Nov 22 2019

Social entrepreneurs have great ideas to help others while building successful businesses. What they may not understand are the nuances of protecting their valuable intellectual property.

Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Bill Jacobs, Laura Kees and Dan Ovanezian recently teamed with the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation to provide a legal clinic for social entrepreneurs. The webinar focused on IP issues facing social enterprises—those that utilize for-profit business strategies to address social problems.

“Advising social entrepreneurs and impact organizations on how to best secure their intellectual property is among the most rewarding work we get to perform,” Jacobs said. “Seeing the positive effect these individuals and organizations have in our communities is truly inspiring and we are thrilled to play a very small part in their continued success.”

Participants in the clinic also received a guidance document on intellectual property written for the Foundation by Kees and Ovanezian and former Womble Bond Dickinson lawyers Christine Beaman Rankin and Chris Kokoska. Click below to read that document in four installments:

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms. The Foundation’s mission is to engage Lex Mundi’s global network of leading independent law firms to support and empower those working to bring about high impact and sustainable social change that improves communities and lives.

In addition, Ovanezian recently was recognized by Lexology as one of its top Legal Influencers in the category of US IP Law.

Bill Jacobs is an intellectual property attorney with an electrical engineering background who helps clients formulate strategies to protect and utilize their IP assets. His practice includes patent and trademark prosecution, software copyrights and licensing. He also counsels clients in patent infringement and validity matters.

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 life cycle, 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.