World IP Day
UC San Diego and Connect co-hosted a panel discussion in San Diego on Thursday April 18, 2019. The panel included USPTO Director Andrei Iancu, Debbie Chen, Founder & CEO of Hydrosta-sis, Bryan Pate, Co-founder & CEO of ElliptiGO, Brian Mayfield, UCSD Professor of Molecular Biology and Director of California Center for Algae Biotechnology (Cal-CAB), Eleanor Musick Partner at Musick Davison IP Law, Bill Walton, Executive Chairman of the Board San Diego Sport Innovators and Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation, UC San Diego. The panel was organized to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day, an annual recognition of the role of IP sponsored by WIPO.
The breakfast was well attended and the panel elicited a lively discussion with and from the attendees. Director Iancu started the ball rolling with his take that the development of civilization from the ‘horse and buggy days’ in the last two hundred years was due to the U.S. Constitution’s protection of inventions and work of authorship.
Inventors Chen and Pate emphasized the important role of patents in their endeavors of protecting personal monitoring devices and exercise equipment, respectively.
Professor Mayfield came armed with a pair of ‘San Diego de rigueur flip-flops. Mayfield informed the audience that the flip-flops had been made from molecules generated from algae using a hitherto unknown polymerization process. Mayfield explained that in tests with ‘large’ commercial suppliers he had confirmed that the flip-flops will degrade 0.3% by weight per month in appropriate conditions. Despite this apparent breakthrough, Cal-CAB would not be seeking patent protection for the process. Instead, they will be seeking to keep the invention’s ‘secret source’ a trade secret.