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Chinh H. Pham is Co-Chair of the Emerging Technology Practice and is a registered patent attorney with experience in the strategic creation, implementation and protection of intellectual property rights for high technology and life science clients.

Chinh advises clients, ranging from start-ups to established companies, on the creation and development of patent portfolios through the preparation and filing of patent applications, the acquisition and exploitation of intellectual property rights through licensing and strategic collaboration agreements, and the preparation of invalidity, non-infringement, and freedom-to-operate opinions. Chinh also counsels clients on IP due diligence through the evaluation of client and competitor portfolios.

Chinh assists startup clients with strategies for leveraging their IP portfolio for high-value commercial opportunities, introducing them to funding sources, either through the venture community or the government, as well as identifying and establishing strategic alliances.

At the most recent SXSW, Hanson Robotics, based in Plano, TX, debuted its latest personal robot – Sophia. With lifelike skin that is made from patented silicon, Sophia can emulate more than 62 facial expressions. Cameras inside her “eyes,” sophisticated computer algorithms, and a combination of voice recognition technology and other tools enable Sophia to “see” and “think.” Sophia is just the latest example of major advances in the development of machines striving to attain human “characteristics,” “intelligence,” and “awareness”.

Creepy? Maybe. Predestined? Definitely.

Life Imitating Fiction

Arguably, the notion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Cognitive Computing has been around since Frankenstein was published in 1818. For example, consider the Star Trek series, especially The Next Generation, where AI is prevalent. The android DATA was imparted with human-level intelligence and expertise by his creator, Dr. Soong. Albeit fictional, DATA is an example of a machine achieving human-level awareness. Conversely, Seven of Nine (or more specifically the Borg/Borg Collective) is essentially a human or humanoid that has been assimilated and made more machine-like, striving for efficiency and perfection of a machine.  The Borg individual is given artificial limbs, eyes, and other body parts, as well as implants (for example, brain implants), so that each Borg individual can communicate with the Collective and the Borg Queen.


Continue Reading Rise of the Machines: DATA vs. the Borg Collective

Excerpted from the author’s article published in VC List. To read the complete article, please click here.

Patents can provide broad protection for invention and innovation. They can cover almost any novel aspect of a technology, including hardware, software, materials, and business methods. Many innovation developed by an emerging technology company can likely be patented, and patenting those innovations can create significant advantage in the marketplace.

A strong patent portfolio can help attract investments for emerging tech companies. Investors often look to see whether a fledgling company has protected its intellectual property (IP) when determining whether to invest.

Considerations When Disclosing Information about Your Invention

In the United States, as well as most of the world, the prior sale, prior use or public disclosure of the invention by the inventor or others may affect your ability to obtain a valid patent. Inventors may inadvertently jeopardize their ability to successfully apply for or be granted a patent by disclosing information about the invention to the public.

Manage Confidential Information to Avoid Unintentional Loss of IP Rights

One of the most important ways to protect IP is to avoid inadvertent or unplanned public disclosure. If the invention is released into the public domain — whether by publication, presentation, posting on a website, blogging, discussion with potential customers or suppliers — before a patent application has been filed, a total loss of the right to obtain a patent can result. Additionally, such inadvertent disclosure of the invention can reduce or eliminate competitive advantage.

To help protect your IP, there are some very basic documents you should always have in place to protect ownership and confidentiality of your intellectual property. The major ones are invention assignment agreements, NDAs, and employee handbooks.
Continue Reading Managing Your Patent Portfolio to Attract Investments

shutterstock_206705884The Boston Museum of Science is a pretty amazing institution. As a member of the museum’s Board of Overseers and a longtime supporter, I can attest to the high quality and diversity of the museum’s exhibits and programs, as well as its mission in playing a leading role in transforming the nation’s relationship with science and technology.

A shining example of this is the museum’s NanoDays 2015, which was held this past April.  NanoDays is a nationwide celebration of nanoscale science where attendees can enjoy nano-related activities throughout the museum. Visitors of all ages have the opportunity to imagine, discover, and explore a world that’s too small to see.  During the most recent event, a short film was debuted, “From Lab To Fab: Pioneers in Nanomanufacturing” which follows the story of two nanotech entrepreneurs navigating the rocky road from discovery to commercialization, with products ranging from tiny implantable body sensors to bullet-proof vests and aircraft flooring.
Continue Reading From Lab to Fab: Pioneers in Nanomanufacturing

shutterstock_70138570A few decades ago, we knew of only a few forms of carbon: diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon. Today, thanks to rapid scientific advancements in the world of nanotechnology, we have discovered many other forms of carbon.

One of the most important developments is the carbon nanotube (CNT), which is related to graphite. The molecular structure of graphite resembles stacked, one-atom-thick sheets of chicken wire. In conventional graphite, the sheets of carbon are stacked on top of one another, allowing them to easily slide over each other. When these sheets are rolled into a cylinder and their edges joined, they form CNTs, which offer extraordinary mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical, and chemical properties.
Continue Reading Carbon Nanotubes Offer Big Technological Advantages

shutterstock_247848172The Boston Marathon is less than a month away. If you are training for the 26+ miles of winding, hilly roads through and around Boston, the odds are good that you are using some kind of wearable fitness device to track your run. You may find yourself constantly trying to top the stats of your last run, pushing harder and racing against previous times, perhaps even risking injury. How did we end up training against our fitness devices instead of training with them?

There’s no doubt that fitness data is a growing trend. Whether you are a runner or a couch potato, the fascination with such data has become an obsession. There are devices that tell us how far or fast we run, how much sleep we get, how many steps we take, and how many calories we consume and burn each day.


Continue Reading TMI: When Does Fitness Data Become Too Much of a Good Thing?