Basics of Patent Protection 1

By Tony Armstrong

People often ask me “how do I protect my idea?” There are many ways to do so – the important thing is to do it. Probably best to consult your attorney but here are two of the more ‘popular’ categories of intellectual property:

  1. Patents When you register your invention with the government—a process that can take more than a year—you gain the legal right to exclude anyone else from manufacturing or marketing it. Patents cover tangible things. They can also be registered in foreign countries, to help keep international competitors from finding out what your company is doing. Once you hold a patent, others can apply to license your product. Patents can last for 20 years.
  2. Trademarks A trademark is a name, phrase, sound or symbol used in association with services or products. It often connects a brand with a level of quality on which companies build a reputation. Trademark protection lasts for 10 years after registration and can be renewed “in perpetuity”. But trademarks don’t have to be registered. If a company creates a symbol or name it wishes to use exclusively, it can simply attach the TM symbol. This effectively marks the territory and gives the company room to prosecute if other companies attempt to use the same symbol for their own purposes.

Case Studies in Cooperation

By Bill Stephan

Read this great article in Site Selection Magazine.

University, business, and economic-development teams have a long history of collaboration that ranges from soft investment, such as co-development of curriculum, to hard investment, including construction of commercial research parks. Often these initiatives target start-up companies (spun from technologies developed on campus) and are consequently of great interest on campus but of only marginal interest to established companies in the region.

However, in today’s tough economic climate an emerging synergy is developing between companies desperate to explore new channels to profitability and universities seeking to replace lost state aid and reduced public research dollars.

Read the entire case study from Site Selection Magazine


Assessing the University’s Role in Economic Development

By David Gard

Over the past year, the IU Office of Engagement has become increasingly involved in economic development-focused initiatives of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).  I am fortunate to have been appointed to serve on APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP).  CICEP is focused on: 1) understanding and defining the expanding university role in local and regional innovation; 2) expanding the tools and metrics for universities to measure and explain their role to a wide range of audiences; and 3) gaining a better understanding of the innovation ecologies in which public institutions operate.

This group has developed an internal self-assessment tool that institutions can use to evaluate their particular engagement attributes and activities in regional economic development.  These include traits relating to cultural aspects of public universities and those focused on structural elements, the existence of specific positions, programs or offices to facilitate increased partnerships with the external community.

The Office of Engagement implemented use of the tool to augment our strategic planning activities, assessing our role in facilitating regional economic development and engagement at IU and across the state of Indiana.  We developed a unique reporting format to summarize the results of the internal assessment and provided this along with feedback to APLU, enabling IU to become one of the first members to implement the tool in this detailed manner.  As a result, I recently had the opportunity to present how IU applied the tool in this manner at APLU’s annual meeting in Dallas.

We recognize the value of this assessment process and are in the process of extending use of the tool across IU’s regional campuses through the IU Council on Regional Engagement and Economic Development (CREED).


The Diverse Roles of University Research

By Bill Stephan

University research has formed the foundation of many of the most significant U.S. technological advancements; entire industries such as biotechnology and the Internet can be traced back to fundamental discoveries at universities.  By playing an increasingly vital role in the nation’s innovation pipeline, university research and technology commercialization will continue to shape the world of tomorrow.  As a research institution of the highest order, Indiana University and its faculty are addressing some of the most complex problems facing the health care industry by (1) conducting leading edge research across the life sciences and health information spheres and (2) accelerating the commercialization of research with market potential.


RealClearPolitics – Learning From Japan’s Mistakes

By Bill Stephan                                                                                               

 Interesting piece by Robert Samuelson that underscores the importance of establishing polices that support entrepreneurs and new business start-up activities.                                 

RealClearPolitics – Learning From Japan’s Mistakes.

Indiana universities nearly double research spending in last 10 year – Indiana Economic Digest – Indiana

By Bill Stephan

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ), it became clear to state leaders about 10 years ago—when Indiana was hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs—that universities, not factories, would have to be the engines of the state’s economy going forward. Since then, Indiana’s major research universities—Indiana and Purdue—have nearly doubled their science-based research budgets, to a total of $895 million. This “research enterprise” likely employs more than 5,000 workers, according to an IBJ estimate based on data from IU and Purdue. And it has helped fill research parks and incubation centers with fledgling companies, such as Endocyte, Therametric Technologies and Marcadia Biotech.

Indiana universities nearly double research spending in last 10 year – Indiana Economic Digest – Indiana.


Around the State: IU Kokomo Chancellor Hopes to Lead Regional Transformation

by David Gard

On October 22, Michael Harris was officially installed as the new chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo. Chancellor Harris brings to his new post an unbridled sense of optimism and energy as he is firmly committed to IU Kokomo playing a leading role in the transformation of the regional Kokomo economy through innovation and knowledge.

Recently, Chancellor Harris sat down with Gerry Dick on Inside Indiana Business to discuss his vision for IU Kokomo and the “once in a lifetime” opportunity facing both the campus and the community. Please check the following video web link to see and hear more from Chancellor Harris:

Chancellor Harris video

To highlight his recent installation, the following link contains more details on the unique background and experience of Chancellor Harris:

Perfecting the Pitch : Venture capitalists offer advice on what they look for—and what turns them off

By Tony Armstrong

From the Wall Street Journal: Early in his career as a venture capitalist, Steve Brotman received a knock on his office door and in walked a woman dressed from head to toe in an outrageous green costume. She reached in her bag and served Mr. Brotman a business plan for a company that had “avocado” in its name.“Regardless of whether I was interested, you lost me at hello,” Mr. Brotman, now the managing director of venture-capital fund Greenhill SAVP in New York, says he told her. “I’m not about to do a deal with a lady dressed like an avocado.”It takes much more than a gimmick to get the attention of venture capitalists. As a growing number of entrepreneurs compete for a shrinking pool of capital, it’s more important than ever to make a good first impression with an airtight pitch. Read the whole article



Around the State: Regional Economic Development Resource Center (REDRC)

 by David Gard
IU Southeast


A valued asset to the Southeast Indiana business community, the IU Regional Economic Development Resource Center (REDRC), familiarly known as “Red Rock,” matches the needs of companies, organizations, and communities with available resources.  Based at IU Southeast in the School of Business, REDRC assists regional businesses and organizations in a number of ways, including: identifying new technologies, reviewing business plans, identifying faculty subject matter experts who might be able to offer consulting assistance, preparing grant proposals, and fostering international activities.  REDRC works closely throughout the region with business and commuity leaders  of companies, Chambers of Commerce, not-for-profits, local governments, area economic development agencies, U.S. Departments of Commerce, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the SouthEast Indiana Small Business Development Center, and the Southern Indiana Rural Development Project.  For more information on how to connect with REDRC, please contact director Brenda Swartz at


Connect with IU – Center for the Business of Life Sciences

By Bill Stephan

From the CBLS website: Founded in 2008, the Kelley School’s Center for the Business of Life Sciences was started with the belief that life sciences companies are essential economic drivers for growth and employment. To ensure the success of the industry as a whole, however, requires a broad collaboration of science and business acumen.


CBLS brings together students, faculty, life science companies and other corporate partners to:

  • attract top students interested in careers in life sciences and develop them into strong future leaders for the life sciences industry
  • support research on significant issues and questions faced within the industry
  • provide a forum allowing companies and other corporate partners to connect with industry-focused students
  • create significant networking opportunities for students, faculty, companies and friends to connect in order to strengthen Indiana’s life science industry

Find out more about the Center