Most social entrepreneurs focus on serving their clients and building their organizations—intellectual property law isn’t top of mind. However, as with all organizations, social entrepreneurs and Impact Economy organizations need to know certain, basic things about IP law in order to protect their assets and avoid potential problems.

With that in mind, Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Laura Kees and Dan Ovanezian gave an IP Clinic for Social Entrepreneurs. The Oct. 31 webinar was presented by the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.

Officials from 10 social start-ups attended the presentation, which discussed copyright, trademark, patent and other basic IP issues. Participants include organizations that:

  • Help ensure that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to and through college.
  • Advocate for dignity and fairness for domestic workers.
  • Use media, technology, and popular culture to catalyze social change in East Africa and beyond.
  • Promote sustainable economic development and strengthen democratic governance in Latin America.
  • Increase the early childhood literacy rate across the nation.

The presentation was based on the Intellectual Property Considerations and Guidance for Start-Ups Guide, written by Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Kees, Ovanezian, Christine Beaman Rankin and Chris Kokoska. The Guide is being published, in chapter form, by IP Watchdog: Copyrights , Trademarks , Patents .

Laura Kees concentrates her practice on managing trademark and copyright portfolios; counseling clients on risks associated with proposed names and marks; evaluating when applications for domestic and/or international registration should be filed and advising how and when to maintain those registrations.

Dan Ovanezian has 20 years of experience in intellectual property law. His practice encompasses the entire patent lifecycle, including mining and identifying patentable inventions and advising patent committees, conducting training seminars in IP matters, and prosecuting patent applications with the USPTO. Ovanezian also helps companies establish patent committees and perform IP landscaping, and regularly guides startups looking to develop IP portfolios for IPOs and other exit strategies.