The Intellectual Property Law Program is Maryland Carey Law’s home for the study of innovation and creativity. Students and faculty in the IP Program explore exciting questions about emerging legal issues, while working together to educate the community and assist entrepreneurs in protecting the products of the human imagination.
Intellectual property was considered so important that our Founding Fathers saw fit to include it in the Constitution. The Patent and Copyright Clause gives Congress the power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8. Today’s lawyers carry this historical mission forward into new technologies, new media and new marketing strategies.
At Maryland Carey Law, the Intellectual Property Law Program covers the traditional topics: patents, which give inventors exclusive rights in their new compounds, machines, manufactures, and other innovations; copyrights, which protect authors and artists against unauthorized copying of their personal expressions; trademarks, which distinguish the brands and logos consumers rely on as signals of product quality; and trade secrets, which protect confidential business information. Other closely related fields include the false advertising laws protecting consumers and competitors, rights of publicity in celebrity personas, and licensing of IP rights.
The IP Program works closely with the Business Law Program on issues involving entrepreneurship and protecting the intellectual assets of startup companies.
The IP Program also serves as the nexus at Maryland Carey Law for the study of information and technology law. One particular focus is Internet law: concepts of privacy and free speech are being radically recast on a network where words can spread worldwide in a matter of milliseconds. Another is healthcare and technology: the IP Law Program collaborates with Maryland Carey Law’s leading Law and Health Care Program on issues such as patient privacy and Big Data approaches to medical research and healthcare management.
The IP Program features a rich curriculum in intellectual property, information, and technology law. All students are welcome and encouraged to participate in IP courses, regardless of their career aspirations.
For students who are planning careers as IP attorneys, the IP Program offers an Intellectual Property Law Track. Students on the IP Track receive comprehensive exposure to legal doctrines through required core courses and a broad range of electives, along with valuable opportunities for hands-on training in the IP Clinic and approved externships.
Experiential education and development of practical skills is a major focus of the IP Program. The centerpiece of the program is the Intellectual Property Law Clinic, a project of the Maryland Intellectual Property Legal Resource Center. Clinic students provide intellectual property and related legal services to high tech startup companies, entrepreneurs and small businesses, helping to move their ideas from concept to execution
The IP Clinic participates in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinical Certification Program. Students receive limited recognition to practice before the USPTO while they are enrolled in the clinic, allowing them to file and prosecute trademark and patent applications on behalf of clinic clients. Students also provide advice on copyright matters and assist with filing copyright registrations; they help clients formulate a strategy for protecting trade secret and other confidential information; they draft intellectual property licenses, nondisclosure agreements, and other contracts; and they provide assistance with business entity selection and formation.
Through a collaborative relationship with the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (“Mtech”), the IP Clinic has offices in the Technology Advancement Program (TAP) Incubator on the campus of the University of Maryland at College Park. Our close relationship with the School of Engineering and Mtech’s TAP Incubator ensures that students are exposed to the excitement of the startup community and cutting edge technologies from Maryland.
Check back soon for an exciting announcement about our plans to expand the IP Clinic in Spring 2018!
Maryland Carey Law faculty members are leading experts in intellectual property, privacy law, and other information-law fields.
Our faculty members are active in national and international debates about the development of intellectual property laws and how society should respond to the ongoing information revolution and rapid technological change. They testify before Congress, publish op-eds and white papers, file amicus briefs in major cases, speak to audiences of all shapes and sizes, and blog prolifically to promote public understanding of important issues. Many of our adjunct professors are actively engaged in the practice of intellectual property law. For more information on their work, see the complete list of affiliated faculty.
IP Students enjoy numerous opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities designed to enhance their academic experiences and introduce them to the legal profession.
In addition to our J.D. Program, the IP Program offers opportunities for students interested in pursuing other advanced degrees. The LL.M. Program provides advanced legal education for foreign-trained lawyers seeking broad exposure to U.S. law, as well as American attorneys who want to develop specific expertise in intellectual property law.
Our M.S.L. Program is designed for non-lawyers whose professional careers will be enhanced by a deeper understanding of relevant laws and regulations. The Patent Law Specialization is particularly well suited to engineers and scientists, technology transfer officers, and business managers who work with patent attorneys and the patent laws. All courses are held at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Current and prospective students with questions about the IP Program should consult with its Director, Professor Patricia Campbell.
Potential clients of the Intellectual Property Law Clinic and the Maryland Intellectual Property Legal Resource Center should complete the intake form.