The research results of the scientific institutions and institutes at KIT represent a large potential for scientific and technical spin-offs. In order to support employees interested in technology transfer, the KIT Founders Forge offers the further training “professional patent operation” for scientific workers and high-tech founders at KIT. Martin Bäuml, an academic employee at KIT who is interested in startups, participated in the course. In an interview, we asked him about his experiences in the course.
Mr. Bäuml, where and in what subject area do you work at KIT?
I am doing my PhD at the Institute for Anthropomantics at the Faculty of Computer Science. My doctorate deals with face and person recognition, in particular in TV series and movies.
What motivated you to participate in the seminar?
The topic of patents is always involved when working with new technologies. On the one hand, you constantly read about patent litigations in the media. On the other hand, there are also attempts in our group to patent certain technologies. Personally, I didn’t have any real experience of what, for instance, the legal framework conditions consist of. Therefore, I saw the seminar as a good opportunity to make a first step into the subject area.
What significance does the operation of technologies take in your everyday life as an academic?
We work with a relatively practical orientation, so the application of our technologies is a continuing theme. Nonetheless, our primary goal is publication rather than commercial operation. But, of course, we do develop a feeling for which technologies have potential for further operation when talking to users, for example during BMBF projects.
Had you already dealt with the topic of founding before?
Yes. And at that time, I found the offered seminar through the informational web pages for KIT regarding startups.
Would a KIT spin-off be an option for you?
Definitely. I am thrilled by the support that KIT offers in all kinds of forms for potential founders. The founder scene here is very active and so far it is fun to get a taste of it.
What were you able to draw from the course?
Since I hadn’t really dealt with the subject area before, I was especially interested in the information regarding the foundations of patent rights. Additionally, it became very clear to me how important patents are for KIT and how much support there truly is from KIT in all matters regarding commercial operation.
Would you recommend the course to colleagues?
Of course. I think that anyone dealing with new technology, which is basically all of us here, can profit from having a basic understanding of the framework conditions for commercial operation.