School of Law’s Intellectual Property Center receives $3 million grant


Rohan Ramkhumar\Observer

The Intellectual Property Center hopes to use their new grant to expand on already existing programs for students.

Aquene Kimmel, Contributing Reporter

The Intellectual Property Center at the School of Law will be able to expand and increase its programs after a recent $3 million grant from the Spangenberg Family Foundation (SFF).

SFF, a philanthropic organization based in Dallas, was founded by Case Western Reserve University Law School alumnus Erich Spangenberg, his son Christian and his wife Audrey.

The IP Center is part of the School of Law’s Center for Law, Technology and the Arts, which encompasses about 30 courses in intellectual property and a number of full-time and adjunct faculty. With this donation, the center will increase its opportunities for both students and faculty researchers in intellectual property law.

“I think that the sustainabilities and expansion of existing programs is what’s really important,” said Craig Nard, the director of the center. “It gives the program a sense of security moving forward and the ability to enhance our offerings and accommodate more students who want to get into this space.”

The grant will allow for the expansion of FUSION, an interdisciplinary graduate program that aims to teach skills necessary for commercializing new inventions and technology. Following FUSION, students can participate in the IP Venture Clinic, where they use this interdisciplinary training to work with real businesses and entrepreneurs to monetize technologies, with the help of a faculty supervisor.

SFF has made multiple other donations to the School of Law, including a $2 million donation in 2011 to establish the Spangenberg Family Foundation Chair in Law and the Arts.

According to Nard, the IP Center fit the SFF’s interests because its combination of business and law closely fits the goals of the IP Navigation Group, a business founded and chaired by Spangenberg.