Intellectual Property Law Track

The Intellectual Property Law Program at Maryland Carey Law offers an IP Track for students committed to pursuing careers as intellectual property attorneys. The IP curriculum at Maryland spans the four major areas of intellectual property law: patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets. Students on the IP Track will be required to take several core doctrinal courses exploring each of these areas of the law. They will gain valuable practical training by working in the Intellectual Property Law Clinic, where they will provide real legal services to entrepreneurial clients from Maryland and the DC metropolitan area, or in an IP externship. Finally, students will have the opportunity to tailor the IP Track to their own personal interests by participating in elective courses focused on advanced IP topics.

Upon graduation, each student who has completed the IP Track will receive a letter from the program director describing the requirements for the Track, how the student successfully fulfilled those requirements, and why he or she is particularly well-suited for a career as an intellectual property attorney.

The Intellectual Property Law Clinic/Externship Requirement

In addition to completing the core courses, students on the IP Track must complete at least one semester in the Intellectual Property Law Clinic or in an approved IP-related externship. The IP Clinic is based at Maryland Carey Law in Baltimore. It also maintains an office at the University of Maryland, College Park, in the Technology Advancement Program (TAP) Incubator operated by the A. James Clark School of Engineering and its Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech).

Working under the supervision of experienced faculty members, clinic students provide free legal assistance to high tech startup companies, entrepreneurs and small businesses. The IP Clinic participates in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinical Certification Program for both patents and trademarks, allowing students to file and prosecute patent and trademark applications while they are enrolled in the clinic. Students may also have an opportunity to work on projects involving copyright or trade secret issues, to draft license agreements and other IP-focused contracts, and to assist with the formation of a business entity.

The IP Clinic is offered in both the fall and spring semesters for 5 credits. Students also have the option of enrolling in the clinic for an entire year for 4 credits per semester. Please note that the Intellectual Property Law Survey course is a prerequisite for the IP Clinic and is offered in the fall semester only (the prerequisite can be waived by the Clinic Director for students who have taken multiple other IP courses but were not able to take the Intellectual Property Law Survey).

Students wishing to fulfill the experiential requirement through an externship must receive approval in advance. In the past, students have worked in externships at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the United States Copyright Office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the technology transfer offices of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and other local universities. Other IP-related externships will also be considered. Students are responsible for locating their own externship opportunities. Students in externships are required to participate in the Intellectual Property Law Workshop, a two-hour weekly class meeting at the law school.

At the discretion of the IP Program director, the IP Clinic/Externship requirement may be waived for students with significant practical intellectual property experience (e.g., a student who has worked as a patent examiner).

Joining the IP Track

Any student who would like to participate in the Intellectual Property Law Track should submit a request to join the “IP Law Track” course on Blackboard, preferably by November 1 in the fall semester or April 1 in the spring semester. Those enrolled in the Blackboard course are under no obligation to complete the IP Track, but registration gets enrollees on the listserv for information about any Track info sessions or special opportunities available only to IP Law Track students. Students will formally elect the IP Law Track upon completing all of the requirements and requesting a Letter of Completion during the semester they intend to graduate.

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Students on the IP Track are encouraged to adopt the following schedule:

Fall Second Year
  • Intellectual Property Law Survey (3 credits)
  • Trademarks and Unfair Competition (3 credits) or Copyright Law (3 credits)
Spring Second Year
  • Patent Law (3 credits)
  • Intellectual Property Law Clinic/Externship (5 credits) or Trade Secrets (2 credits) and IP Electives
Fall Third Year
  • Intellectual Property Law Clinic/Externship (5 credits) orIP Electives
  • Trademarks and Unfair Competition (3 credits) or Copyright Law (3 credits)
Spring Third Year
  • Trade Secrets (2 credits) if not taken previously
  • IP Electives