Automation Alley Names Professor as Entrepreneur of the Year


LANSING — William Coughlin, adjunct professor for Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Graduate Program in Intellectual Property Law, has been recognized as Automation Alley’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.”  He was presented the award during the Automation Alley Award Gala held last month.

Coughlin has taught at Cooley since 2003, teaching graduate-level courses, including Trade Secret Law and eCommerce Law. He also serves as chair on the advisory committee for Cooley’s Graduate Program in Intellectual Property Law. He is president and CEO for Ford Global Technologies LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ford Motor Co., and is responsible for managing all intellectual property matters on a global basis.

 “Entrepreneurs need to either create or leverage intellectual property in order to build and protect business success,” Coughlin said. “And teaching Intellectual Property Law for a decade now at Cooley has provided me with deeper insights into how intellectual property can really help businesses thrive more than most aspiring entrepreneurs will ever see. An award like this should inspire students of the law that entrepreneurial thinking is not just something for others to do. Lawyers can be, and in many situations need to be, entrepreneurial to help both their clients and their communities.”

David C. Berry, co-director at Cooley, said: “Cooley’s Intellectual Property Law curriculum is based on the premise that high-quality, practical legal instruction, delivered using innovative methods, is the best way to prepare lawyers to practice in rapidly changing fields of law, such as intellectual property. Bill Coughlin brings to his classes the same insights and innovative spirit that Automation Alley cited in recognizing him as Entrepreneur of the Year.”