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IP Education: A Necessary Tool for All Students and Entrepreneurs, Says Leading Surgeon and Inventor

Dr. Gary K. Michelson keynotes third Intellectual Property Awareness Summit

The digital economy in particular creates complex new questions about IP. Students need to be educated about how the economy is being reshaped through the lens of IP”
— Dr. Gary Michelson, M.D., inventor
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, USA, March 5, 2020 / -- Intellectual property is a major force in the global economy, and awareness and understanding of IP is relevant to every field and academic discipline.

That is the take-away from an address delivered by Dr. Gary K. Michelson, an orthopedic spinal surgeon and one of the most prolific medical inventors in history, at the third Intellectual Property Awareness Summit (IPAS 2020) at UC Berkeley today.

“The digital economy in particular creates complex new questions about IP,” Dr. Michelson told the audience of IP owners, creators and professionals. “From social media to digital streaming -- new production, distribution and monetization models are constantly emerging. These have become critical areas of the economy, and students need to be educated about how the economy is being reshaped through the lens of IP.”

Education about intellectual property and IP rights is valuable not only for law students, said Dr. Michelson, but persons studying business, engineering, life science, technology, and the arts also need to know about IP rights, as do consumers.

Dr. Michelson is founder of The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (Michelson IP), a leading organization for educating college students and entrepreneurs about IP, as well as promoting equity in innovation.

A board certified orthopedic spinal surgeon, inventor, and philanthropist, Dr. Michelson also founded the Michelson Medical Research Foundation, the Found Animals Foundation, and the Michelson 20MM Foundation, which manages Michelson IP, among other various philanthropic ventures. He holds over 990 patents worldwide for orthopedic and spinal surgery instruments. Implanted globally in millions of patients, "Michelson Devices" have made spinal surgery effective and reliable by decreasing the blood loss, incision size, risks and complications, hospital stay and overall costs compared to earlier procedures.

In 2005, Dr. Michelson's spine-related patent portfolio was acquired by medical device manufacturer Medtronic. Dr. Michelson, who in 2016 signed the Giving Pledge along with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and others, has founded nonprofits addressing medical research, animal welfare, and education, including intellectual property awareness.

IPAS 2020 explored rising to the challenge of IP awareness, in a more complex and competitive environment for students and businesses. The conference was held by CIPU in conjunction with the Tusher Initiative for the Management of Intellectual Capital and the Haas School of Business.

For the full IPAS program, list of speakers and partners, visit

About the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding

The Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU) is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about creations of the mind and their impact on people and business. CIPU provides outreach within an educational framework that seeks to improve IP literacy, promote freedom of ideas and deter infringement. Established in 2016, The Center provides a context for how patents, copyrights and trademarks facilitate ideas and encourage competition. CIPU holds events, publishes summary research reports and engages in strategic partnerships with organizations, educators and owners to promote IP awareness.

Bruce Berman
Center for IP Understanding
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