IP Law Certificate

Created for professionals, by professionals

The Intellectual Property (IP) Law Online 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 Program is offered online to allow participants maximum flexibility. This means you can watch the various modules whenever it is convenient for you.

The Certificate Program consists of several distinct online components bundled together. To earn an IP Certificate, candidates must watch all programs. Upon completion, send an affidavit to Karen Katz and you will receive your certificate.

The IP Certificate is issued by the Intellectual Property Law Concentration   upon completion of 25 hours of course time. This is a nondegree program.

If you have any questions upon viewing any of the programs, you are encouraged to send an email Professor Andrew Beckerman-Rodau.

Tuition: $3,000.


Jason Steinberg: “Suffolk Law School’s IP Law certificate was an excellent introduction to the world of intellectual property for a hopeful future patent attorney with no previous exposure. The information given provided a solid foundation, and was coupled with useful case law examples that brought the statutes to life. Additionally, describing the instruction as ‘first-rate’ would not be sufficient to impart the dedication and skill with which each instructor approached presentation. Each lecturer was easy to contact, happy to help, and had vast knowledge including first-hand experience in the legal sector. Given the opportunity I would absolutely seek out more classes, certificates, and seminars from Suffolk’s departments of Intellectual Property Focus, and Academic Programs/Professional Studies.”

Peter Shaheen: “ I recently completed the IP Certificate Program offered by Suffolk University Law School. I can wholeheartedly recommend this program for any attorney and especially for those with an emphasis in business law. The lectures were interesting, informative and entertaining. The course material will be very helpful in my practice. With IP becoming more and more important in both law and business this program was of real benefit.“

IP Modules

Ideally each enrollee should take the basic modules, starting with the Intellectual Property Law Survey, before watching the advanced modules. 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.


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


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

Trade Secrets

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


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

Each program attendee must watch the advanced modules. 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

Dispute Resolution

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

Assessing and valuing an IP Portfolio

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 or watch a full-day intellectual property conferences offered for attorneys.

Technology Start-ups: Balancing Legal and Business Issues

Other conferences to be listed on the website.

IP Certificate Faculty

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, Partner
Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP

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

Assessing and Valuing an IP Portfolio
Mary K. Murray, Esq., Principal
Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, PC

Elizabeth A. Levy
MIT Office of the General Counsel

Professor Stephen M. McJohn
Suffolk University Law School

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

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

Professor Dwight Golann
Suffolk University Law School

Professor Jessica Silbey
Suffolk University Law School

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What will this program give me?
    If you watch certain ALS courses--5 basic, 3 advanced and 1 full-day conferences, you will receive a certificate stating that you have completed the Intellectual Property Law curriculum. By watching these courses you will ensure that you have been exposed to an organized curriculum covering basic to intermediate-level intellectual property law.

  2. 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.

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

  4. Who is providing this program?
    This program is being jointly offered by the Suffolk University Law School Intellectual Property Law Concentration.

  5. What do I need to do?
    Fulfill the requirements for watching the specified courses.

  6. Do I need to sign up?

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

  8. 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.

  9. Do I need a technical background to attend?

  10. Is the Certificate open to any students?

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

  12. Are there time limits on completing the program?

  13. How much does the certificate program cost?
    You must pay a one-time fee of $3,000 when you sign up for the certificate program. This fee is covers all program content.

  14. Do I need to take the courses in any particular order?
    It is recommended that you take the survey and then the basic courses before watching the advanced conferences.

  15. Are there special requirements to complete the program?
    You must watch the entire series and you are required to return an affidavit upon completion.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 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 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.

  18. What will I get if I complete the requirements?
    You will receive a certificate.

  19. How do I register for the IP Certificate Program?
    You can register on the website.

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

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