From 18 to 21 May 2014 the LESI 2014 Annual Conference was held in Moscow by LES Russia.Sergey Dorofeev, President of the Russian branch of the society (LES Russia) and partner of the law firm «Gorodissky and partners» , addressed to the participants: «In one of my favorite Russian songs sung: «Friend, I will never forget, If befriended him in Moscow. Our dream — that this Conference will contribute not only to business linkages and training, but also to strengthen the friendship between all those involved in the licensing of intellectual property.» Indeed, the level of organization, a truly friendly and almost family atmosphere of the event proofed Dorofeyev’s address.Geography of the conference was astonishing — there were representatives from all continents and from lot of countries.
I was an invited speaker at the Workshop 17 «Universities». The main theme — the situation with licensing in universities in different regions around the world. Workshop moderator was Dr. Lorenz Kaiser, Division Director for legal and contractual affairs, «Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft» — the main organization in Germany, which performs R&D for the leading German and foreign enterprises. The speakers were Liang-Han Hsieh, Representative of ITRI Western Europe Office & Moscow Office, Germany, Christopher Noble, Technology Licensing Officer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA; Albert Wiedemann, Head of Outside Counsel Consultancy, Siemens AG, Germany; Karin Hoffmann, Vienna University of Tecnology , Austria; and Markar Gasparov, Associate Professor, Samara State Aerospace University, Russia.
I would like especially admit the professionalism in the organization of the Workshop: Dr. Kaiser began to prepare it in August 2013, carefully selecting speakers who are the world’s best professionals in licensing; worked the entire program detailed to minutes, agreed in advance all presentations and abstracts.
Dr Lorenz Kaiser dedicated his report to the importance of technological transfer for universities and called the most important reasons for the protection of intellectual property: technology security, tool of competition, sales tool, protection from competitors, the basis for royalties and a good motivation for the staff. On example of Fraunhofer Geselschaft success — audio coding technology MP3 — Dr. Kaiser showed how complex and multifaceted is the process of protection of intellectual property and licensing.Technology commercialization success pyramid deserves interest — at the top it has intellectual property, further R&D, Entrepreneurship and International Networking. Dr Kaiser completed his brilliant speech with Socrates saying: «There is only one asset for mankind: Science. And only one evil: Nescience».
Christopher Noble, director of technology licensing, MIT, USA, is a professional with more than 30 years of experience, believes that for licensing system promotion high-profile success stories are very important. «For example, Harvard has a Facebook example. And each university wants to have its Google or Facebook«. MIT has already resolved the issue with the methods of commercialization of new technologies, both through business creation, and through the sale of licenses. Now one of the most important problems is the creation of new channels involving large business in university startups.
Dr. Kaiser, declaring me «youngster» and «the youngest assistant professor he had ever seen«, invited me to give a talk on the theme «Bridging the gaps: Universities, Industry and startup companies».I have tried to reveal the difference in the licensing policy in Bauman University and Western universities in the example of MIT. The main difference, in my opinion, is the fact that at MIT TLO license office does not only registers patents and copyrights, TLO fully coordinates further commercialization of technologies.On TLO web site you can find two wonderful guides — for startups and for inventors who want to license their invention.Inside you can find a detailed step by step instructions, a listing of all business clubs and communities of entrepreneurs, accelerators that help at different stages of development to promote high-tech innovations to the market, find partners and investors. And Bauman University lacks for such a coordination center as TLO. The second part of my report was devoted to the Russian IP success stories, in particular, I mentioned Moscow Engineer and Physics University (MEPHI) Engineering Center project «Green Head», which has a U.S. patent on the algorithm that protects your phone from listening.In the third part I disclosed the reasons why intellectual property protection for Bauman startups is not the main task, referring to the use of the business models. The most common among Bauman startups is the model integrator (company develops a product, produces it and market). And in this case the protection of intellectual property is easier and cheaper to ensure through its classification in the form of know-how, without the disclosure of ideas during the filing of the patent. I finished my speech with slides, devoted to joint study of Bauman University, MIT and Boston University on Russian technological startups, as well as Summer School of engineering entrepreneurship Klipper, where cources on intellectual property can be tought.
Karin Hoffmann, head of the licensing office at Vienna University of Tecnology, Austria, told how her university built learning the basics of licensing. Interestingly, twice a year she holds two-day learning the basics of intellectual property protection. Also license office releases IP Guidebook, a practical guide for the protection and commercialization of intellectual property.
Professor Liang-Han Hsieh started his speech by saying that «the Chinese are smart enough not to invent something new, and borrow the best international practices«. He paid particular attention to the issue of competition in the licensing. «You see, Taiwan — the world leader in the production of laptops, semiconductors, we have more than 40 major companies engaged in this. And when one of them wants to buy a license for university IP, you need to clearly understand what kind of reaction it can cause by competitors, so you should be very careful. «To improve the situation with the transfer of technology in Russia«, — he believes that «the state-owned companies should invest in technological startups». I want to agree with Dr. Hsieh, but, in our view, there is also a big problem with Russian startups that are still poorly able to commercialize their IP.
Albert Wiedemann, head of the group of external consultants, «Siemens AG», confident that a successful licensing policy Siemens is built thanks largely to a strong relationship with Fraunhofer Geselschaft. Speakers’ presentations were followed by comments of guests and a panel discussion. The audience was interested in the distribution of royalty relations between the university and the inventor. For example, in MIT there is a policy that a startup can make free use of research results, but without ensuring their exclusivity.And for an exclusive license they should pay. I liked the question on university criteria, how to make decision — to sell the patent or not. Among the options offered royalty and buyer opportunity to implement IP in manufacturing. However, all the speakers agreed that each case is unique. And if technology has at least one, if not «the best» buyer in terms of features — university will sell the license.
Dr. Kaiser summarized the Workshop by a question to all speakers — to name success factors for technology commercialization. Liang-Han Hsieh allocated attention to potential competitors in the market. Christopher Noble noted the importance of working channels for Universities and real business. I noted the license office coordinating role in the process of technology commercialization.
In the evening after a hard work of participants gala dinner at Icon Hall was awaitinig. Guests were able to enjoy not only the rich snacks and refreshing drinks, but also a cultural program — with folk dancing groups and Russian songs well known abroad. It was nice to see how foreign guests sang along «Kalinka» and «Moscow Nights». Then folklore replaced brass band with classic pop songs from Frank Sinatra, Mireille Mathieu, Andrea Bocelli, Tom Jones and others.
But gala dinner final surprised most — on the stage real rockers appeared, starting with incendiary hit Rolling Stones «I can’t get no satisfaction». Respectable ladies and gentlemen embarked on dance, singing Beetles, Deep Purple and other rock stars singles. Level of drive rolled over, the guests demanded a sequel, although they were awaited by the bus to the hotel. Soloist face seemd familiar to me, I became interested in, maybe it’s one of the soloists of the Rolling Stones? Many responded that he is just a good American rocker. But what was my surprise to learn that two hours of drive to guests was presented by the U.S. Federal Court of Appeal Chairman Randall Ray Rader.All that goes out of his pen, it becomes a precedent — in fact, the law on the protection of intellectual property rights. Judge Rader — a legend in his field. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan and yet still manages litigation in the intellectual sphere, and his name informally is «god of laws.» And if you request in LinkedIn «Randall R. Rader», 121 entries will result.Not the judge profiles, but the lines like «assisted the Honorable Judge Raider.» «It also leads incendiary lectures at Washington University Law School. Even the layman is under the force to understand all the intricacies of intellectual property protection, if the teacher is Randall Ray Rader» — gleefully told me a former student of Judge Rader Marina Green.
To summarize, the conference was held smoothly, the concentration of top class professionals was off scale and diversity of the countries stroke. I managed to get a lot of new acquaintances, which I hope will work in the future.Of course, there were drawbacks — not so many guests and listeners on the Russian side. Perhaps this is due to the language barrier (there was no translation into Russian) and high registration fee — from 1000 EURO. But this lack is absolutely did not affect the overall experience, and I would gladly participate the conference again.
Теги:Albert Wiedemann, Christofer Noble, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Karin Hofmann, LES 2014, LESI, Lorenz Kaiser, MIT TLO, Randall Ray Rader, Siemens, Вадим Гусев, Виктор Пилипенко, Городисский и партнеры, Лян-Хань Се, Сергей Дорофеев, Технопол Москва
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