George Church and OTD Explore "Patent Law in Academia"
While most scientists receive excellent training on how to conduct basic research, the job of a scientist, particularly at the level of university faculty, often requires many skills beyond the bench. One task a scientist may face during their career is how to manage a potentially patentable idea or discovery. However, while this is a subject of active interest and concern, there has been little in the way of formal curriculum that demystifies this world for the scientific researcher. Curriculum fellows expressed this disconnect to OTD and together created the first HMS nanocourse to address the patenting process as it releates to university research. On March 11, OTD Directors Anne Craig and Grant Zimmerman joined Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics George Church to present "Patent Law in Academia," a discussion that provided the HMS community with a well-rounded overview of patent law from the perspective of both the faculty member and the university.
The well-attended session was followed on March 24 with a smaller workshop open to students and Postdocs eager to dive deeper into the patent process. Attendees tackled some hands-on exercises that encouraged additional insight as to how the subject matter could apply to their future research and careers.