Chalkboard and lightbulb.

Having a great idea is one thing. Protecting it, especially on a global scale, is another.

That was the subject of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s 2018 China IP Road Show, a recent day-long conference held at the University of Louisville. 

The event featured speakers from specialized backgrounds — law, academia, industry, government — who walked attendees through the process of securing,defending and commercializing intellectual property in China.

“Each program seeks to impart information to U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs on protecting their intellectual property while also maximizing its commercial value,” said Conrad Wong, Attorney-Advisor for the China Team at the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs. 

The USPTO worked with with UofL’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) to organize the event, which was held in the downtown Clinical and Translational Research Building. OTT helps protect and commercialize the research done in labs all over campus.

“UofL has a rich history of innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship,” said the office’s director, Dr. Allen Morris, who also spoke at the event. “We are continuing to grow in these efforts.”

UofL has a support system and training turning research into commercializable intellectual property. And, Morris said, UofL is the only university to have a “Superfecta” of translational research programs, which aim to get innovations developed on-campus to market.

The USPTO has been running its China IP Road Show since 2001 in cities around the U.S. This fiscal year, the office plans to hit 10 cities, both large and small markets.

Wong said they chose to bring the road show to Louisville because of the area’s commercial ties it has to China and the number of successful enterprises here. The city, for example, is home to GE Appliances, which has been part of of China’s Haier since 2016.  

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is very grateful to the University of Louisville for helping make this China IP Road Show one of our most successful this year,” Wong said. “The University’s personnel were extremely helpful in planning and supporting the program.”