USG Teaching and Learning Conference: Best Practices for Promoting Engaged Student Learning
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Wednesday, April 8 • 5:00pm - 6:00pm
P22-Strategic Thinking about Patents, Trade Secrets, and a 600-Year Old Illustration

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Kimberly Green

This activity explores decisions that underlie patents and trade secrets for disciplines in which intellectual property concerns affect revenue streams from innovations. The audience includes instructors of a wide range of disciplines such as business, entrepreneurship, engineering, life sciences, software development, art, architecture, and theater. Class discussion is based on patents accessed through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website and the example of the 600-year old dome of the cathedral in Florence, Italy. The dome has been the subject of reverse engineering efforts documented in the NOVA public broadcasting program and serves as a creative example of a trade secret. Prior to seeing the video, students can reverse engineer the product (i.e., the dome) in class with blocks to approximate bricks of the dome. The discussion compares benefits and risks of patenting versus trade secrets to protect proprietary information and the implications of reverse engineering. The audience fpr this presentation will see the forms and manipulatives used in class and receive a handout explaining how to implement the exercise in the classroom and tie the components together. The activity is suitable for face-to-face or online classes.


Kim Green

University of West Georgia

Wednesday April 8, 2015 5:00pm - 6:00pm EDT
Hill Atrium/Pecan Tree Galleria

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