The following was written by Beth Goldstein, one of our ATI Interns who is currently working with member company, Terapio, about her takeaways from one of the classes in the Product Realization and Technology Commercialization seminar series on the legal issues effecting entrepreneurs.
This is a really great seminar so far- I highly recommend it for anyone that might be interested in starting a company or wants to work for a start-up, regardless it has really opened my eyes to the many topics a company has to deal with besides creating the product!
The class on Friday, September 18, 2009 was about Intellectual Property and Business Formation and had two lawyer speakers: Mr. Jack Richards & Mr. Edward Cavazos.
Mr. Jack Richards is an attorney at Trop, Pruner & Hu, P.C., Austin, Texas. His specialty is with patent law. He stressed how important the Invention Disclosure Form is when you have an idea and walked the class through the Materials and Information for a Patent Application. If you want to file a patent it seems it is best to hire an attorney.
Mr. Edward Cavazos, principal at Fish & Richardson, discussed corporate formation issues. He discussed the different entities a company can form such as sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, general partnership, or a corporation. He discussed the differences in liability, taxation, and management for each type. The take home message for me was that it is not difficult and usually best for your company to form a corporation.
About the Class
Are you interested in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship? The Product Realization and Technology Commercialization graduate level seminar is hosted in conjunction with the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), and the Idea to Product ® program (I2P®). It is open to the UT community and will be held on Fridays from 3 – 4 pm in the Engineering Teaching Center, ETC 2.136. The seminar will cover topics essential to technology commercialization and entrepreneurship, such as ‘Market validation and customer needs’, ‘Risk, return and product design’, ‘Legal and IP issues’, ‘Technology transfer and commercialization at UT’, ‘Understanding funding sources’, ‘Entrepreneurs as innovators’, ‘New venture creation and business plans’, ‘Market launch’, and ‘the Global Idea to Product Competition’. A complete schedule of topics is attached to this email.
Furthermore, we will be hosting Technology Commercialization Office Hours on the first Fridays of the month: 9/4, 10/2, and 11/6 immediately following the seminar. If you have an idea and are interested in learning how to commercialize your idea or start a company, now is your chance to ask your questions and brainstorm ideas with ATI, OTC, and I2P.
8/28 Technology Commercialization Introduction
9/4 Market Validation and Customer Pain
9/11 Risk, Return and Product Design
9/18 Legal Issues: Intellectual Property and Business Formation
9/25 Technology Transfer and Commercialization at UT
10/2 Creating New Ventures and the Business Plan
10/9 Understanding Founding Sources
10/16 Entrepreneur as Innovator and Leading a Technology Venture
10/23 Market Launch
10/30-31 Global Idea to Product® Competition, AT&T Center