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Best Practices in Protecting Intellectual Property Issues

Martin S. High, School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 423 Engineering North, Stillwater, OK 74078, Paul E. Rossler, School of Industrial Engineering and Management, Oklahoma State University, 322 Engineering North, Stillwater, OK 74078, and Robert C. Hyta, Wells, St. John, 601 W. 1st Ave, Suite 1300, Spokane, WA 99201.

Entrepreneurship programs present wonderful opportunities to allow students to practice engineering in an exciting and challenging environment. One of the challenges that the students in entrepreneurship programs face is how to consider intellectual property rights while technology is transferred to and from entities outside the program. Technology transfer functions in the form of undergraduate entrepreneurship programs present unique and basic challenges such as deciding who owns any developed intellectual property, how should that property be protected, and who should do the protecting. Unfortunately, every situation is likely to be different and no one-size fits all answer can be provided. However, this paper will discuss the various issues to be considered before entering into relationships via an entrepreneurship program. In particular, this paper will propose university best pratices in protecting intellectual property while efficiently transfering technology to industry.