Cornell Law Professor Charles K. Whitehead aimed to create a conference that would help students understand “the real world effects of the law” on new business and, at the same time, allow academics and practitioners in the fields of law, business, and technology to work together on pressing legal issues that affect innovation and entrepreneurship. The resulting Symposium on Law, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, sponsored by the Cornell Law Review and Clarke Business Law Institute, was held on February 8 at the Cornell Club in New York City.
Academicians and practitioners presented papers on topics from Capital Markets to Intellectual Property; and from Venture Capital to Law and Innovation. Each presentation was followed by an analysis from a practitioner or a panel of practitioners and scholars. All Symposium papers will be published in an upcoming issue of the Cornell Law Review.
“We were thrilled to have such a great line-up, including several alumni who have been prominent in entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Professor Whitehead.
Stewart Schwab, Cornell Law School’s Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law, introduced the keynote speaker: Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of Computing and Information Science at Cornell University and Dean of the new Cornell Tech in New York City. Dean Huttenlocher spoke about how Cornell Tech has been specifically designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation. He described Cornell Tech as, “What the city needs and what the nation needs.”
Professor Oskar Liivak will soon be addressing the first class of Cornell Tech engineers on patent issues. “They’ve expressed an interest in learning more about intellectual property,” Professor Livaak said. “Hopefully, we can help their students and they can help our students.” He added, “For me to talk to people on the front lines will be valuable.”
Dean Schwab pointed out that there will be significant intersection between Cornell Law School and Cornell Tech. “The Law School will have an important role in both the near and far term in ensuring the success of the Tech Campus,” said Dean Schwab. He said that in the near term, the Law School is already assisting in educating the Tech Campus students in intellectual property and related issues. In the longer term he envisions Law students assisting Tech Campus students and others in applying for patents, creating employment agreements, filing partnership or incorporation documents, and other legal transactions.
“In events like the Entrepreneurship Symposium, the Law School can be a catalyst in bringing together a diverse group of entrepreneurs, educators, policymakers, and lawyers to examine cutting-edge issues that promote or hinder entrepreneurial success,” said Dean Schwab.
Presenters at the Symposium: