innovation

YEARS IN THE MAKING... Flener IP & Business Law

By Zareefa B. Flener Posted 
FLIP&BL_BlueLogo(150ppi)_112717-01.jpg

 

Flener IP & Business Law has entered its fifth (5) year! As we look back we have many people to thank for unwavering support and encouragement including our clients, associates, family, friends, employees, and most importantly our partners (both beloved and professional). We are who we are because of you and we cannot express our gratitude enough.  Looking forward, we meet new challenges with a confidence built on our experience and strategic partnerships.

We are entering new era when minority and women-owned enterprises such Flener IP & Business Law receive more visibility than ever before.  It is more than just a lucky coincidence. More buzz means more education, greater opportunity and more responsibility. The latter resonates most at FLIP.

We recognize we are not created equally, and more importantly, the differences that make the world a brighter and more dynamic platform from which we evolve.  We can each identify our unique strength/skill/talent, and if each of us shares our unique trait, then together we become the nexus for change. Together we can disrupt the status quo, creating chaos through which innovation is born. We are responsible for participating in our societies.  The core of the FLIP mission is to engage ourselves, volunteer, mentor, and educate. To do so, we have chosen causes through which we believe we can make a more equalizing impact. For example:

  • Zareefa Flener (Managing Partner), continues to educate through lectures, participates on Boards of entrepreneurial organizations and supports events spotlighting where and how diversity plays a role in the marketplace of ideas, identifying where the community is flailing, and offering solutions to the problems.
  • Elaine Ramesh (Partner), among other volunteering commitments, Elaine gives her time to educate and encourage girls in the Girl Scouts of America to explore futures in STEM related subjects with an underlying understanding that innovative technologies move civilization forward. 
  • Bryna Dahlin (Partner), volunteers on Boards and assists many startups as General Counsel to get these endeavors off the ground.
  • The firm itself, sponsors events in line with the core mission: locally through the Chicago Women in IP endeavors, and for the first time, in 2018, we will be a proud sponsor of the KPMG Women's Professional Golf Association championship. 

We at FLIP challenge you to join us in disrupting the status quo because together we are the nexus for change. We encourage you to fasten your seat belts and hold on tight as you enter the next chapter with FLIP.  Let’s think outside the box! 

lift while you climb.jpeg

AND THE BLUE RIBBON GOES TO...

By Zareefa B. Flener In  Posted 

Sweden and South Korea tied for first place as the 2018 most innovative countries in the world according to Bloomberg's Innovation Index 2018. The World Economic Forum, on the other hand, ranks the U.S. second to Switzerland only, and Sweden remains in the top ten, while South Korea is strangely absent all together. What does this mean considering South Korea and the U.S. are the countries that top the list as having companies with the most patent filings in 2017?

Regarding South Korea, rumor has it that Samsung is what keeps South Korea in its glory, with this innovation mindset trickling down through the economy to other companies. Samsung is second only to IBM in awarded U.S. patents since the start of the 2000s. Sweden's forte appears to be in tech start ups rather than tech giants, gaining a reputation as Europe's tech start-up capital. In fact, Sweden is home to some of Europe's largest tech companies, and its capital is second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to the number of billion-dollar tech companies that it produces per capita.

The population in Sweden is estimated to be more than 9.9 million people, while the population in South Korea is estimated to be a little more than 51 million people. The U.S. has more than 326 million people but is not vying for pole position. Where is the disconnect?

Bloomberg cites lower U.S. rankings as being related to tertiary (higher college/university) education. The US is now ranked 43 out of 50 nations for “tertiary efficiency”. In fact, the World Forum ranked Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the United Kingdom as being the top two universities in the world as of September 2017. Another factor that Bloomberg says weighs heavily against the U.S. is its lack of value-added manufacturing while apparently South Korea and Singapore lead the pack.

The U.S. is still ranked in first place when it comes to density of tech companies and second in patent activity...second to South Korea. Even Israel is ranked both in Bloomberg's and the World Economic Forum's top ten, but Israel has about 4000 start ups, and raises venture capital per capita at two-and-a-half times the rate of the U.S. and 30 times that of Europe.

When it comes to being a world leader at innovation, it may simply be the case that you get out what you put in: according to OECD figures, Israel spends more money on research and development as a proportion of its economy than any other country – 4.3% of GDP against second-placed South Korea's 4.2%. Switzerland is in third place spending 3.4% of its GDP on R&D, while Sweden spends 3.3%. The US spends just 2.8%.

Perhaps by making higher education more accessible and financially possible, encouraging young Americans to strive for higher education, and implementing more accessible and widespread programs in innovation, intellectual property basics and procedure, more people would risk the road less travelled for the rewards that innovation can bring. 

We can all do our part. The attorneys at Flener IP & Business Law strive to volunteer, educate and mentor. Contact us to see where our next appearance/event will be.