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Hackathons, Intellectual Property, Legal Challenges and myself as a Mentor - May 2021



As a lawyer in the field of intellectual property - in addition to my basic curiosity regarding renewal and innovation , I do my best to stay updated.


I joined the hackathon scene this year - when I offered to join them as a mentor. A mentor in hackathons? Mentors are usually technology stars, startup managers with receipts for success, management and strategy consultants and finance professionals. Yet- strategic issues regarding knowledge and intellectual property also have a place in hackathons. The challenges of creating and protecting knowledge and intellectual property , avoiding unauthorized use of other's such assets - sooner than later, become challenges for any group that creates ideas that are meant to be converted into intellectual property assets that need to be marketed and sold - under compatible and protected branding.


In developing new ideas and intellectual property assets that are based on them - such as patents, designs, copyrighted works and trade secrets - it is worthwhile - a step before moving forward - to make sure these are new, and something not yet created. Alternatively - it is important to understand the status quo in the field - and the options for its

renewal and improvement- without overstepping other's IP rights. As a mentor - I can help the various groups - by addressing their needs as they arise during the busy and limited Hackathon time frame -such as to search online databases - products or services similar to those they seek to develop. I can refer them to the main sections in the relevant laws regarding patents, designs, copyrights or trade secrets. I can assist them in understanding - quickly but clearly - what is the difference between an idea and an IP asset , what is the difference between new and innovative, what does previous publication mean, what are the different categories of works that exist in the copyright law and what products or services may be appropriate for which type of protection.


Mentoring does not mean the rendering of actual legal advise. I make it clear to the groups I mentor, that my assistance includes only : references, highlighting points that they may not have thought of and especially - the importance of recognizing this and the need to cope with legal questions in different areas - for example- choosing what legal personality will manage the project (corporation or self-employed),who are the target consumers , how the legal points concerning the purchase of the product and / or service will be legally managed and more. A mentor participates in the hackathon - to remind everyone that the legal world is involved in any program or business activity - and that while creating, in a minimum amount of time , wonderful programs, that sometimes evolve into successful projects - this world cannot be ignored. In light of the hackathon's limited time frame - and in light of the fact that it is not possible to provide in-depth legal advice within it - the conversations with a mentor as myself - should lead groups of inventors and / or creators - include in their R&D and their business program - references to the various relevant legal points


This is an example of my business card, at the hackathon initiated by Dr. Edna Pesher (my mother:)) - Albert Einstein - Innovation in education for national resilience - influencing education in Israel:




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