berman sits down with two legendary figures in the field of intellectual property reporting. Gene Quinn is CEO of IPWatchdog, the most widely read publication in the intellectual property field. With more than 300,000 monthly visitors, IPWatchdog’s go-to coverage is a must read. Quinn is also a writer, patent attorney and leading commentator on innovation policy. He has twice been named one of the Top 50 most influential people in intellectual property. Quinn has advised inventors, entrepreneurs and startup businesses, and is highly regarded as a teacher and speaker. Sue Decker covered patent litigation and policy from Washington for Bloomberg News for more than two decades. She retired this year after 35 years in journalism. Decker was one of the very few business reporters ever to have a dedicated IP beat, and the first woman.Play Episode
Some technology companies embrace new inventions and patents; others just stockpile them out of fear for how they may disrupt their leadership position. Some investors regard IP rights positively; others do not. After massive legislative and judicial weakening, can patents still be relied upon to help generate reasonable returns? In Episode 2 of Season 2 of the “Understanding IP Matters” podcast, Bruce Berman sought out veteran venture capitalist (VC) and technology investor Gary Lauder to find out.Play Episode
National Science Foundation research shows that many R&D-oriented companies believe that trade secrets are more important than patents and copyrights. How did this happen, and why are trade secrets growing in importance? Bruce Berman, host of the “Understanding IP Matters” podcast, sought out trade secrets expert Jim Pooley to find out why. Pooley is the world’s foremost expert on trade secrets, a mysterious area of the law that has been the focus of employer disputes. A successful Silicon Valley trial lawyer, Pooley served for five years as Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. His commentary pieces on the controversial COVID vaccine patent waiver and other topics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, and he is a regular contributor on IPWatchdog.Play Episode
The explosion of the non-fungible token (NFT) market and the jaw-dropping prices being paid for digital art — $69 million for a single work and millions for others — have made some fast millionaires, while also giving rise to scammers and a widespread debate about the value of intangible goods. For some artists, the market for NFTs has proved to be a huge boon. For example, Chicago-based photographer Brittany Pierre sold over six figures worth of her art on the OpenSea marketplace in 2021 after teaching herself how to mint an NFT, whereas previously she had difficulty paying rent and groceries. For established artists who have curated an online following and understand the value of scarcity, the opportunities presented by NFTs have produced a level of autonomy not previously experienced in their careers.Play Episode
Gary Michelson isn’t one to back down from a formidable challenge. The prolific inventor’s willingness to tackle seemingly intractable problems in the field of spinal surgery led him to become a successful entrepreneur and eventually, a billionaire. Michelson is frank about his desire to give back to what he describes as the “most robust intellectual property system in the world” — and that starts by educating young people, who are best equipped to change the world. Today, as the founder of Michelson Philanthropies, he directs a wide range of philanthropic efforts, including increasing access to intellectual property education for students. The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property has differentiated itself by creating a robust portfolio of free, helpful resources that situate intellectual property at the intersection of business and law, including courses and a textbook. In the latest episode of the “Understanding IP Matters” podcast by the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding, he points out to host Bruce Berman that all of the most successful companies in the world today were started by people who were college-aged.Play Episode
A curiosity of the intellectual property field is the lack of emphasis on commercialization. While there are numerous resources that describe how to patent an invention, there are hardly any that offer processes and frameworks for transforming ideas into products and services. This is a disservice to creative people, because they are motivated to share their creativity with the world — not merely protect what they invent. In a new episode of the podcast “Understanding IP Matters,” the fascinating serial entrepreneur Tiffany Norwood laments that while “so much of our world is driven by imagination, only a few of us take our imagination seriously.Play Episode
‘Understanding IP Matters’ explores the intellectual property story of people who have succeeded in the world of invention, creative expression, and brand – some with the scars to prove it. ‘Understanding IP Matters’ looks at the journey from creator to entrepreneur. It is the first podcast series of its kind to convey the experience of high-performing creators, executives and investors in their own words. Each episode features a different guest who shares with host Bruce Berman, their view on how IP rights impact success. ‘Understanding IP Matters’ is brought to you by the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding, an independent non-profit that provides outreach to improve IP literacy and promote sharing.
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