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What is Intellectual Property and Why Should You Care

September 22, 2008


The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host a workshop entitled “What is Intellectual Property and Why Should You Care” on Thursday, October 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Nadeau Hall teleconference room.

The event is sponsored by Northern Maine Development Commission. Meriby Sweet is the facilitator of the workshop. This training is free, but pre-registration is required to manage space and handout materials.

All interested small business persons or individuals with an interest in creative thinking, design or involved in the creative economy should attend.

The workshop will give attendees an overview of intellectual property divided into two categories: Industrial property and processes, including inventions that may require patents, methods proprietary to your business, trademarks that distinguish your work, industrial designs, and physical indications of source; and copyright and trade secrets, which include literary and artistic works such as novels, choreography, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.  Even your recipes can be protected as intellectual property!

Meriby Sweet of Nobleboro, Maine, is Center Director of the Maine Small Business Development Centers’ (Maine SBDC) tech-focus group, the Maine Small Business & Technology Development Centers (Maine SBTDC).

In 2003, Meriby was instrumental in successfully launching Maine SBTDC services to Maine’s technology-based companies. Those services include strategic technology planning, technology marketing strategies, funding and capitalization work, technology licensing strategies, and partnership development.

Maine SBDC is only the fourth SBDC program in four years of the national technology accreditation process to earn the “T” designation from the Association of Small Business Development Centers, joining North Carolina, Ohio, and Michigan as Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTCD).  Maine SBTDC was created this past winter after Maine SBDC met a rigorous national accreditation authorizing them to formally provide technology support to Maine’s 37,000 small and micro businesses and 100,000 independent workers.

Meriby’s Maine SBTDC center is located by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) in Gardiner, where a two-year-old collaboration with MTI helped Maine SBDC earn its “T” designation.  Both organizations collaborate extensively on technology-intensive small businesses.  Maine SBDTC at MTI helps clients with the business planning necessary to apply for or utilize MTI funding.

In 2004, Meriby received a prestigious $5,000 scholarship which is awarded to only one recipient each year to attend Duke University’s Biotechnology for Business training. Knowledge gained from that training is being used to build on Maine SBTDC’s capacity to serve Maine’s biotechnology industry with business assistance, especially in the area of tech commercialization.

Meriby has been with Maine SBDTC for five years.  In her pervious twenty-year career with high-tech firms in California's Silicon Valley she served in senior product management positions for Leep Technology, which was acquired by, and Scopus Technology, which was acquired by Siebel Systems. She also was founder and president of Cynosure ABA, a business accelerator that fostered and subsidized small and start-up companies.

During her tenure as Product Marketing Director for Leep Technology, Ms. Sweet developed the company’s market focus on web-based customer relationship management. She also spearheaded new product launches as well as development of the firm’s informational materials, white papers, and public relations activities.

Meriby has also written extensively for leadership and technology conferences in Silicon Valley and has been published the Journal of the National Technical Association.

She is a Maine native and is a graduate of the University of Maine.

To pre-register, please contact Judy Dinsmore at or by phone at 498-8736 or 1-800-427-8736.  For more information or questions, please contact Rod Thompson at