Bridging the Gap Between Concord and Durham:

Bridging the Gap Between Concord and Durham:

Dec 05, 2012

How My Internship with the UNH Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization has Benefitted Me and My Legal Education

I have been told many times throughout my education that one of the most valuable assets you can get while pursuing a degree is practical field experience. This is exactly what I am getting in my internship at the UNH Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization (ORPC). Two beneficial aspects of my internship thus far have been the application of my legal knowledge to university technology transfer and obtaining a practical understanding of technology licensing and business in general.

Whether my task involves reviewing a newly disclosed innovation or assisting in negotiations of agreements, my legal education has been invaluable. The knowledge I have gained from my IP classes has allowed me to assist office personnel in making decisions on topics ranging from trademark and patent prosecution to copyright fair use issues. Furthermore, that same knowledge has allowed me to make suggestions as to what IP protection, if any, should be sought regarding newly disclosed innovations. Likewise, the study of contract law has allowed me to analyze whether or not there are any loopholes adverse to UNH within agreements that are being negotiated.

In addition, I also utilize information I have learned from my technology transfer class. Throughout the course I have learned aspects of licensing that include patent exhaustion and misuse, warranties and indemnification, and the different obligations and duties—express and implied—both parties have in a license when certain provisions are included. Knowing these obligations and duties allows me to properly analyze potential risks the university could encounter based on how a license is drafted.

As before mentioned, another invaluable benefit of working at the UNH ORPC is being able to apply what I learn in the internship to my classes at UNH Law. Not only has the internship experience assisted me in my licensing assignments for my technology licensing class but it has also helped me in my business associations class that focuses on how different business entities are structured along with the duties and obligations of people within the entities. Prior to entering law school I had not received any business education other than a class I took in high school. Therefore, prior to working at ORPC I had no idea how businesses operate. Had it not been for my ability to work with ORPC’s Executive Director Marc Sedam, I would have had a much more difficult time understanding the business topics required to master the class. Marc’s generosity has made it so I can more easily understand topics which include the efficient market theory, insider trading, and how the purchase and sale of corporate stocks works. Marc’s willingness to impute his business savvy knowledge upon me has further allowed me to learn the general way in which members of businesses approach problems and risk.

Looking to the future, I am eager to apply the information I am going to learn next semester in my trademarks class to the office’s needs. Conversely, I am certain that ORPC Licensing Manager Timothy Willis’ knowledge of trademarks will help me in the difficult topics of the class. If you wish to inquire more about the UNH ORPC and how it has benefitted me in my legal education and beyond please feel free to contact me directly at christopher.baxter@unh.edu.

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