2012 Laws of Science Symposium

Laws of ScienceThursday, March 29, 2012
1:00 PM – 6:30 PM

North Carolina Biotechnology Center
15 T.W. Alexander Drive
Durham, NC 27713

Conference Overview

The North Carolina Bar Association Intellectual Property Section is pleased to present the “2012 Laws of Science Symposium.”  This Symposium provides an opportunity for science and business professionals to learn about protecting their intellectual property in the life sciences.  Organized by the Biotechnology and Chemical Patents Committee of the NCBA IP Section, this Symposium is intended to raise awareness of intellectual property law and related issues (patenting strategies, technology transfer, agreements, company start-ups) to scientists, managers, and attorneys.  The goal is to provide valuable and practical information that individuals can bring back to their laboratories, companies, and universities, where they can reduce what they have learned to practice.

Keynote Speaker

Holden Thorp, Ph.D., Chancellor, UNC-Chapel Hill

“Perspectives on the creation of venture-backed university startups from a founder and administrator”

Holden Thorp, co-founder of two venture-backed university startups and chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill, will describe efforts at Carolina to increase the application of university intellectual property in industry, particularly in startup companies.  The talk will blend national policy perspectives with a description of the funding and launch of Viamet Pharmaceuticals of Morrisville.

Scheduled Speakers

Chris Perkins/Arles Taylor (Jenkins Wilson) – “Intellectual Property Basics – How to Protect Your IP in a Changing World

The identification and protection of potentially valuable intellectual property assets can be a substantial factor in the future success of your business.  This seminar will provide an overview of applicable legal standards with regard to what constitutes protectable intellectual property, with a particular emphasis on patents protection in the United States and in selected other countries.

Bill Wofford (Hutchison) – “Spring into Life:  Practical Legal and IP Issues for Startups

This session will help scientific founders understand some basic principles regarding startup ventures, including their role with the company, ownership and resources.   Common mistakes (and how to avoid them) will also be discussed.

Joey Morris (Smith Anderson) – “Defending the Castle: Procedure, Strategies and Practical Considerations for Enforcing Patents

A practical guide to enforcing patents against infringers; defending against a claim of infringement; litigation considerations (including reexamination); Hatch-Waxman litigation; remedies and costs; and settlement issues.

Ken Sibley (Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec) – “Who is an inventor and why does it matter?

Formal determination of who is an inventor is often an afterthought in the patent process.  This is unfortunate, as this is an area where an ounce of prevention is worthy many pounds of cure.

Jackie Quay (UNC Office of Technology Development) – “Technology Transfer: A Guide to Working with Academic Institutions and Inventors

When partnering with academic institutions for the purpose of research or technology development, each partner may have a unique goal with respect to creation and management of intellectual property. Although academic institutions themselves can vary widely, some common themes are described that may help potential partners move quickly towards common ground.

Allyn Rhodes (Brinks Hofer) – “File Early and Often: Filing Strategy in view of the America Invents Act

An overview and guide to the First to File system under the America Invents Act, including an explanation of meaningful differences between the first to file system and the current system and suggestions for protecting your invention under the new rules.  In addition, changes under the AIA affecting who can file patent applications will be discussed

Bernie Brown (Womble Carlyle) – “So, you want to be a lawyer, now?!—Making the transition from science or engineering to law

The talk will highlight careers available to scientist and engineers in patent law and the steps necessary to get there and options along the way.

Michelle Fitzsimmons (Potomac Patent Group) – “Maximizing Return on Investment in Drug Development: Patent & Non-Patent Market Exclusivity

The lecture will review options available to the drug developer for maximizing market exclusivity.  It will also cover the potential implications of new legislation and recent developments in case law.

Laura Kiefer (Olive Law Group) – “Prioritized Exam and Post Grant Procedures under The America Invents Act

The AIA provides an option for prioritized examination, post grant review, inter partes review, and supplemental examination.  The presentation will discuss alignment of filing tactics with business objectives as well as the implications of filing and post grant procedure choice on litigation.

David Harlow (Nelson Mullins) – “IP Licensing Transactions

The speaker will set out a real life example of the use of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and confidential regulatory data agreements from a complex pharmaceutical transaction that allowed both parties to appropriately utilize and share intellectual property to create a win-win transaction that was a huge commercial success.

Josh Elliott (Brinks Hofer) – “Recent Court Decisions that Affect your Patent Rights

An overview of recent Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decisions, including patent ownership, patentable subject matter, and various patent infringement issues.  In addition, the presentation will include practical suggestions for protecting patent rights in view of these decisions.

Dana Rewoldt (Syngenta) – “PVP and Patents – A Global Perspective

Discussion of IP tools for protecting agricultural innovations.  Review of these tools – including the global scope of patents and PVP to protect innovations.

David Bradin (Hultquist IP)/ Leslie Grab (Kilpatrick Townsend) – “IP Audits and Due Diligence:  Two Sides of the Same Coin

In this panel discussion, David Bradin will discuss how a company can use an IP audit to ensure that its IP portfolio is in proper shape, so that important inventions are properly protected, and any defects are identified and corrected in advance of a merger, sale, or license.  Leslie Grab will discuss how to conduct due diligence in advance of a merger, sale, or license, to ensure that the IP rights to be acquired are properly assigned, validly issued, and provide an appropriate scope of protection, to help ensure the IP rights are worth acquiring.

Steve Butts (Neuronex) – “Funding Startups -Thinking Outside The Box 

Lance Lawson (Nelson Mullins) – “Patenting Strategies


Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione

Hultquist IP

Jenkins Wilson Taylor & Hunt

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec, P.A.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP

North Carolina Bar Association

North Carolina Biotechnology Center


Sponsors Logos


1:00-1:30            Registration

1:30-2:20            Keynote Address – Holden Thorp, Ph.D., Chancellor, UNC-Chapel Hill

2:30-3:20            Breakout Session I

3:30-4:20            Breakout Session II

4:30-5:20            Breakout Session III

5:30-6:30            Reception and Networking

Registration Category Fee
Regular  (before March 9, 2012) $50
Regular  (after March 9, 2012) $60
Student  (before March 9, 2012) $25
Student  (after March 9, 2012) $30