March 31, 2021

Bill Coughlin talks to MSU Law about IP Innovation Diversity Sprint

Harness Dickey CEO William Coughlin, [Michigan State University College of Law Class of 1980], spent his Saturday providing future Spartan lawyers with a unique opportunity: to test-drive careers in the IP field.

The capstone experience of MSU Law’s annual Diversity Week, the inaugural IP Innovation Diversity Sprint took place on March 27, and immersed students in the world of intellectual property practice. Along with IP counsel from four corporations, Coughlin facilitated a daylong competition program that tasked students to tackle real-word IP problems currently faced by Harness Dickey’s corporate partners in this event. Law students were paired up with “phone a friend” partner/mentors from Harness Dickey for support and feedback.

“I wanted to find an innovative way to simultaneously offer diverse students a real-world challenge, help several corporations reimagine what they could do with their intellectual property assets, showcase diversity talent for employment, demonstrate the deeply-felt commitment within my IP law firm – and have some fun,” said Coughlin.

Students generated creative solutions for that minimized litigation risk and maximized profitability for products patented by some of Harness Dickey’s corporate partners:

  • Dana: bearing assemblies
  • Harman International: Bluetooth loudspeakers
  • Polaris: cargo lock rings
  • Volvo Cars: turbocharger system components

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