New study names CWRU among nation’s best for research commercialization and student patents

Law students meeting in the IP Venture Clinic

The Brookings Institution’s recent article, “Hidden in plain sight: The oversized impact of downtown universities,” unveiled a new report highlighting the significant advantages that universities located in metropolitan areas have in turning research into commercial success.

On average, these research universities create 71 percent more start-ups and complete 80 percent more licensing agreements than rural and suburban schools. In the report, CWRU ranks 13th in the nation for research commercialization and sixth for the number of patents per thousand students.

Since 2013, CWRU School of Law has played an important part in the university’s startup success. Our Intellectual Property Venture Clinic (IPVC) was designed as part of a large scale effort to foster innovation and spur economic development in northeast Ohio. Not only does the clinic provide one-of-a-kind training for law students in the business world, but also offers free legal and business expertise to student inventors and local startup companies as they enter the market.

“We’re creating a strategy to protect the broad spectrum of their potential intellectual property including patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyright, while also providing pro bono counsel on corporate, tax, contract and all other law that goes into developing a business from scratch,” said Professor Ted Theofrastous, manager of the IPVC.

Today the clinic represents more than 40 clients who are developing their cutting edge research into viable commercial properties, including a promising student startup aiming to revolutionize concussion screening technology.

“We are excited to see our school’s extensive work in technology commercialization get national recognition,” said Professor Craig Nard, Director of the Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology & the Arts and a founder of the IPVC. “Within our university and in the greater Northeast Ohio community, start-up companies can thrive and endure. And our students play an active role in this space.”