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Intellectual Property

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Intellectual property lawyers play an essential role in protecting creators and inventors, from the mobile tech innovators in Silicon Valley to the authors who fuel the New York publishing industry.

Program Overview

Modern digital and mobile technologies have added a new dimension of legal challenges to exciting areas such as entertainment and Internet law. Our intellectual property concentration explores the key issues related to patents, trademarks, copyrighting and trade secrets.

You’ll develop a firm grounding in a variety of fields that intellectual property law affects by taking courses on topics such as computer and Internet law, patent litigation, sports law and entertainment law. You can participate in an externship in a law firm or corporate legal department to do the intellectual property work that lawyers do, protecting the creativity of artists, musicians, and inventors. And in your courses or on a journal, you can write extensively on specific areas relating to your career interests.

You can take advantage of Connecticut’s extensive base of biomedical research and pharmaceutical firms, which are fertile sectors for lawyers who specialize in patent law. Through such an externship placement, you can study patent law in a hands-on manner; you will be contributing to society by helping clients develop patents claiming inventions intended to solve health, hunger, and technology issues.

Curriculum and Requirements

Concentration Prerequisites

To be eligible for the intellectual property concentration, a student must take Administrative Law as one of the core electives. Credits for this course do not count toward the 18-credit concentration requirement, but the grade in this prerequisite does count toward the concentration GPA requirement.

Concentration Requirements

To receive the certificate for this concentration, a student must earn 18 intellectual property specialty credits, divided as follows:

Required Course Work
At least 15 of the 18 credits must be earned from the following list of basic intellectual property courses. Credits for these courses will count toward the 18-credit concentration requirement.

  • Intellectual Property (this course is required) (3-4 credits)
  • Patent Law (2 credits)
  • Patent Litigation (2 credits)
  • Advanced Patents (2 credits)
  • Communications Law (2-3 credits)
  • Computer and Internet Law (2-3 credits)
  • Licensing of Intellectual Property (2-3 credits)
  • Entertainment Law (2 credits)
  • Sports Law (2 credits)
  • Unfair Trade Practices (2-3 credits)
  • Franchise Law (2-3 credits)
  • Externship with intellectual property emphasis (up to 6 credits with written approval by director of concentration program)
  • Independent Research with intellectual property emphasis (with written approval by director of concentration program and supervising professor)

Remaining Credits
The balance of the credits, if any, may be earned from the following courses that are related to intellectual property or from other required courses listed above (not all of theses courses are offered every year).

  • Antitrust (3 credits)
  • Law, Science & Technology (3 credits)
  • International Trade (3 credits)
  • International Business Transactions (3 credits)
  • Other course or journal work as approved by the director of the concentration program
  • Courses taken at other law schools or in summer programs (up to 5 credits with prior approval of the direction of the concentration program)

Writing Requirement
You must write a substantial paper — or a series of shorter writings that together comprise a substantial amount of written work — on a topic or topics related to intellectual property. (If the student writes a substantial paper, the student may use that paper to satisfy the law school's advanced writing requirement, provided that the student meets the guidelines for the advanced writing requirement as set forth in the academic catalog.) The topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the concentration director. A paper written for a journal may qualify if the topic is approved by the concentration director.

Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 or better in the course work used for the concentration will receive the certificate for the concentration with honors.

A student may designate any course or paper as not counting toward the concentration as long as it is not required for the concentration the concentration requirements are met with another course or paper.

The concentration director and the associate dean for academic affairs may waive any requirements for the concentration (other than the GPA requirement), if they both agree to do so.