WSU’s Gateway to IP program leads STEM students into patent law careers

When Rob Gerlach joined the Office of Tech Transfer and Commercialization at Wichita State in 2018, he noticed a gaping hole in the community: For a city that prides itself on its entrepreneurial spirit, Wichita was severely lacking in people to protect and manage its innovations.

In fact, a quick database search revealed that there were only a handful of patent practitioners in Wichita.

So Gerlach created the Gateway to IP program “with the purpose being to increase Wichita’s IP IQ.” Through the program, Gerlach and his team in the TTC office mentor students and introduce them to the pathway to becoming a patent agent.