Empowering Young Inventors: An Experimental Course on IP and Patent Application Drafting at Auburn University
Paul M. Swamidass
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 424-431, 2010
A new one-credit course on IP and patent application drafting was offered at Auburn University jointly by the authors in spring 2009. The course started with a target of 15 students. Within 1 week of its announcement, the course was oversubscribed; the class was filled within a week of its announcement through e-mails to engineering and business students, a few were turned down, 16 were enrolled including one MS and one Ph.D. student from engineering (graduate students were required to do an additional term paper). The goal of this first-of-its-kind course at Auburn was to teach undergraduate and graduate students to understand the protection of intellectual property rights, and to train them to prepare a patent application fit for submission to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The hands-on experience was intended to give them the freedom to grab their own new ideas and protect them through patents as a first step towards the commercial exploitation of their intellectual property (IP). The paper explains the limited goals of the course, outcome and conclusions with a recommendation for other universities to offer a similar course. The course fulfilled an important need and empowered some of the young inventors in the class to consider venturing into a new business based on their product ideas.
Keywords: Patent application, Intellectual property, Young entrepreneurs, Patent application drafting, Career in Patent law
JEL Classification: A22, A23, I23, K19, K40, P14
Date posted: May 9, 2011 ; Last revised: February 19, 2015