Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic

Hero Caption

This is a full-year clinic offered for 10 credits (5 credits/semester), students will receive separate letter grades at the end of the year for the seminar and the casework.  The clinic is open to day and evening students in their last two (2) years of law school and Accelerated JD students in their last year. IPEC provides students the opportunity to counsel clients on an extensive range of intellectual property issues, including branding, copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, and privacy law. Clinic students will also have the opportunity to counsel entrepreneurs and start-up companies on business law matters such as incorporation, contract law, and IP strategy. Clients of the clinic include: artists, authors, designers, filmmakers, and musicians who want to protect their creative efforts; innovators who seek to protect their inventions; entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking to build and protect their brands; entrepreneurs, established corporations, and nonprofit organizations with patent, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, incorporation, strategic planning, contracting, or licensing needs; and individuals and businesses hoping to acquire or assign intellectual property rights.

Clinic students take primary responsibility for all client matters, under the close supervision of experienced practitioners. Students can expect to gain hands-on experience in conducting interviews, mediating disputes, performing legal research, drafting both transactional and litigation documents, and interacting with the United States Copyright Office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Specific tasks may include counseling clients on strategies for identifying and safeguarding protectable information, drafting and filing patent applications, registering copyright and trademark rights, representing clients in trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings, negotiating licenses, drafting nondisclosure agreements, prosecuting and defending infringement claims, and engaging in legislative and administrative advocacy.

All IPEC students are required to attend a weekly two-hour seminar every week. This seminar will focus on substantive law topics related to the practice of intellectual property law. Students will be assigned “class clients” or cases and in the seminar will learn practical skills for interviewing, litigation practice, negotiation, IP document drafting, legal research, oral advocacy, patent/trademark searching, client counseling skills, legal and analytical reasoning, effective communication, including acting and improvisation, and legal ethics. Students are also required to meet at least one hour per week with their supervising attorney, and will submit reflective papers at least four times during the year to help students engage in critical reflection.

Students accepted into IPEC must attend the clinic-wide, one-day Orientation in August. Additionally, students must also be available for an intensive two-day “Boot Camp,” to be scheduled the week before classes start. The Boot Camp will cover substantive issues of intellectual property law and an introduction to Strategic Intellectual Property Counseling.

During the course of the academic year, students will be responsible for accommodating USPTO and TTAB due dates and deadlines, as well as the needs of their clients. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that students will have to work on their cases during the exam period and/or during school vacations.  Students must have completed either the USPTO Trademark or one of the following four (4) courses: IP Survey, Trademark Law, Copyright Law, and/or Patent Law. Completion of Trial Advocacy is strongly recommended. Preference will be given to students that have completed a course in Evidence and the USPTO Trademark Practice class.  Concurrent enrollment may be considered for Accelerated JD students, although completion of USPTO is required of all applicants. If you have any questions, contact Professor Loletta Darden.