Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic - Trademark & Copyright

Students in the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic (“IP & Entrep.”) will explore intellectual property needs with clients and will assist them in building various aspects of an IP portfolio and related business matters. The clinic meets weekly in a class seminar, jointly taught by three instructors who have expertise in patent, trademark and copyright, and business law. While all students are combined in one class, upon enrollment students should select a particular specialty track for the clinic, which will determine the primary nature of the legal work assigned to them in the clinic. The three specialty tracks, described below, consist of: Business (3 students); Trademark & Copyright (4 students) and Patent (4 students).

Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic – Patent Specialization

Students in the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic (“IP & Entrep.”) will explore intellectual property needs with clients and will assist them in building various aspects of an IP portfolio. Students who are enrolled in the Patent Specialization will perform patentability searches and draft patentability opinions relating to the scope of protection a client might be able to receive if it filed a patent application. In appropriate situations, the student may then be asked to prepare and file provisional and non-provisional utility patent applications and design patent applications. The clinic participates in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinic Certification Program, giving students limited recognition to practice before the office for purposes of filing and prosecuting patent applications while they are in the clinic, working under the supervision of a registered patent attorney.

In order to qualify for the USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Program for Patents, a student must satisfy the technical qualifications required to sit for the Patent Bar Exam, although there is no requirement that a student actually take that exam in order to participate in the clinic. This generally means that a student must have an undergraduate degree in engineering or the hard sciences. In some instances, a student who has taken a substantial number of science and/or engineering courses, but who did not obtain a degree in one of those disciplines, may qualify for the Patent Clinic. Students should be prepared to produce college transcripts documenting their degrees; in some cases, course descriptions may also be requested. Further information may be found in the USPTO’s General Requirements Bulletin (pages 3 through 5), available at https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/OED_GRB.pdf. Students with questions about whether they may satisfy these requirements should contact Professor Edward Yee, the supervisor of the Patent Program.

Students in the Patent Specialization may also have an opportunity to assist with other intellectual property and business law matters being handled by the clinic, such as trademark clearance and registration, copyright registration, preparing a nondisclosure agreement or licensing agreement, or creating a new business entity. However, students should expect that the majority of their assignments will involve patent-related matters.

The clinic includes a “classroom” component, consisting of weekly two-hour meetings at the Law School. During these meetings, students receive instruction on practical topics such as how to conduct a trademark clearance search, how to prepare a patent application, how to create a new business entity, and how to draft a nondisclosure agreement. Students may also occasionally be asked to brief classmates on their projects and discuss strategy and work plans, as well as ethical challenges they are facing in their client representations.

P: Intellectual Property Law Survey (May be waived with written permission from the instructor, where the student has taken multiple IP courses but has not taken the IP Survey)

Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic – Trademark and Copyright Specialization

Students in the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic (“IP & Entrep.”) will explore intellectual property needs with clients and will assist them in building various aspects of an IP portfolio. Students enrolled in the Trademark and Copyright Specialization will conduct trademark clearance searches, prepare written clearance opinions, and file trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). In addition, students consult with clients on copyright issues and file copyright registrations with the U.S. Copyright Office. On occasion, they may also be asked to counsel clients on protection of confidential and trade secret information, to draft nondisclosure agreements and IP licenses, and to assist with the formation of new business entities.

The clinic participates in the USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Program for Trademarks, giving students limited recognition to practice before the office for purposes of filing and prosecuting trademark applications while they are in the clinic and working under the supervision of a trademark attorney. All students are eligible to participate in the Trademark Specialization provided that they have completed their first year of law school, are in good standing, and meet the course pre-requisites. Unlike the Patent Specialization, there is no requirement that a student have a technical background in order to participate in the Trademark and Copyright Specialization.

The clinic includes a “classroom” component, consisting of weekly two-hour meetings at the Law School. During these meetings, students receive instruction on practical topics such as how to conduct a trademark clearance search, how to prepare a patent application, how to create a new business entity, and how to draft a nondisclosure agreement. Students may also occasionally be asked to brief classmates on their projects and discuss strategy and work plans, as well as ethical challenges they are facing in their client representations.

P: Intellectual Property Law Survey (May be waived with written permission from the instructor, where the student has taken multiple IP courses but has not taken the IP Survey)

Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic – Business Law Specialization

Students in the Business Law Specialization of the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic (“IP & Entrep.”) will assist aspiring entrepreneurs with creating new businesses and managing the day-to-day legal needs of those new companies. Students will provide counseling on business entity selection and formation and will then prepare the necessary charter documents (e.g., articles of incorporation or articles of organization, bylaws, operating agreement). Students may provide assistance with shareholder and stock option agreements, obtaining business permits, and drafting and reviewing various operational agreements (e.g., service contracts, manufacturing agreements, employment agreements, strategic partnerships). Students may also offer counseling on tax implications of various actions and could potentially assist with obtaining non-profit or benefit status.

The clinic participates in the USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Program for Trademarks, giving students limited recognition to practice before the office for purposes of filing and prosecuting trademark applications while they are in the clinic and working under the supervision of a trademark attorney. All students are eligible to participate in the Trademark Specialization provided that they have completed their first year of law school, are in good standing, and meet the course pre-requisites. As a result, a student enrolled in the Business Law Specialization may also have some limited opportunity to assist with a trademark clearance search and/or a trademark application. However, students should expect that the majority of their time will be devoted to business law matters.

The clinic includes a “classroom” component, consisting of weekly two-hour meetings at the Law School. During these meetings, students receive instruction on practical topics such as how to create a new business entity and how to draft a nondisclosure agreement. They will also join their colleagues in IPEC in receiving instruction on intellectual property related tasks such as how to conduct a trademark clearance search and how to prepare a patent application. Students may also occasionally be asked to brief classmates on their projects and discuss strategy and work plans, as well as ethical challenges they are facing in their client representations.

P: Foundations of Business Law and/or Business Associations. Students are encouraged to take the Intellectual Property Law Survey, but it is not required.

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course