The global economy runs on innovation, and the key to that innovation is the ability for people to bring their ideas to life. Intellectual property law is crucial to this process, protecting ideas and encouraging innovation.

This course will explore the benefits and risks of both trade secrets and patents. By assessing your business to see how trade secrets and patents affect your team, you will evaluate the qualifications for each type of protection along with ways to ensure you are properly protected. Using your organization as the focus, you will determine best practices as well as the misuses and misappropriation that can affect your work. As you identify ways to keep your patents and trade secrets secure and examine ways they can be compromised, you will gain insights into the legal elements of your organization. By the end of this course, best practices for patent and trade secret security will give you and your organization an advantage in the world of innovation.

Having a distinctive symbol, word, or key phrase, like a trademark, helps consumers identify your product and support your growth. In this course, you will assess what makes strong trademarks and the various ways in which they can be violated. You will also explore copyrights, including how they protect creativity in the economy and how these protections have evolved over time. Putting these tools into action, you will review several court cases and participate in hands-on activities to help you assess how trademarks and copyrights work to protect intellectual property. By the end of this course, you will have gained the knowledge and strategies to support your organization's work by successfully and strategically employing trademarks and copyrights.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Trade Secrets and Patents

How can you protect your company from having former employees divulge trade secrets or take customer relationships to competing firms? How does the law regard inventions and copyrights; who owns them?

Answers to these questions will vary depending on the status of the employee. There are specific protections for rank-and-file employees, as well as certain expectations of executives when it comes to misappropriation of company assets and non-compete contracts. This course will help you understand the rationale behind these laws and how they play out in real-life situations.

You begin with a focus on the employee's obligations to their employer: When is it acceptable to compete with a former employer, when is it not acceptable, and how can you tell the difference? The course proceeds with an exploration of the variety of contracts that employers can use to protect themselves from employees competing in various ways. You will have a chance to evaluate restrictive covenants and reflect on the question of what constitutes legitimate business interests. You will gain familiarity with aspects of the reasonably tailored tests. The course ends with a look at the legal responsibilities that apply to copyrights and inventions and introduces the role that a well-crafted holdover clause can play in protecting the interests of a business.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed “Employment Law in Practice” or have equivalent experience.

One of the challenges organizations face today is how to innovate. Innovation has become the modus operandi of organizational life. Every organization needs to innovate quickly to stay competitive. But what does “innovation” really mean?

In simple terms, innovation is the practical application of creative ideas to drive organizational results; innovation results in something useful that benefits the organization. In this course, Cornell University's Professor Samuel Bacharach, Ph.D., clears away common misconceptions about the mystery surrounding this popular buzzword and identifies how individuals can harness creative energy to drive innovative results. Students will identify strategies for encouraging divergent thinking and examine methods of fostering a culture of innovation.
Entrepreneurship has become more than just a short-term initiative, becoming an essential component of any successful organization. In this course, students will learn to identify, assess, and implement new business opportunities within established organizations to drive and maintain competitive advantage. After completing this course, students will not only be able to formulate business models and develop processes to maximize entrepreneurial abilities, but also increase the overall entrepreneurial spirit of their organizations.

Before closing an investment deal, an entrepreneur needs to protect their interests, and an investor needs to verify the stability of the opportunity. This series of steps is called the due diligence process. In this course, you will create a due diligence project plan for your investment or opportunity that maps out how to get from term sheet to closing. This process includes key milestones, timeframes, a detailed understanding of key players' responsibilities, and consideration for the various types of due diligence. Then, you will compile a list of questions for the due diligence checklist, a key element of the process that outlines the questions that need to be answered and the documentation that is required to close the deal. Lastly, you will identify, review, and analyze the dozens of critical documents being exchanged that are needed to finalize the investment deal and retain for future use, protection, and reference. By completing these steps, you will be ready to determine if you should move forward or hold back on your deal.

It is recommended to take Assessing Startup Viability and Funding Options; Pitching Your Business Opportunity; Protecting Your Interests; and Valuation, Dilution, and Financial Planning or to have equivalent experience prior to this course.

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