Innovate Mississippi

Point Innovation Magazine Winter 2013

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Page 13 of 79

INNOVATION WORKS An Update from the Angel World Dr. Les Goff I recently attended the Angel Capital Association (ACA) Southeast Regional Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was nice to catch up with Angel groups across the Southeast and obtain a picture of the angel investment activity in that part of North Carolina. The meeting was aligned with the Carolina Economic Development meeting where approximately 50 companies presented information about their businesses in order to obtain talent and funding. It was clear to me that there is a technical cluster in the Raleigh area in both health care and educational IT. Why is this area "hot?" Well, as the saying goes, "Why did Jesse James rob banks?" … because that was where the money was. And for these startup companies, this area is where the need, opportunity and money are! At the ACA meeting, an interesting discussion took place that I think is worth sharing with entrepreneurs, especially those 12 Pointe Innovation working in technology-based companies. It involved the recent changes in patent law with the America Invents Act that took effect in March of this year that changed the product and technology development process for entrepreneurs. The patent office no longer awards a patent to the first-to-invent, but now it is awarded to the first-to-file. This summary provides additional thoughts to the excellent article, "Micro Entity Status under the New Patent Act," provided by Joseph Bird in the Fall 2013 issue of Pointe Innovation magazine. Another hot topic for inventors and entrepreneurs at the ACA meeting was how far into the research process a company should go before it files a patent, which can be costly in terms of both time and money. One fairly inexpensive option is to file a provisional patent to serve as a placeholder while the company continues to develop the technology. This option leaves the inventor a year to file a full patent application.

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