27 September 2021


Dallas and Paris, Sept. 27, 2021: Blockchain technologies are entering a phase where adoption is accelerating across use cases for NFTs. This is reflected in the contributions made by University Technology Transfer leaders who are active members of the IPwe’s Advisory Committee. In its second meeting, the Advisory Committee hosted leading legal experts in blockchain and NFTs.

In early June, IPwe announced the launch of the Advisory Committee and its Chairman Ian McClure, the Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact at the University of Kentucky, the Chair-Elect of AUTM, and formerly the Executive Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization. The Committee quickly formed, including university technology transfer leaders:

Emily Bauer, Director of Licensing at Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)

Mike Alvarez Cohen, Director, Innovation Ecosystem Development, UC Berkeley OTL,

Jonathan Jensen, Director, Licensing, Office of Technology Development, Salk Institute for Biological Studies,

Marc Sedam, Vice President, Technology Opportunities and Ventures for NYU Langone Health,

Jon Soderstrom, Strategic Advisor, University Technology Commercialization and Faculty Innovation, Yale University,

Ashley Stevens, President, Focus IP Group, LLC, and an IP consultant to a public-private partnership which accelerates research to combat drug-resistant bacteria,

Dr. William Tucker, whose substantial contributions to university technology transfer during his impressive career are well known,

Bin Yan, Director, Office of Technology Transfer, University of Miami.

NYU Langone Heath VP Marc Sedam remarks that:

“The Committee is driving rapid learning about this technology-enabled opportunity, and input from its members to understand the patent NFT design for the needs of university technology transfer. I am excited to be a part of exploring greater value for patents and the innovation ecosystem.”

IPwe has been honored to have the participation of our committee members in helping to design NFTs that are best suited for university tech transfer. Issues ranging from the suitability of blockchain for tech transfer, trust, security, ESG impact, and other topics have been addressed. Cheryl Milone Cowles, who is leading this university NFT project for IPwe, stated that “over two years of effort between IPwe and IBM has gone into this NFT project and from day one the design mission was to create a patent NFT that met enterprise-level standards. A key part of the mission of IPwe and this Technology Transfer Committee is to receive critical input from technology transfer experts and enhance the NFT design to improve results for university innovation.”

As part of this mission, the Advisory Committee for University Technology Transfer has also received presentations from recognized legal experts on core topics, including:

–  Blockchain Smart Contracts, presented by Robert Rando, IP and Complex Litigation Partner at Greenspoon

Regulation, addressed by Mark Radcliffe, Experienced Silicon Valley Corporate and IP Transaction Lawyer at
DLA Piper

Privacy, covered by Peter Emmi, Tech Transactions Partner, Herb Kozlov, Corporate Partner and Head of
Global FinTech Practice, and Trevor Levine, Associate, at Reed Smith.

These legal experts provided key take-aways from the Advisory Committee meeting. Robert Rando’s objective in presenting smart contracts was to “distill the fundamentals of smart contracts (and Ricardian contracts) for patents NFT and NFT based transactions, identifying the beneficial legal and valuable business advantages/efficiencies derived from its simplicity and transparency.”

For the topic of Regulation, Mark Radcliffe notes that:

“IPwe’s patent NFTs focus on the use case of ownership or provenance, a market valued at $962B by 2030 by PWC. IPwe also has designed its patent NFTs to include traditional assignment and licensing transactions which have not been treated as securities. Although the law of securities as it applies to digital assets remains uncertain, the IPwe design minimizes the risk of a finding that the NFT is a security, but enterprises undermine this design if they promote the patent NFT as a potential investment, which is not the purpose for which IPwe designed the patent NFT.”

Ian McClure describes the progress of the Committee. “We know that reputable research firms are projecting dramatic growth in blockchain adoption for global enterprises, and we want to position university technology transfer to best take advantage of exponential technologies and NFTs to drive university innovation adoption, as applicable. Benefiting from the thought and considerable financial resources that have gone into this effort over the last two years from IPwe and IBM, it is obvious that IPwe and IBM have moved far beyond the novelty phase on NFTs and are working on a product that can make a difference in university technology adoption. The Advisory Committee is now able to educate and have input on design and function.”

IPwe is fortunate to have leading thinkers in the academic community to collaborate on exploring and building patent NFTs to maximize opportunities for this critical asset. With an emerging opportunity at the junction of law and technology, who better to analyze this with than business, technology, and legal scholars from academic and law firm institutions



About IPwe

IPwe is quickly emerging as creating the industry standard for patent NFTs. IPwe recently announced its partnership with IBM to represent patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe also has a partnership with CasperLabs  to further improve the patent registration process and create a chain of custody (CoC) Solution by using the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data, thereby creating a new approach to patent ownership verification. Patent NFTs will be stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, running on the IBM Cloud and Blockchain services such as the Casper Network. IPwe anticipates tokenized IP to become commercially available in Q4 of 2021. IPwe operates in more than 50 countries with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America.   

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