Course Details

Medical Innovation II

Medical Innovation is an interdisciplinary course that exposes students to the innovation process and teaches them the business, technical, teamwork, presentation, and other related skills necessary to be successful in that process. In the context of simulating a startup healthcare company, students will experience the entire innovation life cycle from ideation to prototyping, to legal protection, to business plan development, and, finally, to investor presentation. The course is offered as part of Northwestern University's NUvention program. The course involves students and faculty from four schools: Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Business. Students work in teams consisting of members drawn from each school; each team operates under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Teams are assigned to a particular medical subspecialty and challenged to develop a novel product that solves an unmet healthcare need in that subspecialty area. Students begin their work by conducting research to uncover compelling, unidentified, or underserved clinical problems. Teams then generate novel approaches and ideas to solve those problems, ultimately settling on one or two solutions. Next comes prototyping: students work to transform their ideas into real, tangible medical inventions. Teams also undertake the necessary steps to plan for the commercial development of their inventions. They investigate suitable legal protection and technology transfer issues, they prepare a provisional patent application, and they prepare a business plan, guided by faculty from the law and business schools. At the conclusion of the program, teams present their inventions and business plans to a panel of potential investors and development partners, with the goal of securing funding to commercialize their invention and to form a start-up enterprise. Each week, on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-9:00, the Medical Innovation class sessions will address topics vital to each stage of the innovation and commercialization processes, using case studies, lectures, and guest speakers. There will be time set aside during each Wednesday evening session for teams to meet, discuss issues, and strategize about where they are in the process. Most Wednesday evening classes will be held on the Chicago Campus (in the Feinberg Medical School). Two or three sessions during the year will be held in Evanston at the Ford Design Center. There will also be one or two classes held off-campus. In addition to the Wednesday evening classes, the law students will meet separately in the law school on a regular basis - biweekly - to learn about and discuss the legal issues involved at the various stages of development. The law student classes are an important part of the overall experience of the course; here is where the law students will focus specifically on the legal issues involved in the commercialization process. Just as the teams will look to their engineering students to lead on prototyping issues, and to their business students for guidance in developing business plans, the teams will look to their law students for guidance on the legal issues - although the law students will not act as outside counsel, and will instead be full founding members of their companies. During the fall semester, the law school classes will meet on Wednesdays, from 2:00-3:15. The law classes will continue in the spring semester, and will meet on Wednesdays from 4pm-5:15pm. Please note the first class of the Spring semester will meet on January 7, 2015. Medical Innovation runs for 6-months - from fall quarter 2014 through winter quarter 2015; the course begins mid-September and ends in mid-March. Students are required to enroll for both quarters; each quarter will constitute a separate course for enrollment and transcript purposes - Medical Innovation I & II, which together satisfy 6 law school credit hours. The law school instructors for the Medical Innovation course are Professor Esther Barron and Professor Leslie Oster; there will also be an adjunct professor to assist with intellectual property issues. The course is open to second- and third-year students. While there are no formal prerequisites, the course is especially suited to students with a demonstrated interest in the legal substance and skills associated with entrepreneurship - business formation, intellectual property, corporate finance, venture capital, health care law, negotiations, etc. Students interested in this course should fill out a course application, which can be linked to from the NU Law Registration and Records website, under "forms." Applications must be submitted by August 1st, 2014 at 5:00pm. We will review the applications and inform students of decisions no later than August 11th, 2014. Students who enroll in the course will be charged 75 bid points per semester. Grades will be based on: the overall team project, the individual student's contribution to the overall team project, the quality of each law student's performance on the separate law school assignments throughout the course, class participation and performance in the separate law school class, and participation and performance in the larger Medical Innovation classes. Class attendance at both the law school classes and the larger Medical Innovation classes is required. Because work in the course is cumulative, the fall semester grade will be listed as incomplete; at completion of the spring semester, a letter grade for both semesters will be assigned.

Catalog Number: PPTYTORT 642
Practice Areas: Intellectual Property Practice AreaLegal Skills Development


Course History

Spring 2017
Title: Medical Innovation II
Faculty: Green, Darren (courses | profile)
Richards, Patrick D
Barron, Esther S. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 14     Actual: 13

Spring 2016
Title: Medical Innovation II
Faculty: Oster, Leslie A. (courses | profile)
Richards, Patrick D
Barron, Esther S. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 15     Actual: 15

Spring 2015
Title: Medical Innovation II
Faculty: Oster, Leslie A. (courses | profile)
Richards, Patrick D
Barron, Esther S. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 14     Actual: 14