If you’re an undergraduate entrepreneur at USC, what’s your relationship with intellectual property?
Well, it’s complicated.
As college graduates enter an increasingly competitive and global knowledge-based economy, intellectual property—driving more than $6 trillion in annual output and responsible for more than 80 percent of the market value of publicly-traded companies, has become a critically important area for future entrepreneurs and business leaders.
To underscore this message, USC undergraduates were invited to a powerhouse lineup of IP professionals and thought leaders from Facebook, Disney, IBM, the Federal Judiciary and the U.N. for “Leveraging Intellectual Property in Today’s Knowledge Economy,” a panel discussion held Oct. 30 at Town and Gown.
What’s the Big Idea?
Intellectual property refers to ownership of intangible assets associated with innovative ideas and concepts atop which virtually every aspect of our economy rests. Issues around the safekeeping of those ideas and concepts impact American innovation and competitiveness.
It is an important topic for USC President C. L. Max Nikias, the holder of eight patents himself, and Dr. Gary K. Michelson, an inventor, philanthropist and retired orthopedic surgeon, whose 2014 gift to USC named the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, which opened Nov. 1.
“With today's global markets, protecting IP is critical to economic growth,” said Nikias. “This is why Dr. Michelson is working hard to elevate the discussion, and tonight, USC partners with him.”