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Intellectual Property Protection and Management workshop

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Intellectual Property Protection and Management workshop presented by Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre.

IP is about ideas, right? Well, sort of. Intellectual Property (IP) can mean different things to different people. This interactive two-day workshop was designed to help us understand which ideas classify as Intellectual Property, determine if we already have one and list which routes of action we can take in order to protect and manage.

The workshop was facilitated by two talented professionals: Dr.Doug Beynon, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre; and Rachel Bartholomew, CEO/Founder of the mod market. Their expertise proved invaluable. The workshop instructors devoted an unprecedented amount of time to addressing every single question. They made sure no-one would leave the room with doubts on their specific IP rights.

In summary, I learned that an idea needs to be novel and potentially profitable in order to classify as IP. IP is treated like a real property:you can buy, sell, lease, or even gift it! There are different forms of IP protection: patents, trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, industrial design and licensing. Each type is suitable for a specific aspect of protection and the protection duration varies among these forms. Furthermore, during this workshop I appreciated how patent databases can be used as a supplement to literature searches. Overall the workshop was well-designed and integrated different teaching methods: brainstorming, open discussions, activities. I found very useful the session where we examined our rights under the University of Waterloo’s IP Policy (Policy 73). Additionally, we were introduced to Lawyer, Patent and Trademark Agent Neil Henderson, who explained the process of filing patents and answered our individual questions.

I found this workshop a useful prerequisite for the workshops that followed, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship and the advanced Lean Canvas workshop, both offered by the Conrad Centre and facilitated by the same professionals. All three workshops excelled in giving emphasis on each student’s individual needs and answering questions. I highly recommend them! (P.S. Bonus: one of these workshops includes some serious play with Lego!).