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February 5, 2013
By Claudene Wharton
The laws regarding intellectual property - copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and patents - change regularly and can be confusing, even to those with a solid background in business. The Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC) and the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business will offer a free two-hour workshop 1 - 3 p.m., Feb. 27 to provide an overview of intellectual property concepts, insights into how intellectual property can be protected, and how to value this property. The workshop will be held in South Reno at the University of Nevada, Reno Redfield Campus, 18600 Wedge Parkway, in Room 215 of the Nell J. Redfield Building A.
"Knowledge of these laws is critical for inventors and innovators of all stripes because an error can lead to significant losses in their rights to ownership of their inventions and to income derived from them," said Fritz Grupe, professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business and manager of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the NSBDC.
Grupe has scheduled two experts to guide the discussion at the Feb. 27 workshop. Bonnie Drinkwater, attorney at Drinkwater Law Offices, will cover the basics of trademark, copyright and patent law, as well as discuss the ways each form of intellectual property can be protected. Drinkwater worked for a large law firm before starting her own practice more than 10 years ago. She earned degrees in finance and international management at Georgetown University, and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Darrin Maddox, owner of Eastern Sierra Professional Group, is a CPA and CVA, or "Certified Valuation Analyst," which is a national certification in the field of business valuation. He will discuss the valuation process in general, what gives a patent value, the elements of obtaining a value of a patent, and the approaches used - the cost approach, market approach and income approach. Maddox earned his MBA at the University of Nevada, Reno and has more than 20 years of accounting and litigation-related experience with local, national and international entities. He is president-elect of the Nevada Society of Certified Public Accountants.
"The intellectual property of a small company can be valuable, perhaps even more valuable than the total worth of some large companies," Maddox said. "Early stage and startup companies rely heavily on their intellectual property, and often there are no comparables in the market to build upon when owner tries to determine the value of the business' intellectual property."