Presentations | 06/23/2005

SmartZone Seminars Draw Entrepreneurs Seeking Patent Assistance

Team Contact: William Abbatt

  • Patent Prosecution

Venue:Michigan Technological University`s Advanced Technology Development Complex, Houghton, Michigan

The Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone held two patent seminars in June to support entrepreneurs and small businesses with professional patent assistance. The seminars were led by patent attorney William Abbatt from the intellectual property law firm Brooks Kushman, P.C., based in Southfield, MI. This was the attorney`s second quarterly visit to Houghton through the SmartZone`s Marketing and Patent Assistance Program launched earlier this year.

The event featured two presentations, both held at Michigan Technological University`s Advanced Technology Development Complex in Houghton. The first was on the topic of “Should I Get a Patent? Why, When and How Successful Businesses Use Patents.” The Second presentation featured an interactive demonstration of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and patents database. Together, the presentations drew about two dozen attendees from the area including Houghton, Calumet, L`Anse and Marquette. One attendee reflected, “I gained tremendously from attending both sections of the seminar.”

The patent attorney also held office hours with five area high-tech businesses to begin new or expand prior client relationships. By helping local companies, Brooks Kushman has provided local concerns with initial consultations, helped to develop first-time patenting strategies, rectified previously failed patent efforts and organized new patent applications. Within two weeks the firm will file the first patent application for a local business as a result of the patent assistance provided through the SmartZone.

The Marketing and Patent Assistance Program is funded by a grant from the Michigan Tri-Corridor, administered by Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The program enables high-tech entrepreneurs and small businesses to develop marketing plans and protection for patentable ideas that in turn, help the businesses to grow and provide local job creation and regional economic development. Any high-tech business across Upper Michigan is encouraged to contact the SmartZone to see whether direct assistance may also be available to them.

For more information about the Marketing and Patent Assistance Program, contact Jonathan Leinonen, Program Manager, at 906-487-7004 or More information is also available at

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