Project Description

Course Overview:

This course explores various dimensions of the creation of new technology ventures. Its main objective is to provide the student with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing an entrepreneur in the process of creating a technology-based business. The course provides the opportunity to develop a cohesive and effective business plan for such venture, where groups of students develop that plan piece by piece, make two presentations and write two reports during the semester. In the process of developing this plan, students are expected to turn an idea into an enterprise, measuring the response of and engaging potential customers, learning what works and what does not, and revisiting the plan to focus on what customers really want.
Legal issues are crucial to the commercialization of new technologies. This course will focus on issues related to the creation, development, protection and exploitation of intellectual property rights as a business asset for both high-growth start-ups and established businesses. We will examine the entire process of creating, capturing, protecting, leveraging and transferring technology and ideas, including internal strategies designed to incent scientists and engineers engaged in innovation and idea generation; deciding whether, what, where, and how to obtain IP registrations and the related economics; the development of a commercialization strategy (selecting the target market and application for the idea) and business model; drafting and negotiation of technology transfer/licensing agreements; offensive and defensive IP strategies; assessing competitive IP; negotiating and interpreting IP sensitive contracts including licenses, confidentiality agreements and non-competition agreements; transactional IP protection, with discussion on China, India and other emerging markets; and key technology specific legal issues relating to software, digital communications and data processing, mobile devices and social media, financial services and life sciences. The course will also address the financing options available to the high-growth start-up, including crowd-sourcing and other modern financing techniques. Media coverage of current developments will be introduced to enrich class discussions. This course will leverage the experiences and challenges from leading experts in the field and employ a variety of case-studies, including one of Ontario’s largest angel-funded start-up organizations, PharmaTrust (now MedAvail), a rapid-growth start-up in the pharmacy automation business. While students with some background in substantive areas are welcome, no prior experience in these areas is required. Of course it goes without saying that a keen enthusiasm to learn about IP issues and participation in the course are encouraged by the instructors. All IP Osgoode Innovation Clinic students are required to enrol in this course.