A Woman Entrepreneur’s Strategic Guide to Intellectual Property

8026526969_364802826f_z.jpg

By Jill Hubbard Bowman (Intellectual Property Attorney, Independent) Some economists estimate that 75% of a scalable company’s value is based on its intellectual property. Without legal protection, the company’s public IP could be freely used -— even by competitors. Obviously, investors care about the scope and quality of a company’s IP protection before they invest. Consequently, intellectual property protection is the linchpin of a scalable company.

In my experience as an IP attorney, however, few entrepreneurs really understand the value of IP. Even fewer know how to use IP law strategically to protect the company’s IP assets and create barriers to competition. Worse yet, many entrepreneurs make serious mistakes that can cost the company everything! I’ve spent years doing legal clean up and fighting bet-the-company cases in court. Many of the issues that I’ve litigated could have been avoided. Seeing millions of dollars wasted on litigation, motivated me to help entrepreneurs and start this blog.

My experience as a woman attorney has also motivated me to specifically help women entrepreneurs, who have difficult gender based obstacles and are grossly underfunded.

To help women, Heather Schafer and I are excited to announce we will be offering a tele-class for women entrepreneurs who want to build highly valuable, scalable companies:

House: work, A Woman Entrepreneur’s Strategic Guide to Intellectual Property

Taught by myself, Jill Hubbard Bowman, and Heather Schafer, it will be an eight week program based on our pending book. Class dates are from August 28 through October 16, 2011 on Sunday evenings from 6:30pm to 8pm (PST).

The House:work course will teach women founders:

  • Critical strategies for designing a House of IP and getting the right type of protection.
  • The basics of the legal pillars for their IP House: trademarks, trade secrets, patents, copyrights.
  • How to ensure that the company owns the IP created for it.
  • How to survive IP due diligence by investors with flying colors.
  • Heather and I will also provide individual coaching sessions for each participant.

At the conclusion of the class, each woman will have a detailed IP strategy for the company and a better understanding of how to protect the company’s IP as the company grows.

The enrollment for this class is very limited. We are seeking a few highly motivated, women entrepreneurs who really want to learn, build scalable companies, and get major investment. The class will be a serious commitment and involve on-going reading, homework and tests. We also plan on making it fun and we promise we won’t use sports analogies. Our materials are women-centered and very unique in the world of IP law. To get more details about tuition and receive an application, contact me at bowmanlaw[at]me.com. We will be conducting applicant interviews over the next four weeks.

This post was originally posted at IP Law for Startups.

Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Jill Hubbard Bowman is an independent intellectual property attorney with more than ten years of experience in protecting, enforcing and licensing intellectual property rights. She started her practice in Silicon Valley at WSGR, the premier firm specializing in representing technology startups. Jill worked for WSGR for four years before moving joining one of the largest intellectual property firms in the country, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione. After that, she started her own law practice and blogs at IP Law for Startups.