An intellectual property expert from Hamilton will give
her view on creating great brainstorming sessions to a global
audience of IP experts in May.
It's a huge honour for
Kate Wilson, partner at leading New Zealand intellectual
property1 firm James & Wells, to be chosen from a
host of international candidates to address this year's annual
conference of ASTP – the Association of European Science and
Technology Transfer Professionals - after a paper she wrote on
brainstorming came to the attention of the prestigious body.
It is Kate's area of expertise, and the choice of her to
address the ASTP audience over international peers, that confirms
her pre-eminence in this exciting area of intellectual property
Her paper looked at ways a business can capture ideas of real
value for brainstorming sessions – "not just a whole lot
of people throwing out random ideas, of which few are captured and
even fewer are acted upon," she says.
"What I'm talking about is setting up sessions that
extract great ideas in a directed way – ideas that will be
plugged back into the business for successful
As an intellectual property strategist, Kate is adept at
following the process with brainstorming participants, leading them
through ideas that have commercial applications and can have their
competitive edge protected. With degrees in physics, she can easily
grapple with a roomful of scientific and engineering experts and
capture their best ideas.
But the paper that captured the imagination of vice-president of
ASTP isn't all about high end conceptualisation. It's also
about the more prosaic side of brainstorming, such as what food you
serve at successful sessions to stimulate creative thinking and
having toys to play with which enhance kinaesthetic learning.
Kate is not only very pleased to be sharing her ideas with the
high-level innovators, lawyers and technology entrepreneurs in
Vienna in May, she says it is also great acknowledgement of an area
that New Zealand has real expertise in – if only it was
"New Zealand business doesn't have the budget or the
other natural advantages of other countries, so we have to be
innovative to compete on the global stage".
"We are in the top five countries in the world for filing
patent3 applications, but we come in at 25th in the
world in taking those innovations to the global marketplace.
It's something that we can change, and I would personally love
to be at the vanguard of that change, helping bring the best Kiwi
ideas to the world."
Kate says she also sees the conference as an opportunity to make
useful4 contacts for her clients and bring back new
learnings that James & Wells can use to enhance its service
Immediately after Austria, Kate will visit the Creative Campus
of Bayer in Germany, one of her clients.
1 Refers to the ownership of an intangible
thing - the innovative idea behind a new technology, product,
process, design or plant variety, and other intangibles such as
trade secrets, goodwill and reputation, and trade marks. Although
intangible, the law recognises intellectual property as a form of
property which can be sold, licensed, damaged or
trespassed upon. Intellectual property encompasses
patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
2Refers to the process of introducing a new
product or service to the marketplace (whether in New Zealand or
overseas). For the purposes of a patent application
commercial working can include taking orders for a product or
service (even if in confidence). It is important to understand that
commercial working of an invention before a patent
application is filed may invalidate that patent application (see
3A proprietary right in an invention
which provides the owner with an exclusive right for up to 20 years
to make, sell, use or import the invention. In exchange for this
monopoly the patent is published so that
others can see how the invention works and build on that knowledge.
The patented invention may also be used by the public once the
4The document that accompanies a patent
application. It defines the scope of the invention in
the claims and provides a detailed description of the
nature, use and purpose of the invention. A specification
may be provisional or complete and there are
different rules applying to each.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
James & Wells Intellectual Property, three time winner
of the New Zealand Intellectual Property Laws Award and first IP
firm in the world to achieve CEMARS® certification.
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