|It is difficult to identify firms or industries that could not benefit from innovation. The goal of this course is to teach students how to create inventions that have concrete business uses. Such inventions may be new products, new services or even new business models.
Using a framework of objective processes and analytic tools, it is possible to repeatedly create valuable inventions and monetize those inventions through various types of partnerships or licensing arrangements.
The framework is specifically for creating inventions that are both "ownable" (patentable) and valuable. Consequently, the inventing processes we'll discuss are guided by a combination of patentability criteria and competitive analysis. This provides many non-traditional, and often superior, ways to monetize the innovation. To the best of the instructor's knowledge, there are no other courses that teach this topic.
The course provides a good foundation for innovation consulting and related services. Students do not need any particular background to benefit, though this course is often of interest to students who have technical training or work with technology.
Particular topics covered in the course include:
• identifying opportunities in the market to create ownable and valuable inventions
• how to innovate repeatedly, improving your inventions and creating new inventions
• modifying an invention to work in different industries
• patentability, and uses of patents
• assessing the commercial value of inventions
• estimating the ROI from inventing activities
• managing a pipeline of innovations
• avoiding costly “innovation races” with others
• out-inventing competitors
• licensing strategies tailored to your core competencies
• introduction to patent portfolio theory
• markets for inventions and advanced monetization strategies
This course is unique in its focus on an extremely powerful feature which other innovation courses fail to address. Our innovation processes are designed to generate and monetize inventions that are patentable (“ownable”). Because the inventions are ownable, they can be licensed more widely and cannot be readily copied. This focus has the potential to deliver higher average returns, and leads to interesting and often subtle dynamics, including strategies for inventing and monetizing inventions that are very different from those of most companies. In particular, our innovation processes are, in part, guided by the many rules of patentability; patenting is not an afterthought to inventing, nor is it even separable from the inventing processes we'll describe. Similarly, we will show that proper patent strategies should not be separated from the competitive analysis of the invention and its commercial uses. This differs from the conventional, legalcentric process undertaken by many patent professionals and firms they advise.
Teams of 4 – 8 students will be responsible for creating one or more new products or services that are valuable, novel and ownable. This project requires the team to:
• brainstorm potential innovations for a specified company or industry
• research the business opportunity (need and potential value)
• research the novelty of the the innovation
• develop a patenting plan
• develop a monetization plan
• provide the asset (idea for the product, its details, and the ability to exclude competitors) to the client
Prior to the first class, students will submit a very brief bio outlining their academic background, skill sets, and general work experience. This will allow teams with diverse and complementary abilities to be assembled.
The anticipated time commitment from students is approximately 6-8 hours per week on the project. In addition, at least once per week groups will meet with the professor, physically or remotely, for updates and guidance.