Entrepreneurship Guest Speaker

David Grossman, an IP Lawyer at George Mason University, was a guest speaker in our Entrepreneurship class last week. One of our major class projects is to conduct a Feasibility Study for business ideas presented by our professor or discovered by students. This project has made intellectual property a hot topic in our class, and students were anxious to learn more about this topic from Mr. Grossman. Mr. Grossman started the class stating, “Ego is the number one reason people file patents.” This got a nice laugh from the class, but unfortunately his later examples backed-up his statement.
Mr. Grossman listed several examples of failures and successes based on intellectual property as well as ways in which people bypass innovator’s patents. Discussions about patents were based on the cost to obtain one and the ability for competitors to get around these patents. When a person files a patent, it is public information, and Mr. Grossman showed many examples of competitors changing the wording in patents to file their own. Patents are also very costly, and an idea may not sound as innovative in one month as it does today. He stated, “one day the idea is great, a week later it’s okay, and a month later you say ‘What was I thinking?’” The lecture was very informative and Mr. Grossman addressed any questions we could possibly think of. His experience with real life IP issues was a great eye-opener and his demeanor added flair to our discussion on intellectual property.

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