NYS Science & Technology Law Center


Innovation Review

The Innovation Review is the New York State Science & Technology Law Center’s monthly newsletter. It brings information on legal, business, and technology related news, resources, and events across New York State.


News From The Center


Innovation Law Center Summer 2021 Update

The Innovation Law Center wrapped up its largest summer research session to date. Eight research associates worked with over thirty clients providing IP, regulatory, and market research on new technologies. The clients represented various industries including biotechnology, green energy, medical devices, and sports and leisure. The summer program this year was  funded by NYSTAR, the CNY Biotech Accelerator, and Clarkson University.

Associates toured the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator at Binghamton University to view how the incubator operates day-to-day and interact with the Binghamton University tech transfer office located on campus.

The summer also saw the retirement of Jack Rudnick, the Innovation Law Center’s Director since Ted Hagelin passed away in 2014. He will remain as a consultant to the law school and the program. The new director is Brian Gerling, L’99.

Innovation Law Center logo

Guardians of Innovation

The ILC was profiled for its work with engineering students via the SOURCE program, which funds engineering students to complete research. The future engineers researched computer-based technology to update the IP Rights in Software guidebook. To learn more about SOURCE and the engineering students work with the ILC, click here.


Ask the Innovator Monthly Series

The Innovation Law Center is happy to welcome FDA consultant Gary Brennan to the Ask the Innovator session on Thursday, October 14th at noon. Gary is an FDA medical device regulatory expert. He has worked in the Medical Device Quality and Regulatory Affairs field for over fifteen years managing many aspects of FDA regulatory compliance from product development to product lifecycle management. He will talk about commonly asked questions encountered consulting with early stage medical device companies. To read the article, click here.

Submit yours question in advance to csignor@syr.edu, or join the discussion through our Ask the Innovator webpage directly. To read more about the series, click here.

Launch NY’s Founders Go Big

On Thursday, October 14th, ILC Director, Brian Gerling, will participate in Launch NY’s Founders Go Big. He’ll answer questions on copyrights, trademarks, and patents.  This event is geared to the early stage business owner that isn’t quite sure how to get their venture off the ground.

To register, click here.

Intellectual Property

AI v. IP: If You’re Here, Then Who’s Flying the Plane?

The Innovation Review is fortunate to access the research and writing talents of law students interested in intellectual property and technology commercialization law. Each edition of the Innovation Review offers an article written by one of the students highlighting an important topic relating to technology, law, and/or market commercialization. This month’s edition includes an article written by Kant Kim Luong Khac Nguyen, a third-year law student, on artificial intelligence and intellectual property. Read Kant’s article here.

Startup Watch – Vita Innovations

The Innovation Law Center works with over sixty startups and researchers a year. Vita Innovations is a startup that began with students from Cornell University seeking to address the challenges emergency rooms faced during covid. Their progress is extraordinary. Read about their journey and Longsha Liu’s inspirational thoughts on leadership for startups and the ways in which the Innovation Law Center can help your business. Read more here.


IP/Regulatory Law Watch


Is it patentable?

Most criteria for Patent protection are familiar: the invention must be new, useful, and non-obvious to one skilled in the art. The type of inventions eligible for patent protection has become much less clear for newer technologies such as quantum computing artificial intelligence, precision medicine, diagnostic methods pharmaceutical treatments, and other computer-related inventions such as business methods, computer security, databases, and graphical user interfaces  This lack of clarity impacts predictability and negatively impacts investment and innovation in these critical technologies. For this reason Congress and USPTO are conducting a Patent Eligibility Jurisprudence Study, and seeking information from the public. The date for comments to be submitted was recently extended to October 15th.
Visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal (www.regulations.gov) for instructions on providing comments. Comments already received are posted here.  


USPTO Director Updates

The Biden administration has yet to name a new Undersecretary of Commerce for IP and Director of the USPTO to replace Andrei Iancu. Drew Hirshfeld, the USPTO Commissioner of Patents is acting until a new director is appointed. Hirshfeld presided over the quarterly Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) meeting. The PPAC reviews the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of patent operations and advises the director on these matters. Agendas are published on the USPTO website and cover a wide range of issues. See recent meeting agendas and transcripts on the PPAC webpage.

computer keyboard

Our Technology Was Developed At…

Startup’s licensing university research are not able to use university trademarks as part of most technology license agreements. Recognizing that it is in both parties’ interest to let people know the source of the technology, the University of Michigan came up with a creative solution; a trademark specifically for technology developed at the University that says: Powered by University of Michigan. The startup must apply for a separate license to use the mark, but there is no charge for it. Read about it here.  


Around New York State

Genius NY

GENIUS NY Announces Round Five Finalists

GENIUS NY has selected five teams from around the world to participate in their yearlong in-residence accelerator program.  In total, GENIUS NY will invest $3 million in the current teams.  Since 2017, GENIUS NY has invested $12 million in 22 companies and brought them to Central New York where they receive assistance with product and business development, and networking opportunities. Since 2017, GENIUS NY companies have raised more than $40 million in follow-on funding and have created over 50 jobs in New York. To learn more about the companies participating, click here.

Governor Kathy Hochul speaking behind podium

Governor Hochul Announces New $40 Million Biodefense Fund

Governor Hochul has announced a new infection fighting fund that could help prevent another pandemic. Grants will be given to companies who are working on developing new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. To learn more, click here.


Funding and Incubation Opportunities


How To Fund Your Startup – Crowdfunding

Funding Options for Startups – Crowdfunding 

For the next several months, the Innovation Review will profile different funding options for startups, and the issues associated with it. This month considers crowdfunding. Options to be covered in future issues include bootstrapping, venture capital, grants, and loans.

Crowdfunding is simply presenting an idea via a crowdfunding website to anyone interested and asking for what are essentially donations. Small donations from tens, hundreds, or thousands of people can be a very efficient way of initial funding for your a company. It also offers an opportunity to test the market, and advertise the offering. People are interested in providing funding for a variety of reasons such as: receiving added benefits, taking pride in the success of the company, and/or to see the company follow through on their promises.

The main issue that may come to light when trying to take advantage of crowdfunding is cost and IP rights. When starting a crowdfunding campaign, it is obvious that a description, video, or photo of the product be presented to the potential funders. It is crucial to the success of a company to make sure patent eligible inventions are protected before being published. It is also important to ascertain taxes and fees associated with the process and the platform’s fees.

Examples include: GoFundMe, IndieGogo and Kickstarter.

To learn more about crowdfunding, here.

PSC Improves Signature $6 Billion Fund ton Target Disadvantaged Communities

The Clean Energy Fund is administered by NYSERDA and provides funding for clean energy initiatives. It is designed to reduce ratepayer collections, drive economic development, and accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation. The initiatives include targeted workforce development efforts, including focus on disadvantaged communities to provide meaningful career pathways to support delivery on the climate objectives laid out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. To learn more, click here. For funding opportunities click here.




Resources for Events in New York State

CNY Biotech Accelerator Event Schedule
Fuzehub Event Schedule
MedTech Event Schedule
Upstate Venture Connect Event Schedule

NSF I-Corps logo

October 11th – November 10th

I-Corps Regional Course Hosted by University of Rochester

October 15th

Manufacturing Day 2021


November 8th – November 9th

New York State Innovation Summit Hosted by NYSTAR and Fuzehub


December 1st

Save the Date: Business Incubator Association of NYS Annual Meeting


December 7th – December 9th

Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) East 2021


December 8th – December 9th

Johnson & Johnson Innovation Presents the 2021 Blue Knight Symposium

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