Over the last few weeks, Eoin O Ceallachain, Finbar Bradley and myself have been working with Declan Delaney on a business module for software engineering graduate students at NUI Maynooth.
It’s been very interesting. Declan talked about project management; Eoin talked about the marketplace and marketing; I talked about business planning and intellectual property. The basic concepts of intellectual property are really important topic for any startup business, and something that many software engineers know very little about. That’s in contrast to electrical and mechanical engineers, who almost always seem to be reasonably well-versed in the subject.
One example I looked at in the discussion in Maynooth is the Amazon patent. The significance of this patent is profound.
There are lots of opinions about intellectual property and software, especially about the use of patent protection. I often think the debate is ill-informed though. For example, see Richard Stallman’s comments on the Amazon patent. Despite being one of the most influential software designers ever, he seems to know very little about patents. He completely misunderstands the abstract. He completely misreads the claims. His comments wrongly give the impression that the patent is very wide, when in fact it is very narrow and specific.
Anyway, I enjoyed my spell lecturing, and hopefully I’ll get round to doing some more soon.
http://www.tomkins.ie/viewPublication.aspx?ID=101 – Brand protection for
http://www.tomkins.ie/viewPublication.aspx?ID=114 – how to go and get that
* http://www.tomkins.ie/viewPublication.aspx?ID=104 – intellectual property
Lindows trademark example – http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104-5157260.html
* http://www.autm.net/patent/nacua.html – patent law basics
* http://www.kstrode.co.uk/services/patentbasics.html – more patent law
basics, with a European ‘spin’.