MARCH 2020

Innovation Review

Monthly information on a variety of economic, business, and technology related legal news as well as highlights and profiles of resources and events across New York state.


News From The Center

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ILC COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, the Innovation Law team is working remotely; but we want to hear from you!  This is the time of year we begin assessing requests for research to be completed over the summer. We will have a team of student researchers ready to investigate the IP landscape, regulations, and market relating to new technologies in NYS. Please email us at to inquire.


Cool, Wearable Tech Enables Migraine Sufferers

The Innovation Law Center is finishing up twelve research reports on new technologies for clients around NYS. One of the companies is Prolivio, a migraine-relief cooling headband for migraine relief.  Read more about the company and its work with the ILC, here.


IP/Regulatory Law Watch


USPTO Waives Original Handwritten Signature Requirement

On March 19, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it would waive the original handwritten signature requirement for correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and patent payment by credit card. The decision comes after the USPTO deemed the effects of COVID-19 to be an “extraordinary situation” for affected patent and trademark applicants, patent owners, reexamination parties and trademark owners. To learn more about the new regulation, click here.


TikTok Uses Blockchain to Defeat Copyright Infringement

TikTok, the popular short-video sharing platform with more than 400 million users, successfully used blockchain  to prove copyright infringement in a Chinese court. The application, known as Douyin in China and created by ByteDance, has a virtually unlimited amount of viral content on its platform. Despite posting their copyright policy, they found competitors attempting to steal it. ByteDance took one such competitor, Baidu, to court after it created a similar application with content from TikTok. With its use of blockchain, ByteDance was able to  prove the copyright infringement. To learn more about the case and its use of blockchain, click here.


Around New York State

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Governor Cuomo Proposes Accelerated Renewable Energy Projects to Drive Economic Growth

Governor Cuomo is advancing a budget amendment to drastically accelerate the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects as a part of the effort to combat climate change and grow New York State’s green economy. Formally known as the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, its amendment will create a new Office of Renewable Energy Permitting if adopted. The prospective office would organize and speed up the process for environmentally responsible and cost-effective site approval of large-scale renewable energy projects. The announcement also means increased progress towards Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy and climate goals. To learn more about the amendment and its potential impact, click here.

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Eight High-Tech Startups to Compete in AFRL Program

The Griffiss Institute has announced the eight startup teams that will participate in its next Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Commercialization Academy program. The chosen companies span the industries of cyber security, big data analytics, information systems and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The startups will work at the AFRL Commercialization Academy to build their startups around Department of Defense intellectual property. The program includes bi-weekly classes and one-on-one sessions. Selected teams will compete in a live pitch competition in June to win a $200,000 seed funding prize from the Innovation & Development Entrepreneurial Accelerator of New York (IDEA NY). To learn more about the AFRL Commercialization Academy 2020 participants and program, click here.


Funding and Incubation Opportunities


NYFIRST Accepting Application for 2020 Grants

The New York Fund for Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent (NYFIRST) is now accepting applications for its medical school grant program. The program aims to encourage the recruitment and retention of exceptional life science researchers. NYFIRST will hand award up to $1.0 million to each chosen applicant, which may be used to support the establishment/upgrading of laboratories, to purchase capital equipment and specialized supplies, and as working capital. The goal of the program is to build upon basic scientific research to best find new ways to diagnose and treat medical conditions. The application for NYFIRST will remain open until July 20, 2020. To learn more about the NYFIRST grant program, click here. To apply, click here.


CNYBAC Medical Device Innovation Challenge Accepting Applications for 2020 Competition

The CNY Biotech Accelerator is accepting applications for its 2020 Medical Device Innovation Challenge until May 31. The program, which is funded by Empire State Development, will provide selected participants with work space, intensive mentorship, access to research partners and experts, and networking opportunities. Additionally, participants will have access to other CNY Biotech Accelerator events including the Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp and the NEXT Innovation Conference. To learn more about the 2020 Medical Device Innovation Challenge and apply, click here.


StartFast Accepting Applications for 2020 Investments

StartFast is accepting applications for its 2020 investment period. A unique, value-add pre-seed venture firm, StartFast seeks applications from early-stage, high-growth tech startups in a variety of industries. Chosen applicants will receive $50,000 in initial investment, followed by a potential $50-$750k in follow-on funding. By working with StartFast, startups can expect to find their product-market fit, gain early market traction, develop a scalable business model and raise larger rounds of funding. To learn more about StartFast, click here. To apply for its 2020 investments, click here.




Save The Date: CYNBAC’s Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp

Save the date for the upcoming Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp on October 15-16, 2020! The event will be hosted by the Innovation Resource Center, Empire State Development and CNY Biotech Accelerator, and Upstate Medical University. The Boot Camp will cover topics including business model canvas, intellectual property, manufacturing, business development, etc. To learn more about the Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp, click here.


Save The Date: MedTech 16th Annual Conference

Save the date for the upcoming MedTech Conference on October 21-22, 2020! An event focused on bio/med, the conference will focus on bringing innovations to the market, tackling workforce challenges, and bolstering New York’s economy. Additionally, the conference will feature speed networking, a tech showcase, a C-suite roundtable, and several other activities. To learn more about MedTech 2020, click here.


Save The Date: NYS Innovation Summit

Save the date for the upcoming New York State Innovation Summit on October 27-28, 2020! The event, which is hosted by FuzeHub and NYSTAR, is aimed at New York State startups, developers, manufacturers and businesses looking to showcase and discover new and emerging technologies that support innovation and drive business growth. The Summit will celebrate the state’s leadership in technology-fronted economic growth and feature expert speakers in biotechnology, energy information, artificial intelligence and many other industries. Registration for the event will begin in spring 2020. To learn more about the New York State Innovation Summit, click here.


FuzeHub Events

Visit the FuzeHub Events page here to learn about upcoming New York manufacturing industry networking opportunities and events!

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Upstate Venture Connect Events

Visit the Upstate Venture Connect calendar here to learn about upcoming Upstate New York networking and entrepreneurial events!

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