Attorneys Richard Walawender and?Justyna Regan attend conference at Polish Parliament

Two Miller Canfield attorneys, Richard Walawender and Justyna (Balcarczyk) Regan, recently addressed a high-profile conference at the Polish Parliament on commercialization of intellectual property.  The conference was organized by the Polish Government, and over 200 people attended from various Polish governmental agencies, universities and research institutes.

Mr. Walawender, principal of the firm and leader of its Corporate and Polish Practice Groups, instructed the conference on why universities in the United States are so successful in commercializing the intellectual property rights of their faculty and research staff.  He further explained how the U.S. model could be adopted by Polish universities and research institutes.  Dr. Regan, who recently joined Miller Canfield in its Chicago and Wroclaw offices, as she is licensed to practice law in both the United States and Poland, discussed intellectual property law and compared the Polish and U.S. systems.

Until the law was changed last year, Polish universities held all the intellectual property rights to any inventions of its faculty and staff.  A new Polish law now requires Polish universities to share any monetary gains they may earn from commercializing inventions with the faculty members who invented it.  “This will open the door to many more opportunities for Polish inventors to raise venture capital and sell their inventions”, said Walawender.  He added that “The new Polish law mirrors the system used by U.S. universities, which has been very successful.”

Miller Canfield already represents several Polish start-up technology companies raising venture capital and establishing operations in the U.S.  Thanks to the new law, the firm will also be working with Polish universities as they, together with their inventors, seek to commercialize their inventions in the U.S.  “It is important for Polish companies, especially those in the software industry, to enter the U.S. market,” Dr. Regan explained, “because the U.S. is the most important market in which an entrepreneur needs to protect its intellectual property rights.”

Miller Canfield is also expanding its representation of Polish entrepreneurs looking to establish companies in the U.S.  Under a special program offered to select start-ups, the firm provides free legal representation involving incorporation and standard start-up documentation.  In order to encourage them to establish operations in the U.S., the firm is now offering this special program to Polish entrepreneurs born or living in the U.S.  For more information about the special program, please visit the firm’s website at Polish/startup.  

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