|Kind of an unfortunate angle, I feel|
(JENNIFER CORBETT/THE NEWS JOURNAL)
Bill Provine, DuPont’s director of science and engineering global operations, provided the group with additional information on how they can apply for permission to access the company’s intellectual property for their commercial ventures.
DuPont on Friday issued a memo to current and former employees with an email address where they can submit nonconfidential requests related to patent use and product data.
“Looking at our legacy in Delaware, we’re obviously very proud of what we’ve done here and proud of what you’ve done with us,” he said. “We want to be able to support you as you move to those small business enterprises.”
Any deal of DuPont intellectual property is expected to take the form of licensing or some other arrangement that would effectively turn its former workers into customers.
“At the end of the day, it’s got to be a mutually beneficial outcome,” Provine said. “Convince us that you’re credible, serious and want to do something.”
He indicated DuPont would not be interested in proposals that seek to resell intellectual property.
“What we don’t want is for this to be a fishing expedition,” he said. “What we’re trying to enable here is people who have worked on something or are associated with something and want to spin it out into an enterprise.”There was a response from one of the laid-off technical folks:
Michael Brown, who spent 35 years working in DuPont’s various polymer divisions before being laid off in December, is interested in starting a company based on intellectual property from his former employers. Like many ex-DuPonters who attended Tuesday’s seminar, he declined to discuss his details of his future venture to avoid attracting potential competitors, including former co-workers.
But Brown did said he wasn’t thrilled by what Provine had to offer. “I’ve got a half dozen patents with DuPont,” he said. “And what I heard here today was the concept of selling the technology to us is not their intent.”
Brown, meanwhile, said the rest of the program was useful for guiding him to become entrepreneur.
“I’ll definitely attend a few more of these,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in starting a business of my own. Now have the severance package and lots of time on my hands."I suppose that I should be somewhat grateful to DuPont that they are offering this opportunity to their former employees, but like Mr. Brown, I'm somewhat skeptical of it all.
Best wishes to the former DuPonters - and to all of us.