Universities often generate a significant amount of IP, and turning that IP into revenue is a difficult process that few perform successfully. A study from Brookings Institution indicated that 84% of universities will not realise enough income to cover the operating costs of a technology transfer office. Melissa Silverstein, founder of Melissa Silverstein Law PLLC, created the firm to provide high quality technology transfer services to small to medium-sized universities that can’t afford these skills in-house.
“A huge challenge around the old-fashioned law firms is that people don’t like hourly rates and retainers - how can small businesses and start-ups budget for that?” said Melissa. “These days, people want to shop like they do on Amazon. They want to be able to see the price and be able to compare it. At Melissa Silverstein Law PLLC, we charge a flat fee, which is based on the hourly rate. Our customers enjoy the peace of mind knowing there is one price, and that they’re not going to get a hundred bills from some lawyer every month.”
An offering the firm has coined as ‘Tech Transfer To-Go,’ means that these universities are now able to protect and commercialise their IP at low-cost and at a fixed-rate, despite having no in-house patenting or technology transfer function.
Melissa said “it’s important to get people to understand that even if they have a patent, they’ve got to do more to start making money from it. The features on the PatSnap Landscape help with that, especially the valuation feature. Everything we do starts with a PatSnap search.”
An integral part of the company’s services involves demystifying the patenting and tech transfer process for its customers, and helping them to understand their position within the market. PatSnap’s Landscaping tool provides a 3D visualisation of a technology area, making it easier to understand the crowded areas and white-spaces of innovation.
“People love something visual, and something they can hold in their hands - especially when it comes to IP - because IP can often be intangible,” said Melissa. She continued, “being able to hand them something like a PatSnap Landscape brings it to life. Whenever I meet with a client, I like to drop their patent or publication into a PatSnap Landscape, point it out and say, ‘look, that’s yours, that’s where it fits in,’ which makes it such a useful feature.”
Melissa Silverstein Law PLLC ensures that each employee is equipped with a PatSnap subscription, primarily using the platform to:
- Visualise and understand patent or research areas
- Identify the other players within those areas
- Detect new keywords for searches and social media
- Ascertain patent valuations
- Pinpoint assignees, and potential technology licensees and partners
“Melissa Silverstein Law PLLC is a shining example of a law firm that is embracing technology to transform the old-order of operating, and offering a service that provides a path for more innovations to make it to market,” said Ray Chohan, SVP, Corporate Strategy at PatSnap. He continued, “we are delighted that Melissa Silverstein PLLC has chosen PatSnap to provide the insights that support its mission, and we hope to continue to provide world-leading analytics and insights to the business and its customers in the years to come.”
Melissa said that “before PatSnap, when I was in private practice between 2009 and 2014, I had to get used to using freely available search tools, and it was really difficult. Once I tried PatSnap, it was so much better.”