Law, Innovation and Growth

The Law, Innovation and Growth initiative is a $10 million, five-year program to support research by leading legal and economic scholars on how best to shape the U.S. legal system so that it promotes innovation and growth. The program builds on several decades of "law and economics" scholarship.

The initiative will support wide-ranging legal research; legal fellowships for new faculty; and seminars at multiple law schools. The initiative includes:

  • $2.8 million over three years to seven top law schools to examine the impact of law and regulation on growth, including, for example, how the tax system and intellectual property law affect startups and new enterprise. Grants were given to researchers at:
    • Boston University School of Law
    • Columbia Law School
    • Stanford Law School and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
    • George Washington University Law School
    • Harvard Law School
    • The University of Iowa College of Law
    • Yale Law School
  • $2.8 million over two years to Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society to develop a global network of "legal research labs" to test innovations that will overcome the legal, regulatory, and financial obstacles businesses face, especially as it relates to cyberspace. Specifically, this grant will help meld different academic disciplines, including law, neuroscience, anthropology, and computer science.
  • $2.2 million to fund the selection of  Kauffman Legal Research Fellows, which will fund "post-doc" or new assistant professors at the start of their careers, and to support research and/or curriculum development at top law schools, on topics related to innovation and growth.
  • Seminars at leading law schools to convene legal scholars and economists on a range of topics related to innovation and growth. 
  • Funds for the Stanford Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse, a first-of-its-kind online database that offers comprehensive information about intellectual property disputes within the United States. This research tool, which launched December 8, 2008, helps scholars, lawyers, policymakers, judges, and journalists analyze the efficacy of the system that regulates patents, copyrights, trademarks, antitrust, and trade secrets.