At the time, I was a practicing intellectual property lawyer with primary experiences in the medical, electronics, semiconductor, tooling, and rubber/plastics world where I regularly led efforts to protect these crown jewels (patents and trademarks) of my company. These were crown jewels that we had invested significant assets in creating or acquiring, and that provide us a competitive advantage. If these are not protected, all advantage is lost and frankly you are at a disadvantage as the other side has not had to invest in their creation. I saw the IP Council as a way to promote the importance of IP to the next generation of lawyers and business leaders. I have since grown into business leadership at Firestone, a subsidiary of Bridgestone, where we see every day the efforts required to maintain your competitive advantage over hard-charging competitors and the IP we have is one of the ways we maintain our edge.
The practice of IP law is energizing and positive. Intellectual Property focuses on what’s new – you are dealing with technical and marketing leaders who are innovative, creative, and on the cutting edge. They keep you on your toes both technically and market-wise. You get to work with, play with, and deal with innovation and creativity before it ever hits the market – that’s fun.
Akron successfully mixes legal theory and knowledge with real life applications, issues, and problems to help the students be well prepared to tackle what lawyers and business leaders see every day.
We have the unique opportunity to bring the real world challenges, issues, and needs to the University environment thereby assuring the right approach to educating the future leaders in IP. It is a great avenue to voice real-life IP practical needs to the administration and faculty to assure the students at The University of Akron get the best education possible and therefore making them the most prepared students when they enter the real world.