New Master's Program Could Help Tech Pros Navigate Legal Issues - InformationWeek

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New Master's Program Could Help Tech Pros Navigate Legal Issues

The degree offering will debut in January 2007 and will help tech pros better understand the business risks and legal aspects in technology transfers and pursuing commercialization of technology developments.

Albany Law School plans to launch what it's calling the nation's only "tech transfer" master's program.

The degree offering, which will debut in January 2007, aims to help tech pros better understand the business risks and legal aspects in technology transfers and pursuing commercialization of technology developments.

The curriculum will include courses focused on technology licensing issues, intellectual property, how to work with patent attorneys, and the marketing of new technologies that come out of efforts funded by research grants, says Saul Seinberg, director of Albany Law School's Science and Technology Center, which will administer the new master's program.

The program also recently received a $120,000 boost through a New York State grant.

In a statement, New York state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said the program will benefit area universities and companies "that rely on technology transfer applications to successfully market high-tech goods and services" and will help spur job creation in the so-called "Tech Valley" area of upstate New York, which is home to technology vendors such as IBM.

Seinberg, a former trademark and copyright attorney at IBM, says the two-year program will possibly be offered on Fridays and Saturdays, so that working IT professionals, as well as attorneys looking to specialize in technology issues, are able to attend.

Tuition for a master's program at Albany Law school is $1,075 per credit hour, or around $32,500 for the required 30 credit hours.

While some law schools offer marketing courses and business schools offer some law classes, "there's a vacuum in a set of curriculum for those in the field who want to tie all together the intersection" of technology and legal issues, he says.

Stephen Pickett, CIO at transportation company Penske Corp. and incoming president of the Society of Information Management, says technology-transfer related classes could be beneficial to many IT professionals.

"If you're going to negotiate a third-party contract [such as outsourcing] you need to understand intellectual-property issues, which are very important," he says.

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