Alice Bonnen, Ph.D., attorney at Myers Bigel , recently served on an agribusiness intellectual property (IP) panel at the Eastern Region Meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) held September 18-19 in Baltimore, Maryland.
The meeting gathered more than 200 technology transfer professionals discussing best practices and strategies for industry-academia partnerships that culminate in successful product commercialization through company formation or licensing and other agreements.
“Our practicing patent lawyers like Alice are heavily engaged in improving their work and contributing to a supportive environment for our clients and one another,” Managing Partner David Purks said, adding, “Being invited to actively participate in events hosted by recognized industry organizations like AUTM enables our attorneys to further best practices in patent law by sharing their knowledge while staying informed of important legal trends and issues.”
Dr. Bonnen’s panel, “Agribusiness Deals Aren’t Just For Agriculture Schools: Learn How to Identify and Leverage Intellectual Property Assets Relevant to Agribusiness” explored how intellectual property and tangible assets translate into agribusiness transactions. Attendees heard discussion about how intellectual property protects agricultural assets; how life sciences technology can be leveraged by agribusiness; and an examination of multiple other elements of licensing and sponsored research interactions between agribusinesses and universities.
Other panelists included Billy Houghteling, Syngenta Biotechnology Inc.; Annie Mitsak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Kelly B. Sexton, North Carolina State University.
“My contribution to the panel discussion centered primarily on protecting IP, in particular the strategies and considerations for protecting specific aspects of an invention that may be identified after the initial conception of the original invention,” Dr. Bonnen explained.
A nonprofit organization with an international membership of more than 3,000 technology managers and business executives from more than 300 universities, research institutions, and teaching hospitals as well as numerous businesses and government organizations, AUTM supports and advances research discoveries for societal benefit on a global scale. Recently, the organization released highlights of its annual Licensing Activities Survey covering technology transfer activities in Fiscal 2013, showing steady growth in the patenting and licensing of new technologies and a 16 percent increase in the number of new technology business enterprises.
The Survey noted that despite reductions in federal research funding, academic and research institution licensing and startup activity are very strong and continue to play an important role in the economy.
Dr. Bonnen is one of nine attorneys practicing in the Biotechnology group at Myers Bigel which provides clients with access to years of technical training, including advanced degrees, and legal experience in a broad range of biological and biochemical technologies including molecular biology; genomics; proteomics; immunology; combinatorial chemistry; plant biotechnology; agricultural biotechnology; bioinformatics; diagnostics; therapeutics; food science; and biomechanical inventions. She has been included in the IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals (2013-2015).
Dr. Bonnen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University; Master of Science degree from the University of Minnesota (Plant Physiology); and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University. She conducted graduate and post-graduate research in the areas of plant host-pathogen interactions and fungal physiology and biochemistry prior to earning her Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University.