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Introduction to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property Protection and Early Commercialization

Drew BennettAssociate Director - Software LicensingOffice of Technology Transfer, University of Michigan

Through the technology transfer process, discoveries made during the course of research or other programs at the university are licensed to industry for commercialization. An important step in this process is the protection of high potential ideas as intellectual property. Protection of intellectual property takes many forms ranging from patenting, to copyright and trade secret as well as trademark protections. Because patents provide a period of time in which others can be excluded from practicing an invention, outside investors and company can see this as an incentive to develop an invention into a product. This is especially important for inventions that require the commitment of large resources or time before a product can be marketed and sold, such as a medical products and therapeutics. Alternative methods and pathways also exist such as copyright or trade secret approaches. These along with newer models including open source deployments or platform enabled deployments create a complex and changing decision landscape. Come learn about the process and options as well as key things to consider.

Drew collaborates with faculty and researchers from various areas including the College of Engineering, School of Medicine and others to protect and commercialize intellectual property developed at the University of Michigan. His focus is on the development and commercialization of software, mobile and digital based technologies.

Prior to joining the Office of Technology Transfer, Drew worked in a variety of Senior Software Product Development and Management roles with Firstlogic (SAP), Valassis Relationship Marketing Systems, ePrize and ForeSee. Drew started his career as Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) working in Trauma and Neuro Intensive care.

Drew enjoys camping, hiking, caber toss, nordic skiing and is an avid ultra-marathoner. He is a proud lifelong Michgander and resides in Northville where he is involved with family and community activities. Drew holds a BS from Western Michigan University and an MBA from the University of Detroit.

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