Expert Mentor Session Part 5: Tips to Protect Intellectual Property

Expert Mentor Session Part 5: Tips to Protect Intellectual Property

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TRANSCRIPT


[Sunny Smith]: Michael H. Cohen is the founder of Cohen Healthcare Law Group.

He’s a former professor at Harvard medical school and a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The author of over a hundred articles in law reviews and peer reviewed journals, as well as six books, including four published by an academic presses like Johns Hopkins University Press. Michael’s a thought leader who pioneers legal strategies and solutions for clients in traditional and emerging health and wellness markets. In doing so, he advises many physician clients in a variety of businesses and practices. Michael and his attorney team have a wide range of knowledge and he’s glad to have this chance to share some of it with us today.

Question:

Any tips to protect our intellectual property?

[Michael H. Cohen]: Well, going back to disclaimer, or I think having clear agreements can protect a lot of things. So what I was saying is patent alone is not the thing. Maybe you need to have an agreement.

Who owns the webinar?

I didn’t quite understand the format, but I mean, I think the best arrangement would be, for example, both people can co-promote it, but somebody has to be responsible for editing it. There are routine agreements like that, but that way both people get to market it to their audience and it can be a win-win for everybody.

So you can have friendly agreements, it’s not always a zero sum game that one person owns it. It’s not necessarily a grasping reality. It can be something that’s actually very empowering if you use it as an entrepreneur. In terms of who reviews your agreements, I think your confidants, right?

If you have one confidant or a spouse, they can review it, they can see things. They might have some good sense. They might see things leap out that you don’t realize.

For example, if you’re a co-founder and you’re expected to work 10 hours a week on the business and you don’t have 10 hours, because you got 30 hours for your other job and 10 hours with the kids and eight hours doing something else, you want your beloved to read that. You might not see it. Definitely your lawyer, I think, other people, I can’t think of who else would want to review your agreements, but I think agreements need to be reviewed and agreements need to be drafted.

And your attorney and you should come up with a checklist, which again, the legal side is in service of the business.

So a lawyer can be good business advisor. And also you have to think, what is my business? What do I need? Who do I have? Who are the players? Who do I need agreements with? What am I creating? What am I investing? And that’ll help you.

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