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So You Have a Great Idea, Now What?: An Introduction to Intellectual Property

04 Oct
Friday, 10/04/2019 10:15am to 11:15am
Computer Science Building, Room 140
Speaker: Tom Ferguson

Abstract: Intellectual Property is the bedrock upon which groundbreaking innovations are built; thus, understanding the basics is key for scientists, engineers, business leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs. This talk will address the four fundamental forms of intellectual property: patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. At UMass, the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) protects and manages patentable and copyrightable inventions arising from the university's research programs. The TTO will be introduced and its role in translating university innovation to society will be explained. The importance of intellectual property for startup companies and campus resources to assist entrepreneurs will also be presented.

Bio: Tom Ferguson, Ph.D., is a Licensing Associate in the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is primarily responsible for commercializing inventions in engineering and computer science. Prior to joining the TTO in 2017, Tom was Chief Technology Officer for Third Power Inc., a NY start-up company developing large-scale energy storage technologies. At Third Power Tom led both technology and business development efforts, and worked with major utility companies including Con Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Previously, Tom was a Postdoctoral TechBridge Fellow at the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems. At TechBridge he led programs sponsored by ExxonMobil, DSM and Shell to identify and accelerate promising clean energy startups. He also serves as a mentor for several startup accelerator programs in the Northeast.

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