Category Archives: Education

Types of Intellectual Property that Entrepreneurs Should Know

Justin Sanders Explains the Different Forms of Intellectual Property

Justin Sanders Explains the Different Forms of Intellectual Property

Justin Sanders, the VP for High Tech and Mechanical Devices at Entralta, gave a very insightful presentation on intellectual property last night for the Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator at the CSUF Irvine campus. He covered a lot in his hour long seminar so I’m simply going to give you an overview of his talk here and, hopefully, in the future we will publish key segments from his talk as part of our Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship series.

What are the types of intellectual property?

  • Patents

    • Patents are a “set of exclusive rights in an invention granted for a limited period of time… [and it gives the patent owner the] right to exclude/prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing infringing goods/services.”
    • There are different kinds of patents, including:
      • Utility Patents

        • “Protect structural/functional features of an invention (i.e., the way an invention works).”
      • Design Patents

        • “Protect non-functional, ornamental features of an invention (i.e., the way an invention looks).”
      • Plant Patents

        • “Protect the invention – or discovery and asexual reproduction – of a distinct, new plant other than a tuber or a plant found in the wild. Means of asexual reproduction include cuttings, layering, budding, and grafting but do not include growth from a seed.”
  • Trademarks

    • “Non-functional, distinctive source identifiers used in connection with sale and offer for sale of goods and/or services. [Examples include:] brand names, company names, logos, tag-lines, jingles, product packaging, product shape, product color, store appearance/decor, etc.”
  • Copyrights

    • “Legal right of ownership that arises automatically when an original work of creative authorship is fixed in any tangible medium of expression from which the work can be perceived, reproduced or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a device. Work must be independently created and possess minimal degree of creativity. Work cannot be functional (e.g., undulating Ribbon bicycle rack).”
  • Trade Secrets

    • “Any information that derives independent economic value (actual or potential) from not being generally known to others, so long as reasonable measures (under the circumstances) are taken to maintain secrecy of information; e.g., Coca Cola recipe.”

Justin obviously went in to greater depth on each of these (except for the plant one, either he’s not a fan of plants or it’s just an area of IP law that he doesn’t cover all that frequently; it’s probably the latter) during the talk and I do hope that we will be able to get important segments of this talk published soon. Make sure to keep updated on all events and knowledge that comes out of our program by becoming a CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider.

Until then, here is Justin’s PowerPoint presentation:


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

The “Three T’s” of Starting a Business

Travis Lindsay, Entrepreneur in Residence, Cal State Fullerton Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator

Travis Lindsay, Entrepreneur in Residence, Cal State Fullerton Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator

What is it, exactly, that separates successful entrepreneurs form those that are less successful?

It’s a loaded question and any honest answer comes replete with a healthy amount of caveats but it’s still a very valid question as well. And this was the question that Chris McCarthy, the Social Media Specialist for Mihaylo College, asked me. He was kind enough to videotape my answer, and it is below, but if you like reading more then here’s the short answer.

Based off of my experiences of working closely with entrepreneurs and business owners for years now is that three of the most important factors that determine an entrepreneurs success are:

  • Tenacity
  • Team
  • Timing

As Chris and I discussed, the importance of those three factors fluctuates depending on the situation but those factors keep on popping up in all of the examples I can think of.

Tenacity is pretty self explanatory. Either you have the drive or you don’t. And tenacity is different from passion. Passionate people can end up having a lot of tenacity as long as their amount of passion does not wane. But it inevitably does wane; it at least fluctuates. People who have the tenacity to work hard consistently have a higher chance of being successful entrepreneurs than those that do not have that quality.

Team is another one that some people, especially first time entrepreneurs, overlook. I’m not going to go into the psychology of why people overlook the importance a strong team can make but the best explanation I have ever heard about why teams are important goes something like this: If you, as the founder, can create $1,000,000 worth of value a year that is the most you will ever make if you continue on as the sole person in the company. As you add people into your company’s capacity for creating value increases as well; which will hopefully end in higher revenues and, fingers crossed, more profitability as well. Regretfully, I cannot remember who first made this argument to me but it has stuck with me since and it does make a whole lot of sense to me.

Timing is tricky and it’s unforgiving. If your timing is too early your market will never materialize; if you’re too late then somebody else will grab hold of the market and won’t want to give it up without a fight. There are things that you can do to time the market, and you should absolutely do things like researching potential markets, understanding who your competitors are and what substitutes for your product and service already exist, etc. And these are things that the CSUF Consulting program and the CSUF Startup Incubator works with clients to figure out. But you can never be sure that your timing will be perfect. At a certain point you have to trust in your plan and launch.

There’s obviously more to it than that for each of those “T’s” and there are many other factors that go into the success or failure of an entrepreneurial endeavor. In fact, if you have any you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. I’m interested in finding out what you think about this.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

Event Reminder: How to Fund your Startup

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Just a friendly reminder that we will be hosting an event with startup expert Jim Cooper tomorrow evening at 6pm where he will discuss some of the innovative funding sources that most entrepreneurs know nothing about. Make sure to register by clicking this link.

Here is some information about the event:

As an entrepreneur, there are many options for funding all with clear pluses and minuses. Our speaker, Jim Cooper of Braid Theory, will discuss what some of these options are but he will be focusing on SBIR funding as a great alternative for startups.

“The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation”s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.” – sbir.gov

Pizza and soft drinks will be served at this event.

We hope to see you there!

[You will need to purchase a parking permit to park on this campus. Information for parking can be found here: http://www.fullerton.edu/irvinecampus/about/campusmap.php]


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

The Patent Process

Austin Bonderer Patent Attorney

Patent Attorney Austin Bonderer

On July 12, the CSUF Startup Incubator had a guest speaker to discuss the topic of patents. Austin Bonderer, a patent lawyer, visited the Incubator in order to present potential patent landmines that small businesses and startups should be aware of. He specifically addressed an answer to the question “What happens after you have your idea and how do you protect it.”

Before the event, I was able to briefly speak with Austin about his talk and himself. Austin received a degree from the University of Virginia and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. Austin has been working in and around patents since 1998. He started his career in patents as the University of Virginia Patent Foundation (now called UVA Licensing and Venture Group). While working toward his law degree, Austin worked for 5 ½ years as a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark office. During this time, his work concentrated on valves, business methods, and medical devices. After his time there, he was a clerk for the Board of Patent of Appeals. From there he became the Head U.S. patent prosecutor for FoxConn Technology Group as a patent lawyer. With all that experience under his belt, he opened up his own firm.

As a patent attorney, Austin always cautions his clients on not moving too fast and to make it a point to go through proper channels to get a patent. Austin started his presentation with a list of pros and cons of why a business should invest in a patent license.  A patent is an “asset to increase the value of your business” said Austin. He went on to describe the process of obtaining a patent, warning the attendees that the average amount of time to acquire a license is 2 years.

The first phase is the search for prior art, this is where a business would conduct a search to see if their product has already been patented by someone else. This stage is optional as the patent office will conduct their own search; however, Austin advises to do it as he explains that the patent office search is not the “end all-be all” and patent examiners only have so much time to search for a certain patent. There are several times for when you should, as a business, conduct a prior art search, this would be at conception, when your first product is made and once more during launch.

“A patent is a negative right, not a positive privilege” said Austin. This refers to the right to keep someone else from making your product.

The second part of the patent process is the Application Writing phase. In its simplest form, this phase is filling out the application for a patent and then paying for it. This is the costliest part of the process, not because of the patent itself but because of attorney fees in order to get the application. A patent application can cost $5,000 or much more.

The last phase of obtaining a patent is the prosecution phase. This phase is turning in the application and (hopefully) getting approved.

Austin continued by presenting a list of “landmines” that companies might face when creating their invention and the following stages. These possible barriers included the invention itself, any employees, inventor and outside parties. He gave tips and directions on how to close these loopholes.

Do you have intellectual property that needs protecting? Get in touch with Austin by going to his website for more details on how he can help you protect the most important assets your business owns.

But a patent is only a part of the process of going from your concept to launch. To access expert coaching on how to start your business and gain access to many other professionals like Austin you should join the CSUF Startup Incubator as our next Resident entrepreneur. Working with the CSUF Startup Incubator is not free but it should be seen as an investment in your business with the ROI being launching your business sooner and having a clear startup road map for your business. Please contact us at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu for more information on how to become the next entrepreneur to work with us at the CSUF Startup Incubator.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUFConsulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

Fall 2017 Course Recommendation for CSUF: Startup Business Class for non-Business Majors

Student at WorkStarting a business is a goal for many people and not just those who major in business. In fact, many entrepreneurs did not major in business but they all needed to learn how to start a business. At Cal State Fullerton we have a class built for the specific needs of innovative non-business majors who want to start their own business: BUAD 410 – Starting and Managing a Professional Practice/Small Business.

In this class, students are walked through the process of how to create an actionable business plan for any concept they can come up with. Previous students have developed plans for:

  • An emotional skills building card game to help people overcome disabilities (which finished second in the campus-wide CSUF Business Plan Competition earlier this year!)
  • A toy store designed to engage kids with STEM-related projects and activities
  • Trend setting restaurants and pubs

The kind of businesses that students can start after taking this class are only limited by their imaginations.

What will you learn by taking BUAD 410?

Every student in this class learns the fundamentals of a business plan. This includes topics like:

  • Marketing your product or service
  • Implementing appropriate accounting principles
  • Funding your business
  • Developing a team
  • And everything else that goes into creating a successful business

And here is a video featuring testimonials from students who have previously taken this course that highlights what students can expect to learn by taking this course.

How does BUAD 410 operate?

At the beginning of the semester, every student will be asked to pitch, or give a short presentation, their concept. It’s a sixty second exercise where students will have the opportunity to explain what it is their business is and why it would make for a good venture.

From these presentations the class will decide which concepts will be pursued. Even if a student’s idea isn’t picked they will learn those invaluable skills that were outlined in the previous section through their work on the creation of a business plan for the concept that their group works on during the semester.

Once the groups have been decided it is time to get to work on creating the plans. Each team will have the benefit of working with the professor, Jeff Longshaw, as well as a mentor from the private sector. The combined experience and knowledge of the professor and the mentor helps these teams develop actionable business plans and the professor and mentor also engage with the students in a way that helps them learn and internalize the lessons from the class. Lessons that can be used to start any business a student wants.

By the end of the semester each student will have the skills and knowledge that are needed to start a business. It’s a challenging course but for those students who are interested in starting their own business but are not business majors it is a course that they should definitely take.

Who is the professor?

This course is taught by Professor Jeff Longshaw. He earned his MSBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, has been a business management and communications consultant for decades, and is an entrepreneur. He punctuates his lessons with anecdotes from his experience in the private sector as well as from his time in the armed services. These stories bring to life the difficult concepts that are taught in this class and give students a better understanding of how those lessons relate to the real world.

How do you take this class?

Enrollment for the Fall 2017 at Cal State Fullerton is still open and you have an opportunity to take this class and to take your first steps in becoming an entrepreneur. For more information on this class please contact the Center for Entrepreneurship at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu for more information.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUFConsulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

CSUF Entrepreneurship’s High Impact Practices

There are many ways to get an education but in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider Director Jackson discusses how our program uses intensive projects with real world implications to enrich our students’ education and increase graduation rates.

CSUF Entrepreneurship students will tell you two things about their education at Cal State Fullerton: 1. Majoring in entrepreneurship was a challenge and 2. It was the most rewarding experience of their education.

Why is majoring in entrepreneurship at Cal State Fullerton such a challenge?

Every Entrepreneurship Major must complete four classes that feature consulting projects with real businesses and they must also take a pair of classes where they are required to develop a business plan for a concept they come up with and then work on the launch of that business. All of these projects require of our students a great deal of effort and forces them to actively apply what they are learning in the classroom to real world situations with real world results.

These projects are called High Impact Practices and, as discussed in our article titled CSUF Entrepreneurship Students Get Hands On Experience, these classes do increase student engagement and lead to higher graduation rates.

In addition to our professors and mentors, these projects make an entrepreneurial education at Cal State Fullerton a very rewarding experience.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director and Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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Getting New Things Done – A New Book on Innovation with Stanford University Press by CSUF Professor David Obstfeld

Cal State Fullerton Professor David Obstfeld has published a book called "Getting New Things Done"

Cal State Fullerton Professor David Obstfeld has published a book called “Getting New Things Done”

Cal State Fullerton Professor David Obstfeld has just published a new book called “Getting New Things Done” with Stanford University Press.

New things get done all the time. But how do new things actually get done?

Cal State Fullerton Entrepreneurship Professor David Obstfeld tackles this question head on. Drawing on his extensive research into social networks and how people coordinate around innovation and entrepreneurship, David articulates a theory of how managers make innovation happen through the skillful orchestration of knowledge and networks.

In Getting New Things Done, David illustrates how innovation takes place based on extensive field observation in a Detroit car company (identified as NewCar). While at NewCar, David saw how three socially adept employees artfully navigated the bureaucratic landscape of the company to get a new, superior manual shifter implemented into new models of their cars. David provides many other examples of this ranging from how entrepreneurs succeed, to how the famous ballet company Ballet Russe revolutionized dance, and the Arab Spring in Egypt.

Innovation is a field that is open to everyone but the process of how innovation takes place has certain identifiable characteristics. David captures these properties in his BKAP model of innovation, which stands for Brokerage, Knowledge Articulation, and Projects. As was the case with NewCar, all innovation includes these three elements.

You can purchase the book on Amazon or at the Stanford University Press. If you purchase through Stanford University Press you can use the code “NEWTHINGS” to get a 20% discount on the book.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUFConsulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge