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Intellectual Property, Synthetic Biology, and Creativity

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Ellen J.


What is intellectual property? How does it apply to synthetic biology? Join Genspace and Franklin Abrams from Springut Law PC to learn everything you ever wanted to know about intellectual property law as it relates to synthetic biology, open source innovation, and creativity.

The field of synthetic biology is moving at a blinding speed. In this lecture, Franklin Abrams will introduce intellectual property law and the basic concepts, and will discuss intellectual property law as it applies to synthetic biology. From there we will consider the community ethos and models of collaborative sharing that favor open source or open innovation approaches to facilitate advances in synthetic biology. These approaches will be compared and contrasted with an intellectual property law based approach to promoting creativity and implementation of synthetic biology inventions.

We will discuss and debate the rationale for the different models and mindsets and consider whether an intellectual property rights based approach, an open innovation approach, or a strategic mix of the different models would work best to foster creativity, innovation, and the effective implementation of synthetic biology innovations.

Stay after the lecture for wine and a lively Q+A session! Franklin Abrams Ph.D., J.D. is a partner in the intellectual property law boutique of Springut Law PC. He focuses his legal practice on patent law with an emphasis on the technical areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and the chemical arts. He has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications and drafting opinions concerning patentability of inventions and validity, non-infringement, and enforceability of patents. Franklin enjoys developing and managing intellectual property portfolios for his clients, providing them with effective patent prosecution strategies, and counseling them on all areas of intellectual property law to achieve their business goals. He has been following the exciting developments in synthetic biology and community lab spaces such as Genspace and especially likes learning about the applications of synthetic biology and the life sciences that are changing our world.

Franklin holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and an M.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His graduate research included ribosome electrostatics, membrane protein structure and function, spectroscopic methods for determining membrane protein structures, and the membrane associated behavior of genetically engineered membrane protein fragments. Franklin holds a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, is admitted to the New York State Bar, and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. (
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