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Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman: How legal reform can promote innovation

Christina Hernandez Sherwood, eMed Editor, MedCity News

As a life science entrepreneur, you surely have ideas on how changing legal rules and policies could promote innovation and accelerate U.S. economic growth.

The Kauffman Foundation, seeking suggestions on how to jumpstart the struggling economy, convened America’s leading legal scholars and social scientists to offer their thoughts. The 2010 meeting resulted in the collection of essays, “ Rules for Growth: Promoting Innovation and Growth Through Legal Reform .”

Some of the top ideas included:

  • Reforming U.S. immigration laws so more high-skilled immigrants can launch businesses in the United States.
  • Improving university technology licensing practices so university-generated innovation is more quickly and efficiently commercialized.
  • Moving away from taxes on income that penalize risk-taking, innovation, and employment while shifting toward a more consumption-based tax system that encourages saving that funds investment. In addition, the research tax credit should be redesigned and made permanent.
  • Reforming the intellectual property system to allow for a post-grant opposition process and address the large patent application backlog by allowing applicants to pay for more rapid patent reviews.
  • Authorizing corporate entities to form digitally and use software as a means for setting out agreements and bylaws governing corporate activities.

Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman is a regular feature on eMed highlighting insightful research from the Kauffman Foundation. Do you have a favorite Kauffman research insight that could help life science entrepreneurs? Send it to

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