TR Talks: Addressing Intellectual Property Like An Expert

IP is essential to incentivize innovation; doing it right is of paramount importance.

Zoya Retiwalla| TRP | February 22, 2020

You have an innovative idea and you plan towards making it work. After meticulous planning and perfecting of this innovation, you introduce this brilliant project to the world. What happens then? Potential competitors come in, the risk of losing IP comes in, peppered with a chance that someone could steal your idea. Additional measures to undermine and deter such occurrences become mandatory; this is where Intellectual Property comes in.
Our TR Talks events draw interdisciplinary audiences from different walks of innovation. We hosted a diverse group of researchers, clinicians, health practitioners, and students. Facilitated by the Translational Research Program, the “Intellectual Property” TR Talk featured a panel discussion followed by a Q & A round and ended with an engaging networking evening.
The panelists for the Talk were Lahav Gil, CEO of Relay Medical Corp.; Brian Courtney, Clinician Scientist at Sunnybrook and Executive Chairman at Conavi Medical; and Paul Santerre, Professor of Biomaterials & Baxter Chair for Health Technology and Commercialization. The panel was led by Gabriella Chan, Yocto Law Professional Corporation. The discussion offered diverse perspectives on the importance of intellectual property, challenges faced when attempting to obtain one and how to overcome those roadblocks.
Intellectual property is believed by many to be necessary to incentivize innovation. “If it’s a good idea, commercializable, and non-obvious; you need IP,” one of our panelists noted while everyone concurred. Many a researcher has lost their original work and capital due to the lack of IP or owing to trusting the wrong people. Innovation has the potential to improve human life and should be available to the public but the scientists who put in years should also stand to gain from their break-throughs.
Our panelists went on to discuss the challenges they faced when filing for IP and described the path as an uphill battle. “IPs are not easy but their impact on society is huge. Don’t be discouraged by being challenged, it is an important stress test at the start of a long journey.” To have a chance at the best outcomes – collaboration was the key.
Sharing innovations is important. Its main outcome is the improvement and implementation of innovation. Furthermore, it brings capital but caution should be exercised when discussing innovations until IP is obtained. With due diligence and confidentiality, researchers can get their dues.
This TR Talk was one of a series of sessions hosted by the Translational Research Program in collaboration with the Health Innovation Hub (H2i). These Talks are open to the public and are geared towards interprofessional clinicians, researchers, and trainees to provoke discussion and community building. To learn more about the future TR Talks, please visit our website.