Second- and third-year law students in Penn State Dickinson Law’s Business Law Society and Assistant Professor of Legal Writing and Entrepreneurship Law Samantha Prince recently led a workshop to educate early-stage entrepreneurs and Penn State Berks engineering students about when to license an invention or start a company.
Held at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Langan LaunchBox—a partnership between Penn State Berks and Penn State Health St. Joseph, the workshop featured a presentation by Dickinson Law’s Business Law Society Co-Founder and President Kamron Abedi, 2019, titled “I Created Something... Now What? Licensing and Creating a Start-up.”
“After the Langan LaunchBox reached out to the Business Law Society with several legal questions, we felt that an interactive workshop would allow our students to offer information and advice to entrepreneurs speaking to the intersection of business and the law,” said Prince.
Abedi’s presentation focused on issues entrepreneurs will face when determining whether their invention is appropriate to license to an existing company or if their invention is fit to start a company around.
“My goal was to provide the attendees with an overview of the resources available to guide them through both creating and managing a start-up, advise of the necessary steps for protecting their businesses’ intellectual property, and explain which entity types can be used to shield their own personal assets from their businesses’ debts and liabilities,” said Abedi.
Following the presentation, law students networked with entrepreneurs and students, and shared their expertise about entrepreneurial-related topics, such as the best entity to create for the entrepreneur, LLC operating agreements, company name selection, exclusivity in licensing deals, trademark protection and more.
“By personally engaging with the entrepreneurs and engineering students, the law students learned more about the exciting innovations that they are bringing to life,” said Prince. The innovations include a device to assist amputees with putting on socks, a new wheelchair that allows for better maneuvering through urban environments, three-dimensional printing technology and custom-built motorcycles. “They each benefited from the experience of answering questions directly from entrepreneurs and engineering students in a real setting where nothing was scripted.”
Christian Woglemuth, 2020, shared that it was nice to talk with people who “have a specific idea they are trying to foster and grow, and to be able to provide some insight and guidance on how to make it a reality.”
Business Law Society Co-Founder and Vice President Sarah Zomaya, 2020, said that “the workshop was a great opportunity for us as law students to not just educate but build professional relationships with entrepreneurs in our community.”
Penn State Berks Professor of Mechanical Engineering Amir Barakati attended the workshop and said that the presentation was very informative to all his students—especially those who intend to turn their ideas into a business. “Providing an opportunity to ask questions and discuss individual experiences after the presentation was also absolutely helpful.”
“It is important for law students to have experiences like this before graduation so that we are better prepared for our post-graduation experiences,” said Abedi. “In addition, there is self-satisfaction that comes from being able to help individuals thanks to knowledge obtained during law school.”
Dickinson Law’s entrepreneurship law students and Business Law Society members are both ambitious and well-positioned to help entrepreneurs and the community through a variety of methods. Many write for the blog Inside Entrepreneurship Law; others participate in workshops and provide lectures—all of which provide ways for entrepreneurs to gain valuable insight about different areas of the law. To learn more about the Business Law Society, or to schedule a workshop or lecture, click here. Subscribe to Inside Entrepreneurship Law. View photos from the event.