The key challenge addressed in this joint project course between the Katz business school and the law school is how to commercialize new technologies. Commercialization is the process of transforming an invention (i.e. a new technique or artifact that performs a useful function) into an innovation (i.e. a product or service that creates value in a specific use). Whether a new technology originates in a University, in an established company, or with an individual inventor, several issues must be addressed in order to determine whether it is worth investing in further, and to decide how the technology can be commercialized for maximum long-term value.
We will focus on four types of analyses as input to a commercialization strategy: (i) technology analysis, (ii) market analysis, (iii) competitive assessment, and (iii) business model evaluation. For each, you will be provided with one or two practical articles, which outline an analytical tool or approach, and we will discuss their application to one of the cases. Although we’ll walk through these steps in the order listed, they will need to be conducted iteratively (e.g. as you learn more about market opportunities you may wish to revisit your initial assessment of the technology’s core elements).
Throughout the course, law students will have the opportunity to assist the team in assessing legal matters that impact commercialization (from intellectual property matters, to regulatory landscape impacts, to alliance considerations) while also gaining an understanding of key business goals, strategies and tactics.