The following is excerpted from a September 29, 2009 IP Advocate press release:
Speaking of the then-divided Berlin, former President Reagan famously admonished Soviet leader Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” In a similar spirit, IP Advocate founder Dr. Renee Kaswan is calling on the university technology transfer system to remove the barriers that keep innovations from moving swiftly into the marketplace.
IP Advocate today announced that Dr. Kaswan has been invited to speak at the 2009 Technology Transfer Society (T2S) Annual Conference, to discuss the dilemma that faculty inventors face in the process of commercializing their inventions.
Dr. Kaswan joins speakers from Harvard Business School, Stanford, MIT, Duke, NASA and many other global institutions, to discuss the latest issues concerning the process of university technology transfer and the social consequences of entrepreneurial activity in society.
The conference, titled “The Entrepreneurial Enterprise,” will be held October 2 at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Dr. Kaswan is participating in the Issues in Technology Transfer Roundtable session.
“It’s important to include the inventor’s perspective when examining how to improve the university technology transfer system – and I’m honored to give that unique perspective a voice, among such prestigious colleagues,” said Dr. Kaswan. “What our nation needs is an efficient way to move an idea from an inventor’s mind to an entrepreneur’s office to a consumer’s bedside table as quickly as possible. But our current system creates bottlenecks at that first stage, by essentially taking all inventions across an entire campus teeming with curious minds and forcing them through one – often very small – porthole. If inventors had the freedom to choose with whom to partner, the entire technology transfer program would benefit.”
The original licensing deal Dr. Kaswan structured for the University of Georgia with pharmaceutical giant Allergan for Restasis would have netted the university about $300 million. But when the University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGARF) negotiated a secret new deal, without Dr. Kaswan’s participation, it made a miscalculation that ultimately cost the university, its inventor and Georgia taxpayers at least $220 million in royalties. Dr. Kaswan also contends that the pivotal response on the Invention Disclosure Form she filed with the university was changed without her knowledge – a change that the university relied upon to support its right to assignment, control and licensure of her patents to Allergan.