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OMT Workshop

Taking an Idea to a Product at IBM

Case Study: Intellectual property and how to write a patent application

4–6 December 2017

Workshop description

This three-day workshop will involve a visit of ETN network members to IBM Research – Zurich in Rüschlikon, Switzerland, and comprise two aspects: one concerning the path to commercial exploitation of technical innovations in an industrial research environment and the other specifically covering the treatment of intellectual property. The first, more technical portion will allow PhD students to learn about future applications of photonic, micromechanical, and electronic devices as well as quantum information technology as envisioned by IBM Research. It will include a tour of the local state-of-the-art cleanroom and the highly shielded, so-called “noise-free” laboratories, as well as other facilities. An introduction will be given to innovation management, technology transfer, and in general the challenges of taking research innovation to the market from the perspective of a large corporation. It will include presentations and discussions with experts in these areas.

The second portion will be a more in-depth case study on intellectual property and patent writing. A practicing patent attorney will educate the ESRs on the different types of intellectual property, what can be protected and how, what constitutes a patentable invention, and the relative value of different sorts of inventions. Using an interactive approach, the participants will work through real-world examples, learning the structure of patents as well as details such as how to draft claims. Overall, participants will gain valuable insight into the operation of a world-leading industrial research laboratory and the path to market for innovations.


Monday, 4 December 2017

Time    Speaker

8:45    Arrival & Registration
Reception, IBM Research – Zurich

9:00    Paul Seidler
Opening remarks

9:10    TBD
“Overview IBM Research – Zurich”

9:30    Stefan Filipp
“Quantum computing with superconducting devices”

10:15    Coffee break

10:45    Thilo Stöferle
“Room temperature quantum fluid of microcavity exciton-polaritons”

11:30    Stefan Abel
“Functional oxides for silicon photonics”

13:00    Lunch

14:00    Lab tour
  • Binnig & Rohrer Nanotechnology Center — collaboration with ETHZ
  • Noise-free labs
  • Quantum computing lab

15:15    Coffee break

15:45    Cezar Zota
“Materials science for next generation III–V devices”

16:30    Gustavo Villares
“CMOS-integrated III–V-on-silicon laser sources”

17:15    Paul Seidler
Remarks & announcements

17:30    Adjourn

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Time    Speaker

8:45    Arrival, Reception, IBM Research – Zurich

9:00    Paul Seidler
Remarks & announcements

9:15    Gian Salis
“Quantum spintronics using spin-orbit coupling”

10:00    Rolf Allenspach
“Towards nanomagnetic devices”

10:45    Coffee break

11:15    Erich Ruetsche
“Business development: From ideas to making money”

12:00    Felix Holzner
“The story of the technology transfer start-up SwissLitho ”

12:45    Lunch

14:00    Patrick Ruch
“Exploratory power management using redox flow”

14:45    Emmanuel Delamarche
“Point-of-care diagnostics 2.0”

15:30    Coffee break

16:00    Lab tour

17:15    Paul Seidler
Remarks & announcements

17:30    Adjourn

18:30    Dinner
Guild house restaurant “Zunft zur Haue”

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Time    Speaker

8:45    Arrival, Reception, IBM Research – Zurich

9:00    Sebastien Ragot
“Introduction to IP with a focus on patents and patent claims”

10:50    Coffee break

11:10    Sebastien Ragot
Participants turn theory into practice to draft claims for simple examples of inventions

12:20    Lunch

13:30    Paul Seidler
Closing remarks

13:45    End