Boston College Law School’s Program on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) turns six in 2023, and founding faculty director Professor David Olson is taking the moment to reflect on the academic strengths PIE has achieved. Its focus on matters pertaining to intellectual property, entrepreneurship, business law, and clinical and experiential learning has connected students and faculty with innovation and entrepreneurship communities in Boston and beyond.
“We fulfill an important mission of service to the wider scholarly and policy community,” Olson says, referring to PIE’s many events and collaborations, among them PatCon, the world’s largest conference for patent scholars, and the International IP Summit hosted with Ropes & Gray.
Thanks to its sponsors, PIE also hosts programming on other legal topics, including artificial intelligence, chemistry and the law, cybersecurity, and opportunities for women in innovation and entrepreneurship. “With strategic partnerships, we can bring together the expertise and resources to address important issues in patents, IP, and the broader areas affecting innovation and entrepreneurship,” Olson says.
As PIE has grown, its impact has expanded beyond BC Law. According to Olson, PIE supports the translation of academic work into legal and policy conversations: “In addition to regularly speaking with the press on legal issues, I have testified before separate committees in the US House and Senate on patent reform, drug pricing, and antitrust enforcement. Many of my colleagues have done likewise.”
Olson says that PIE continually works with its partners to identify important areas of programming for students. This past year, PIE co-sponsored networking events and panel discussions with BC Law student organizations to promote different areas of legal practice. Olson credits a large part of PIE’s success to its collaborations, which make these opportunities possible for students, faculty, and members of the IP community.