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Andrew Beckerman-Rodau is a renowned member of Suffolk's Intellectual Property Law program

Created for professionals, by professionals

The Intellectual Property (IP) Law Certificate program is not just for attorneys. It’s designed for professionals who want a better understanding of IP law and may need to work with IP lawyers, venture capitalists and others in the intellectual property field, including:

  • Corporate non-IP attorneys
  • Non-IP attorneys in small to medium-size law firms
  • Business executives
  • Scientists, engineers, and other individuals who work with technology
  • Paralegals

Program Structure

The Certificate Program consists of several distinct components. To earn an IP Certificate, candidates must attend a minimum of 35 hours of programming.

Once enrolled, candidates will have up to three (3) years to complete the required hours. A nonrefundable $250 enrollment fee is required to enroll. After the initial enrollment fee, each module will have its own tuition fee. This certificate is not open to current law students or free to faculty and adjuncts.

The IP Certificate is issued by Advanced Legal Studies upon completion of 35 hours of course time. This is a nondegree program.

Tuition: $3595


A nonrefundable $250 enrollment fee is required to enroll. After the initial enrollment, each program will have its own tuition fee (please see below).



Basic Modules


Ideally each enrollee should take the basic modules, starting with the Intellectual Property Law Survey, before attending the advanced modules. If you cannot follow this order of preferred attendance, you are encouraged to complete the basic modules as soon as possible. Starting with the introductory Intellectual Property Law Survey module (3 hours) will provide you with an overview of trademark law, copyright law, patent law and trade secrets law. After completion of this module attendees must complete the following modules which can be taken in any order (each module is 3 hours):

TRADEMARK | JANUARY 30, 2014, 4-7 P.M.
What can be a trademark
Types of trademarks
What is a trademark search
How can trademark rights be protected under state law and federal law
How is a trademark registered under federal law
What are the advantages of registering a trademark under federal law
Protecting trademarks
Concurrent use
Trademark genericide
Trademark incontestability
Managing a trademark portfolio
Basics of trademark infringement
Basics of trademark dilution
Lanham Act section 43(a) actions
Trade dress
Domain names
Foreign rights

Provides an overview of the fundamental concepts and rationales for IP law
Provides an understanding of the basic legal vocabulary utilized in IP law
Provides an understanding of the specific branches of IP law: trademark law, copyright law, patent law and trade secrets law

TRADE SECRETS | MARCH 6, 2014, 4-7 P.M.
What can be protected by trade secrets law
Duration of protection
Uniform Trade Secrets Act
MA trade secrets law
Federal Economic Espionage Act
Trade secret misappropriation actions
Remedies for trade secret misappropriation
Reverse engineering
Independent development
Choosing between trade secrets protection and patent protection

America Invents Act of 2011
Patent-eligible subject matter
Types of patents
Duration of patents
Utility requirement
Disclosure requirements
Novelty requirement
Nonobviousness requirement
Parts of a patent
Foreign rights
Patentability and infringement opinions
Patent infringement

COPYRIGHT | MAY 8, 2014, 4-7 P.M.
What can be protected by copyright law
Duration of copyright
Copyright clearance
Copyright registration
Who is an author
Works for hire doctrine
Rights granted by copyright law
Copyright infringement
Statutory damages
Foreign rights
Statutory exemptions from copyright protection
Fair use

Advanced Modules


Each program attendee must take two advanced modules (each module is 3 hours). Current advanced modules are listed below.(Different or additional advanced modules may be offered in the future):

License v. License Agreement
What Can Be Licensed
License Qualifiers
Licenses in Transactions
Practice Tips
Ways to Claim Right to IP You Don't Own
Types of Licenses
Key License Provisions

Litigation issues
Document holds
Patent reexamination
Settlement agreements
Trial and appellate procedure in courts and admin agency FORA
Remedies and realization

What is an IP due diligence review conduct
Types of IP due diligence review
What is involved in conducting a review?
How to prepare
Case study

Intellectual Property Conferences

After completion of the basic and advanced modules, Certificate enrollees attend selected full-day Advanced Legal Studies intellectual property conferences offered for attorneys. IP Certificate enrollees will be required to attend two advanced conferences. More information will be available soon.

Technology Start-ups: Balancing Legal and Business Issues
Friday, March 21, 2014

Litigating IP Disputes Before the U.S. International Trade Commission
Friday, April 25, 2014



Professor Andrew Beckerman-Rodau
Suffolk University Law School, Co-Director of the IP Concentration

Attorney Karen F. Copenhaver, Partner
Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP

Attorney David Rickerby
Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP

Trade Secrets
Attorney Heidi E. Harvey, of Counsel
Fish & Richardson, P.C.

Assessing and Valuing an IP Portfolio
Attorney Todd E. Krieger, Senior Global Counsel

Patricia Davis

Professor Stephen M. McJohn
Suffolk University Law School

Attorney Mary K. Murray, PhD., Principal
Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, PC

Attorney David G. Rickerby, Partner
Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP

Dispute Resolution
Attorney Adam P. Samansky, Associate
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

Professor Jessica Silbey
Suffolk University Law School

Attorney John L. Welch, of Counsel
Lando & Anastasi, LLP


IP Certificate Frequently Asked Questions

What will this program give me?
If you attend certain ALS courses--5 basic, 2 advanced and 2 Advanced Legal Studies conferences-- within 3 years, you will receive a certificate stating that you have completed ALS Intellectual Property Law curriculum. By attending these courses you will ensure that you have been exposed to an organized curriculum covering basic to intermediate-level intellectual property law.

Is a certificate different than an academic degree?
Yes. The certificate awarded for completion of this program is not equivalent to a law degree or any other type of academic degree.

Who will be teaching the courses?
Full time Suffolk University Law School faculty members and distinguished members of the intellectual property law bar.

Who is providing this program?
This program is being jointly offered by the Suffolk University Law School Advanced Legal Studies office and the Intellectual Property Law Concentration

What do I need to do?
Fulfill the requirements for attending the specified ALS courses within 3 years from the time you sign up for the program.

Do I need to sign up?
Yes. We need to track your participation and will want to communicate with the program participants.

Do I need to be a Massachusetts Bar member to sign up?

Is this program appropriate for non-attorneys?
Yes. This program is designed to provide a basic understanding of intellectual property law which is useful to businesspersons and others who work with or are exposed to intellectual property.

Do I need a technical background to attend?

Is the Certificate open to any students?

Can I transfer credits/units I received from another institution?
No, other CLE classes do not count toward the certificate

Are there time limits on completing the program?
Yes. You must complete all attendance requirements within 3 years of the date you enroll in the program.

How much does the certificate program cost?
You must pay a one-time fee of $250 when you sign up for the certificate program. This fee is designed to cover our administrative costs and is nonrefundable even if you do not pursue the program. In addition, you will pay $399.00 for each 3-hour course module. The tuition for full-day ALS conferences is $200. Thus the full cost is approximately $3,500.

Do I need to take the courses in any particular order?
It is recommended that you take the basic courses first before enrolling in the advanced conferences.

Are all the seminars offered every year?
The basic modules are offered every year. The advanced short modules are also offered every year. The advanced conferences focus on different topics each semester.

Are there special requirements to complete the program?
You must attend the entire module to receive credit. You are required to sign in at the beginning.

Do the ALS programs I took before I signed up for the Certificate "count" toward my program requirements?
No. The program courses are being planned with the new curriculum requirements in mind.

How do I know what requirements I have fulfilled and what I still need to take?
At the end of each semester (September –December and January-May) we will mail you a statement showing the requirements you have met and that you still need to fulfill. To find out more, you can call our Assistant Director and Registrar, Peniey McClary at 617.305.1655 or

What about lawyer advertising?
Massachusetts does not have an approved "specialty certification" program for lawyers. Therefore, lawyers in this state may not advertise that they are "certified specialists" or "specialists" in a particular area of the law. By participating in this program, you are attending specified courses offered by ALS which are designed to provide an organized approach to the education necessary to practice intellectual property law at the basic to intermediate level. When you complete this program, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for ALS/IP Concentration's Intellectual Property Law Program, which will be suitable for framing. You may advertise the fact that you have this Certificate of Completion, as long as your advertisement does not infer that you are a certified specialist. For any questions regarding lawyer advertising, contact the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.

What will I get if I complete the requirements?
You will receive a certificate suitable for framing stating.

How do I register for the IP Certificate Program?
You can call 617.573.8627

Is the enrollment fee refundable?

How much is the cancellation fee?

Are the materials electronic, or will I need to purchase specific textbooks?
All written materials will be available electronically.

Are there any scholarships and/or discounts for the IP certificate Program?

Can I take any of the modules without enrolling in the Certificate?
You can take up to two modules before enrolling