Energy and Intellectual Property

UW–Madison researchers generate hundreds of new inventions every year, many of which could have a major impact on the energy industry. Protection of intellectual property (IP) starts in the research lab, and continues through every aspect of the innovation’s lifecycle. As we reflect on the importance of disclosing and protecting ideas, a number of questions come to mind: How do you build a research program that supports IP acquisition and protection? How do you protect IP as it is further developed and commercialized? What are the challenges of defending IP and preventing theft of IP and trade secrets?

A moderator will lead a conversation between IP lawyers and experts exploring the intersection of energy research and IP. We will discuss best practices for researchers, how the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps researchers patent, advance, and defend IP, and a recent case of intellectual property (IP) theft from a U.S. wind turbine software company that underscores the important of protecting IP in the energy space.

Register now, as space is limited.


Mary Ann Brow

Mary Ann Brow
Attorney, Founder/Shareholder of Casimir Jones, S.C

Mary Ann Brow has a broad range of experience, both in research and in intellectual property practice, having worked in both large and start-up level corporate settings, and in academia. Ms. Brow’s legal practice addresses clients’ intellectual property needs in a wide range of technology areas, including biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular biology, materials science, and both medical and non-medical devices and processes. She has extensive experience in patent prosecution, litigation, intellectual property due diligence, validity and infringement analyses, as well is in counseling clients regarding intellectual property issues in business development, contracts, and grant funding.

Michael Falk

Michael Falk
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, WARF

Michael Falk is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, a supporting organization to the UW–Madison with over $2.7 billion under management. WARF is one of the oldest and most respected technology transfer offices in the world and manages, protects and licenses intellectual property for the benefit of the university. Mr. Falk is responsible for staff in Legal, Intellectual Property, Human Resources, Facility Services, and Programming and oversees WARF’s patent program and manages its legal affairs. He serves on the executive management committee of WARF and on its Start-up Committee with more than $70m dedicated to seed and early stage investment and its Investment Risk Committee which oversees an investment portfolio with $2.7b under active management.

Tim O'Shea
First Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of WI

O’Shea served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of WI from 1991 to early 2018, where he was the computer crime coordinator since inception of program. In his time at the U.S. Attorney’s office, he has participated in the investigation and prosecution of the following computer-related crimes: trade secret theft, system intrusions; illegal counterfeit and distribution of copyrighted material; and possession, creation, and distribution of child pornography. O’Shea graduated from Northern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison Law School.

O’Shea was recently part of a team that prosecuted a case in which the Sinovel Wind Group, a Chinese wind turbine maker, was convicted of stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based technology company

Wisconsin Energy Institute, Room 1115
1552 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53726