Wolf Greenfield Establishes David Wolf Prize for UMass Amherst’s Innovation Challenge

January 26, 2012

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AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst and the intellectual property law firm of Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. today announced the establishment of the David Wolf Prize as a new award in support of the UMass Innovation Challenge business plan competition. Wolf Greenfield was a founding sponsor of the competition and continues as a platinum-level sponsor.

The David Wolf Prize will be a cash prize of $5,000 awarded on a competitive basis each spring to the team of innovators that demonstrates the greatest potential in the UMass Innovation Challenge.

The prize honors UMass Amherst alumnus David Wolf, who is entering his sixth decade as an intellectual property lawyer with the firm his father, Ezekiel Wolf, founded in 1927. David Wolf led the firm as managing partner for almost 30 years, growing it into a top intellectual property firm with a worldwide presence. His own practice has ranged from trial experience in patent, trademark, and copyright litigation--including appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court--to counseling a variety of the area’s leading corporations on the acquisition, licensing and enforcement of large patent and trademark portfolios.

"We are thrilled to be able to honor David Wolf’s many contributions to IP law by establishing a prize that also pays tribute to the countless years David has devoted to counseling and encouraging new entrepreneurs," said Timothy J. Oyer, president and managing partner of Wolf Greenfield.

Wolf holds more than 18 patents in the electrical and mechanical arts and has repeatedly been named in Boston Magazine as one of Massachusetts’ "Super Lawyers" in the field of intellectual property law. He has also been listed recurrently in Best Lawyers in America. Wolf received a B.A. in chemistry and economics in 1949 from UMass and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1952.

Initiated in 2005 with Wolf Greenfield as the founding sponsor, the Innovation Challenge is a business plan competition that emphasizes innovation and encourages individuals from every discipline and department on campus to work together and use technology for solving society’s overarching problems in new ways.

"We thank the many professionals at Wolf Greenfield who have mentored and inspired many of our young innovators," says Mike Malone, vice chancellor for research and engagement and Ronnie and Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor of Engineering at UMass Amherst. "On behalf of the campus, and especially our students, I extend our appreciation to the firm for its generous continued investment in our student entrepreneurs and inventors. The David Wolf Prize will serve as inspiration to future competitors and recognizes David Wolf’s contributions to the field of intellectual property and his entrepreneurial zeal."

Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. is the largest law firm based in New England focused solely on intellectual property law. The firm’s lawyers are technical and legal specialists at the forefront of their fields, supporting leading companies, inventors, and research facilities with a full range of intellectual property portfolio management including patent, copyright and trademark acquisition, prosecution and litigation; opinions and strategic counseling; trade dress protection; intellectual property audits and due diligence; licensing and other issues related to commercialization of intellectual property. Now in its ninth decade, Wolf Greenfield continues to represent innovators in the fields of biotechnology, chemical materials and technology, pharmaceutical, medical devices, clean technology, electrical and computer technology, mechanical technology, and consumer products.

The UMass Innovation Challenge is designed to inspire and reward the best entrepreneurial business plans from UMass students and recent alumni. Innovation Challenge competitors are interdisciplinary student/alumni teams working in consultation with faculty members and external advisors. The competition awards more than $60,000 annually in prizes, all from private sponsor contributions. Additional sponsors include: Saint-Gobain; Joseph Bohan; Cantor Colburn LLP; CISCO; Raytheon; and Vistagy. For more information, visit www.umass.edu/innovation.