IAP 2020: Intellectual Property Speaker Series

Join the MIT Technology Licensing Office and MIT Libraries for a series of lunches and seminars on Intellectual Property during IAP 2020.

In this series of free seminars, you’ll hear from experts from MIT and other organizations in the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem who will share their knowledge and best practices on IP topics including: patents, technology transfer, copyright and software, conflict of interest, research tools to support innovation strategy, public domain, venture capital, author rights, grant funding programs, and more!

Come meet and learn from experts from MIT Technology Licensing Office, MIT Libraries, Lincoln Laboratory, Osage University Partners, Venture Mentoring Services, SBIR Program, VU Venture Partners, and LiquidPiston.

Hosted by: MIT Technology Licensing Office & MIT Libraries
Contact: Karen Baird, 617-324-2386, kshaner@mit.edu


…for individual events or the entire series.



1/16 (First Event/Total # of Events)
Event Title: Is it in the Public Domain?
Date: 1/07/20 TUES 10AM
Room: E25-111

Explore the public domain in this hands-on workshop. When does copyright expire, and how do you know when something is free to use? We will discuss the public domain and put our skills to use on historical materials from the MIT Libraries.

Event Title: Social Networking Sites & Author Rights
Date: 1/07/20 TUES 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

Many researchers promote and share their publications on sites like ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Come to this session to learn about how sharing on these sites relates to copyright and open access, as well as how the sites compare to institutional and subject repositories like DSpace@MIT or arXiv. We’ll also discuss recent ResearchGate controversies and lawsuits.

Event Title: The Federal SBIR Program Basics + How to Apply
Date: 1/13/20 MON 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

The SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program helps small businesses engage in R&D with potential for commercialization. Dan Lilly (SBIR Advisor) will provide an overview of the SBIR program, including information on the program’s purpose, eligibility, sources of funding and ideas on what is necessary to succeed.
The seminar is designed to provide enough information to determine if the program is right for you and if you would like to seriously pursue SBIR proposal development.

About SBIR:
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. Click here for more information.

Event Title: Mission-driven Technology Transfer—Perspectives from MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Date: 1/14/20 TUES 10:00AM
Room: E25-111

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, run by MIT to develop advanced technology in support of national security. For close to 70 years, the Lincoln Laboratory has been developing critical technologies in areas as diverse as radar systems, satellite platforms and payloads, artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, and synthetic biology, to name a few.

Historically, the Laboratory builds prototypes and transitions that know-how to government sponsors and their industry contractors. For technologies that may also be useful to the civilian sector (so called dual-use), commercialization and open-source distribution are pathways for knowledge sharing. But how and to whom to transfer technologies is not always obvious and engineers are seldom trained as entrepreneurs.

Join Bernadette Johnson, Chief Technology Ventures Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, as she discusses the factors that influence technology transfer from a national laboratory perspective. She is equally interested in your ideas on how to ensure that federally funded research supports economic gains and social well-being on a grand scale.

Event Title: Who Owns Intellectual Property at MIT? Navigating the MIT IP Policy
Date: 1/14/20 TUES 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

Per MIT Policy, the Institute owns some of the intellectual property that is created during research at MIT. Having a clear understanding of the what, why, and the implications of this Policy is paramount.

What does it mean for MIT to own intellectual property? What are the implications of signing the Inventions and Proprietary Information Agreement (IPIA)? How does this impact entrepreneurship and innovation at MIT?

This seminar offers an overview of intellectual property policy and processes at MIT and its implications for researchers contributing to discovery through MIT intellectual endeavors. Geared towards principal investigators, students, and other potential inventors; open to members of the MIT Community only.

Event Title: Using Search Tools for Market Research
Date: 1/15/20 WED 10:00AM
Room: E25-111
Are you conducting research related to intellectual property? The MIT Libraries and the Technology Licensing Office will review the best tools for this type of research, especially in the areas of patents and market research.

Nick Albaugh, Management and Social Sciences Librarian for Innovation & Entrepreneurship from MIT Libraries, and Jonathan Hromi, Intellectual Property Officer from MIT TLO, will discuss the following topics:

  • The difference between prior art and market searching
  • How patent searching can inform market analysis
  • Tools to use to create a comprehensive commercialization plan

You’ll also see a sample market analysis based on AI technology.

Event Title: Commercialization of MIT Technology: Innovation, Technology Transfer, and Licensing
Date: 1/15/20 WED 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

Have you ever wondered how technology that’s developed in universities and other academic institutions gets translated into a product to benefit the public? This process is known as technology transfer, and research organizations all over the world utilize teams of tech transfer professionals to evaluate new inventions, protect intellectual property through a patenting process, and license the technology to third parties, such as start-up companies or corporations, for further investment in development and commercialization.

At MIT, the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) supports MIT inventors throughout this process and plays a vital role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Come hear from Technology Licensing Officers Lauren Foster and Deirdre Zammit who engage with the MIT community on all these tech transfer activities and learn the strategic approach MIT takes to move innovations from the research bench to the marketplace.

Event Title: The NSF I-Corps Program: The Scientific Method Applied to Entrepreneurship
Date: 1/16/20 THURS 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

For MIT Researchers Considering a Startup:

  • Explore taking your new technology to the marketplace
  • Get entrepreneurial training, support, and learn how to apply for $50K
  • Increase your chances of receiving an SBIR/STTR award

Whether you are just curious about entrepreneurship or certain you want to create a startup, I-Corps provides researchers with the ideal entry point. Faculty, staff, and students working on any STEM-related technology anywhere at MIT can enroll.

This session will provide an introduction to the I-Corps educational programs that are available to you. You will learn how these activities can help you and how to engage.
Learn more about the NSF I-Corps Program at MIT:

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps or I-Corps is a program that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and to accelerate the transfer of cutting-edge research into commercial success.

I-Corps participants learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and gain skills in entrepreneurship through training in customer discovery and guidance from established entrepreneurs.

Event Title: Author Rights Workshop
Date: 1/21/20 TUES 10:00AM
Room: E25-111

When you publish in scholarly journals, you’re usually required to give up some rights in your work. In this workshop, MIT librarians will show you what to look for in author contracts and go over ways to hold on to rights to share and reuse your work, including via MIT’s open access policies.

Event Title: Do Right By Your (Research) Data
Date: 1/21/20 TUES 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

Congratulations–you’ve got research data! This session will walk you through the dos and don’ts associated with research data and artifacts, all of the associated bits of information necessary to understand research data. These can include structured data, images, unstructured data, metadata, analysis scripts, analysis environment, code books, data dictionaries, computational workflows, models, algorithms, Jupyter notebooks, code libraries, etc.

We’ll cover the tools and resources available to you for making decisions about your research data (and associated bits) with regards to use agreements, security requirements, and copyright and licensing. We will also explore some case studies and do a few practical application exercises.

Event Title: Disrupting the Internal Combustion Engine: One MIT Alum’s Path to Launching a Hard Tech Startup
Date: 1/22/20 WED 10:00AM
Room: E25-111

Venture Capital has its place for funding companies, but Hard Tech is . . . particularly HARD for VCs to embrace. So how does a startup navigate in a space that requires a lot of time and money for development where traditional routes of funding are challenging?

The answer, in a word: grit.

The internal combustion engine is 150 years old–a technology that is ripe for disruption. Yet it’s a very tough space to get funded. This talk will describe the journey of a startup that launched with an award in the 2004 MIT $50K Competition, and today has demonstrated engine technology that is 1/10th the size and weight of traditional Diesel engines with 30% improved efficiency.

Alec Shkolnik (Ph.D. CSAIL 2010), co-founder and CEO of LiquidPiston, will describe the company’s journey having raised a mix of venture funding, “equity crowd funding,” angel funding, and non-dilutive Government funding; surviving several company recapitalizations; and now transitioning to commercialization in a B2B environment.

This talk will cover a broad range of topics around the funding and commercialization of tough technology.

Event Title: Basics of Obtaining a Patent
Date: 1/22/20 WED 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

The issuance of a patent is often seen as an inventor’s most notable achievement, but do you know what it takes to apply for and be issued a patent? This session will review the criteria required and the process by which inventions are assessed by the USPTO to determine if creative works are patentable.

Myron Kassaraba, Technology Licensing Officer, and Jonathan Hromi, Intellectual Property Officer, both of the MIT Technology Licensing Office (TLO), will discuss the basics of the patent application process, the history and context surrounding patents as a means of protecting commercialization rights, as well as share about the policy and practice of MIT’s patenting activities. They’ll share insights into how the TLO engages in this process in support of entrepreneurial engagement at MIT.

Event Title: Pitching 101: How to Present Your Startups and Technology Innovation to Potential Funders
Date: 1/23/20 THURS 10:00AM
Room: E25-111

Pitching an early-stage science- and technology-based startup to potential funders can be intimidating. Learning how to tailor your presentation and understanding what motivates funders to say yes, or at least not give you an outright no, are important aspects of preparing for your initial pitch.

This talk, led by Partner Matt Cohen and Principal Manny Stockman at the venture fund Osage University Partners (OUP), will be structured around the firm’s many years of experience in hearing pitches and reviewing pitch decks to provide insight on creating and presenting an initial startup pitch to funders. The talk will delve into the venture capitalist mentality and will discuss the following areas:

  • Pitching guidelines and suggestions
  • Who pitches?
  • Essential elements of the deck and how much of each element to present
  • Exemplary slides for tech and life science sectors
  • What next?

Event Title: COI @ MIT: The People, Policy, and Process Behind Financial Conflicts of Interest at MIT
Date: 1/23/20 THURS 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

MIT’s sponsored research exceeds $600M annually, with funding received from federal agencies, private foundations, and industry. MIT also has a global reputation for its startup, innovation, and entrepreneurial culture with 25+ startups launched annually in collaboration with the MIT Technology Licensing Office (TLO).

This seminar is designed to build your financial conflict of interest (fCOI) knowledge base by presenting the history and evolution of the financial conflict of interest in research regulations, who they impact, what information is collected, and how it is managed.

Rupinder Grewal from the COI office along with Dave McCarthy from the MIT TLO will provide historical context and insight into topics including the discussion of these and other questions:

  • Given the financial drivers of the for-profit world, how does MIT ensure that objectivity is maintained in its fundamental research activities?
  • How does MIT protect research results from influence when an Investigator has outside financial interests?
  • What kinds of fCOI situations arise in our environment and how do we manage them?

The collaborative efforts of the COI office and the MIT TLO highlights how policy, process, and people have come together to enable the entrepreneurial spirit of MIT.

Event Title: Career Pathways: How One Engineer Pivoted to a Venture Capital Career
Date: 1/24/20 FRI 10:00AM
Room: E25-111

What does an engineer with a Ph.D and a partner at a venture capital firm have in common? For Dr. Joel Palathinkal, everything!

Dr. Joel Palathinkal, Partner at VU Venture Partners, shares how he leveraged best practices from the software development framework—staying laser focused on a problem vs. the solution—to achieve success throughout his career. In this exciting session, we will learn more about why this fundamental yet simple framework can be beneficial in life, continuing education, your career, and he discusses the following in detail:

  • Why is a framework important
  • How to use a framework for your career and life
  • How to pivot into any career
  • How to brand yourself for a career pivot

About Joel Palathinkal: Dr. Joel Palathinkal is an author, venture capitalist, and seasoned technologist. He has over 15+ years in tech, investment management, and venture capital experience. He is also the author of Another Dimension to Clinical Skills Education and recently published a kid’s book for his son called Up Above. He lives in New York City with his wife and toddler.

Event Title: Basics of Copyright, Data, and Software Intellectual Property
Date: 1/24/20 FRI 12:30PM
Room: E25-111

It has been said that content is king.

Copyrighted works – whether media, software, or art – are a major portion of the world’s creative, intellectual, and economic output. As such, copyright issues affect musicians, artists, authors, and software programmers alike.

This popular talk offers a fun and interesting look at the protection of your creative works of authorship whether developed in the lab at MIT or elsewhere.

Join Daniel Dardani, Technology Licensing Officer and intellectual property expert, for an overview of copyright law and consider its history, practice, and relevance to your world and to the MIT community.

Daniel will explore topics including: the nature of originality, fair use, open source, how copyrights can be licensed in the digital age, and others.

All are welcome. No prior knowledge about intellectual property or the law is required.




The mission of the MIT Technology Licensing Office is to move innovations and discoveries from the lab to the marketplace for the benefit of the public and to amplify MIT’s global impact. We cultivate an inclusive environment of scientific and entrepreneurial excellence, and bridge connections from MIT’s research community to industry and startups, by strategically evaluating, protecting, and licensing technology.

The MIT Libraries aspires to advance knowledge by providing a trusted foundation for the generation, dissemination, use, creative engagement with, and preservation of information, in support of the MIT mission and so that it can be brought to bear on the world’s great challenges and in the cause of social justice.