Intellectual Property: Protecting The Core of the Design Economy


Rhode Island continues to build on its heritage of fostering innovative industry by its active support of the creative community within its borders. Civic leaders here recognize the elusive nature of creativity, and that it takes enormous courage, skill, and resources to transform a brilliant yet helpless idea – be it for a new business model, medical device, beer formula, song, or artwork – into sustained commercial success.

Many entrepreneurs do not realize that once the commercial embodiment of their idea has entered the marketplace, it is there for the taking; our economic system encourages competition and the sharing of knowledge in the public domain. Yet if anyone could appropriate a successful creative idea from another, without incurring any of the risk and development costs that were necessary to make it successful, the original creator would be at a competitive disadvantage. This is where intellectual property – laws that protect creations of the human mind – plays an important role in the marketplace. The copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret regimes of intellectual property help define and protect the intangible ideas that contribute so much value to the creative economy.

This presentation and discussion by Flann Lippincott will provide an overview of U.S. intellectual property law with an emphasis on how to efficiently integrate a long-term IP strategy into the management and goals of a successful new venture.

These events are being recorded and photographed. By attending, you give your consent to be photographed, filmed, taped, and/or recorded.


Flann Lippincott

Lippincott IP LLC

Flann took the creative route to becoming an IP attorney. She began as the photomicrographer for Cornell University’s Dept. of Biology and for a University of Pennsylvania Hospital research team at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. After college Flann worked in stock photography as photo researcher, editor, and international sales manager. That led to Flann founding her international luxury home and fashion brand and design consultancy, where she managed design, manufacturing, import/export, legal, finance, marketing, and sales - and successfully asserted her design patent against numerous infringers.

Flann’s intellectual curiosity eventually got the better of her and she obtained an M.S.J. in Intellectual Property from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2008 and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 2010. Flann taught Entrepreneurship, The Business of Design, Business law, and IP at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design as an adjunct professor for the past decade and now enjoys giving Design Law presentations to attorneys, educators, and entrepreneurs. Flann’s law practice is comprised of transactional work such as filing patent, trademark, and copyright applications; reviewing and drafting commercial contracts; and representing plaintiffs and defendants in IP and contract litigation.