The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT) will direct a $700,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awarded this fall to examine the relationship between intellectual property and entrepreneurship. The two-year interdisciplinary project will begin by focusing on aspects of the patent system that encourage or impede business ventures, particularly in high growth technology sector such as the computer software, Internet and biotechnology industries.
The grant will fund two research fellows and three to four student research assistants who will help formulate legal and policy proposals designed to mitigate obstacles and strengthen incentives for entrepreneurs.
“Our efforts will focus in particular on whether IP rules affect entrepreneurs differently than more established companies,” said Robert Barr, BCLT executive director. “BCLT is uniquely positioned to open up this new area of research, and we are delighted to be partnering with the Kauffman Foundation.”
Pamela Samuelson, a BCLT director and professor of law and information management, agrees. “Intellectual property is one of many policy levers that affect opportunities for engaging in entrepreneurship,” she said.
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the country’s top law and technology program for the ninth consecutive year, BCLT serves as the premier national think tank on the legal implications for new technologies.