Access to Legal Services
Subject to staffing limitations and other priorities, all tenants of the Montgomery County Business Innovation Network are eligible to receive legal services from the MIPLRC. Other Maryland businesses may also qualify to receive legal services, as determined in consultation with the MIPLRC Director. Companies interested in receiving assistance should submit the MIPLRC Intake Form.
Nature of Services Provided
All legal services are provided by students from the University of Maryland School of Law, working under the supervision of experienced faculty members and other practitioners. The types of services routinely provided by the Center include:
- General counseling on all areas of intellectual property law, including patent, trade secrets, copyrights, and trademarks and service marks. Students provide advice and education on issues such as the requirements for obtaining a patent; preparation of detailed invention disclosures; requirements for trademark and copyright registration; maintenance of trade secrets; keeping a laboratory notebook; domain name registration; impact of public disclosures; and obtaining foreign patent protection.
- Assisting in the preparation, filing and prosecution of trademark and service mark applications.
- Assisting in the preparation and filing of copyright registrations.
- Undertaking limited patent and prior art searches. These searches may be less thorough than those conducted by professional search firms or the United States Patent and Trademark Office due to limited resources and student experience.
- Assistance in the preparation of various agreements, such as nondisclosure agreements, employment and consulting agreements, and licenses.
- Providing basic counseling on business entity selection and formation.
In some instances, the Center may also agree to assist with the preparation of detailed invention disclosures, which could then form the basis of a provisional or nonprovisional patent application. However, these services will be provided only in partnership with outside counsel and only after reviewing the technology involved and the level of skills of the law students. The MIPLRC will not file or prosecute patent applications on behalf of its clients.
The MIPLRC will not provide opinions on the infringement or invalidity of a patent, and it will not conduct any litigation.
The MIPLRC provides guidance and direction on when and how companies can make efficient use of outside counsel. Upon request, the Center can provide referrals to area law firms.