The UTRF technology transfer internship program is in its sixth year at UTRF. The foundation facilitates the transfer of inventions from research labs to the private sector, providing a public benefit of new products that result from academic-research funding. This process, referred to as technology transfer, involves a combination of science, business, and the law. Interns assist UTRF’s licensing associates in screening, evaluating, conducting patentability analyses, and performing market research on new technologies developed throughout the statewide UT system.
The 2017 group features; Will Fitts, Kelsey Jones, and Chase Moore, all from the law school at UT Knoxville. We asked the group to answer a few questions as part of a “get to know you” discussion.
I am originally from Nashville, TN. I chose to attend UT because of my family history with the school (my father and grandfather went to UT) and because of the academic advantage Tennessee provides over other universities in the state. I graduated from Tennessee in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.Currently, I am currently studying at the University of Tennessee College of Law as a JD candidate, with a focus on intellectual property, and will complete my degree in May 2019. I decided to pursue an internship at UTRF because I knew it would be an amazing opportunity to further my interest in intellectual property. Tech transfer and patent law is at the heart of intellectual property litigation, and the UTRF internship has provided me with a strong base of knowledge for the entire process. As I continue with the position, I hope to keep refining my skills in prior art searches and learn of more developing technologies to further my knowledge in multiple technical fields.
Outside of my studies, I tend to fill my time with sports, music, television, and movies. I play golf as much as I can, am a big fan of all Tennessee sports teams, and spend more time than I would like to admit playing FIFA. Music has been a part of my life since the early years, and while I enjoy the occasional concert, I find making music myself to be most rewarding. If you’re going to tell me about a new TV show you’re into, I’ve probably seen it already. While these things tend to fill my free time, what drives me is my passion for innovation and justice. Witnessing the advancement of technology from car-phones to tablets/smartphones over my lifetime has stoked my interest in cutting-edge tech. This development can only continue with protection through intellectual property law, and I want to have a part in ensuring inventors’ rights in their creations. My passion for justice can be seen most clearly in my obsession with true crime documentaries, but also though my interest in protecting inventors, who have a personal relationship with their technology, from big corporations concerned only with the bottom line. These passions have led me to an internship with UTRF, and hopefully in the future, a career in intellectual property litigation and prosecution.
I’m from the west side of Eastern Michigan, where I’ve been working on patent prosecution for the last few years as an attorney-supervised contractor. I’m at UT to get a law degree, and I’m hoping UTRF will give me a new perspective on intellectual property that will help me decide whether to move toward the law firm or the general counsel sides of the field. I’ve been peripherally involved with a few startups, and the entrepreneurship realm has been a focus of my interest since my early undergrad days.
I’m originally from the Atlanta area. I received my Bachelor’s down the road at Maryville College and then, spent a few years in Boston and the Northeast for work. I decided to attend UT Law so I could once again call East Tennessee home. I am studying law and anticipate receiving my J.D. in the Spring of 2019. I chose to work here at UTRF because I hope to practice in intellectual property, contract and finance law and this has been a great opportunity to learn practically about the patent process, marketing, licensing and contracting with public and private entities. Going into this internship I hoped to get immersed in the patent and intellectual property processes as a whole. I have gotten the exposure I hoped for in learning about patent prosecution, copyrighting, marketing products and ideas and licensing with interested parties. Equally as valuable, I have learned first hand about relating to inventors, students, professors and private business professionals throughout these processes.
Personally, I have had a winding road educationally and professionally. I was a varsity athlete in high school and going into college. This continues to drive my love for working as a team and a passion as an avid sports fan. I spent time in college directing our intramural sports program, but I also spent 3 years as a resident assistant and 18-months as a research intern with the TVA. After graduating with an Environmental Science degree, I moved to the Northeast and worked as an energy modeler, building inspector, and contracts and accounts rep. Throughout all of this, my passion has been applying both my technical and communication skills in a way that brings differing perspectives together to accomplish a shared goal. When I am not working on these professional passions, my fiance and I love traveling to the best mountain hiking trail, unique restaurant or sporting event we can find. Luckily all three can be found right here in Knoxville.