Dr. Gary K. Michelson advocated for IP education for all students at the First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase, an annual conference celebrating the very best early-stage startups commercializing deep tech and life science breakthroughs from SoCal’s top research institutions.
By Justin Chapman
Equity is critical when it comes to the implementation of intellectual property and copyright law, Dr. Gary K. Michelson said at the First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase, an annual conference celebrating early-stage startups in tech and life sciences presented by the Alliance for SoCal Innovation and LA Venture Association.
“Women’s names only appear on about 18 percent of patents and they have 50 percent of the brains—and some would argue the best brains,” he said. “We’re cheating our GDP, our country, out of the best brains, so we need to do something to make sure we recruit women and people of color and try to have some equity.”
A good start is having colleges and universities incorporate IP education into student curricula, said Dr. Michelson, who has nearly 1,000 patents.
“If you look at the wealthiest companies in the world today—Facebook, Apple, Netflix—all these companies were started by people who were in the college demographic, so why would colleges not be teaching intellectual property?” he argued.
Dr. Michelson added, “If you want to start a business, give yourself an edge” by educating yourself about IP.
That’s why he founded the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property—to provide access to intellectual property education and empower young inventors, students, women, and people of color.
“If you want to start a business, give yourself an edge” by educating yourself about IP. —Dr. Gary K. Michelson
David Bailey of KPPB LP, who interviewed Dr. Michelson during the showcase, said one of the top five reasons that startups fail is they infringe on someone’s trademark.
“If you’re building a business around an idea, you need to educate yourself about the intellectual property system because that’s how you capture value,” Bailey said.
In addition to knowledge about IP laws and protocols, Dr. Michelson added that inventors, content creators, and entrepreneurs must also have perseverance.
“Inventing is an iterative process, and it goes to the nature of failure and perseverance,” he said. “When one attempts something and you don’t succeed at first, it truly is only a failure if you stop right then and there. But if you continue on to success, each one of those times you did not succeed is simply a step in the process.”
To learn more, read the transcript of the conversation here. Watch the full conversation below: