For most, the topic of intellectual property (IP) is a hot mess of “I-don’t-knows” conflated with “I-don’t-cares.” But it shouldn’t be. Knowing what IP is and how to protect it is fundamental to most businesses’ success, whether they know it or not. A common trap related to this attitude is to “trip over dollars to pick up dimes.” Especially for startups – for whom “keeping the lights on” trumps “protecting my IP” by several orders of magnitude on their wish-lists – this trap is almost universal.
When consumers think of “tech” companies, Apple, HP, Cisco, Microsoft, Samsung, and many other technology giants come to mind. While all of these organizations are clearly innovators, they do not, even when combined, account for the majority of innovation in the United States. The vast majority of innovation occurs in small companies, many of which have fewer than 10 employees. Small, innovative companies live to create new technology. They are passionate about discovery, research, development, and modernization.
To practice as an intellectual property (IP) attorney means to focus on the intersection of technology, business and law. Mike Martensen arms his clients with a competitive advantage in IP by falling back to basic underlying themes of attention to detail, dedication to excellence and discipline.
A survey of landmines that may await you, and an advantageous roadmap to guide you away from danger with sound pointers on how to protect your IP while operating in the government sphere. You’ve just won a government contract under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award for a prototype space widget or new cyber application – great!
Article one, section 8, clause 8 of the United States Constitution states: The Congress shall have power…to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
Every small business should be aware of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Each year, various government agencies provide research grants for projects to solve technical problems facing that agency.