Access to Legal Services
Subject to staffing limitations and other priorities, emerging companies and small businesses may be eligible to receive legal services from the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic (“IPEC”). Applicants should note that preference is given to entrepreneurs and businesses located in the state of Maryland. 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 Carey 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 patentability searches. Applicants should understand that 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, filing and prosecution of patent applications, including provisional and “nonprovisional” (i.e., utility) applications.
- 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 assistance with forming a Maryland limited liability company or simple corporation.
IPEC does not conduct any litigation, and it does not represent clients in matters before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. In addition, IPEC will not provide opinions on the infringement or invalidity of a patent. Prospective clients seeking these types of services should consult with a law firm.
IPEC seeks to provide guidance and direction on when and how companies can make efficient use of outside counsel. Upon request, the clinic can provide referrals to area law firms.