The Role of Law
Elgar Law and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Megan M. Carpenter
Chapter 8: IP and Entrepreneurship in an Evolving Economy: A Case Study
Michael Risch* INTRODUCTION That intellectual assets—whether protected or not—are of growing importance in evolving economies is practically unassailable.1 Unfortunately, getting that message across to members of those economies might prove difficult. This chapter takes a ground-level look at one law school’s attempt to aid an evolving economy through entrepreneurial legal assistance. The West Virginia University Entrepreneurship Law Clinic (hereinafter “ELC”) was formed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the state to start and run businesses. The goal was to help those businesses leverage their intellectual property to drive economic development in the state. The results, however, were unexpected. To be sure, the ELC helped many entrepreneurs, but little of that aid involved intellectual property (IP), with the notable exception of trademark protection. The problem * ©2011 The author thanks participants at the Evolving Economies Conference at Texas Wesleyan Law School for their helpful comments and the West Virginia University College of Law for permission to tell this story and share the data. Research assistance was provided by Cailyn Reilly, Gabriele Wohl, and Jenny Maxey. 1 See, e.g., Megan M. Carpenter, ‘Will Work’: The Role of Intellectual Property in Transitional Economies – from Coal to Content, in Shubha Ghosh & Robin Paul Malloy, (eds), Creativity Law and Entrepreneurship 49 (Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, U.S.A.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011); Elias G. Carayannis, et al., Technological learning for entrepreneurial development (TL4ED) in the Knowledge Economy (KE): Case Studies and Lessons Learned, 26 Technovation 419, (2006); Lubomira Ivanova & Anne Layne-Farrar, The Role of Intellectual...
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