For the second year in a row, the Foundation co-hosted legal clinics for social entrepreneurs with lawyers from Lex Mundi member firms Womble Bond Dickinson (USA, North Carolina) and Morrison & Foerster LLP (USA, California) on topics of critical importance to our social entrepreneur clients.
The first webinar centered on intellectual property issues facing social enterprises. Womble Bond Dickinson lawyers, Dan Ovanezian, Laura Kees, and Bill Jacobs presented on copyright, trademark, and patent issues and answered detailed questions from the social entrepreneurs that participated. The attendees were also provided a guidance document on intellectual property written for the Foundation by Womble Bond Dickinson lawyers Kees, Ovanezian, Christine Beaman Rankin and Chris Kokoska.
The second webinar focused on “hybrid” corporate entity structures – a topic of rapidly growing interest amongst social entrepreneurs. Jesse Finfrock, a corporate lawyer in Morrison & Foerster’s Social Enterprise + Impact Investing group and an expert on the topic, provided an in-depth summary of the intricacies involved in this complex structure and answered several questions from the social enterprise organizations in attendance.
Individuals from 19 unique social enterprises attended the two clinics and gave high reviews of the materials and information provided.
“The clinic was an eye opening and highly informative session,” said Ram Katamaraja, CEO of a data for impact organization called Colaberry. “We learned how social entrepreneurs should go about securing their intellectual property so that they are able to confidently build businesses that have a positive impact on society.”
“Advising social entrepreneurs and impact organizations on how to best secure their intellectual property is among the most rewarding work we get to perform,” Jacobs said. “Seeing the positive effect these individuals and organizations have in our communities is truly inspiring and we are thrilled to play a very small part in their continued success.”