School of Law News
USD School of Law Launches New Intellectual Property Clinic
SAN DIEGO (August 31, 2012)—Today, the University of San Diego School of Law launched a new Intellectual Property (IP) Law Clinic. The clinic gives students the opportunity to provide free legal services while gaining real-world experience. Working under the supervision of a local law firm, IP Clinic students provide legal services to San Diego companies on a variety of intellectual property issues including trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets.
“Our IP program teaches students how IP rights work as part of business models, in addition to teaching them IP law,” said CIPLM Director and Lyle L. Jones Professor of Competition and Innovation Law David McGowan. “Our new clinic adds a hands-on element to this education, from which both students and companies will benefit.”
Clients participating in the IP Clinic range from San Diego-based small business owners and new start-ups, to seasoned entrepreneurs and even university professors who want to protect their intellectual property. Clients must demonstrate financial need and present an intellectual property issue that is meritorious.
The type of work students provide varies from filing trademark applications and replying to responses, registering copyrights and conducting prior art searches with respect to patents. Students gain experience with demand letters and responses, as well as litigation. Other clients may need a global intellectual property evaluation for new businesses (i.e., what do I do in order to protect my intellectual property rights?).
The IP Clinic program is led by USD School of Law Professor Ted Sichelman, who also heads the law school’s Tech Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, and USD School of Law Adjunct Professor Dana Robinson, a practicing San Diego IP attorney with deep entrepreneurial roots. Both clinics work in conjunction with the law school's Center for Intellectual Property Law and Markets. Led by McGowan, this center trains students in the fundamentals of intellectual property laws and in the ways clients use intellectual property (IP) rights to compete in real-world markets. USD’s focus on the role of IP rights in markets distinguishes it from other, more traditional IP centers.
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