Intellectual Property Law

General

Program Description

"Intellectual property law" encompasses patents, copyrights, and trademarks as its core subjects, along with specialized bodies of law for designs, plants, and geographical indications, among other things. "Innovation law” is meant to deal broadly with IP issues and with related business law, employment law, technology law, trade law, and free speech law questions–among many others–for individuals, firms, and governments in the arts, entertainment, privacy and security, software and computer networks, life sciences, and technology development and commercialization.  These related fields are among the most exciting and challenging areas of contemporary law practice. Pitt Law today is building on its distinguished tradition of scholarship and teaching in these disciplines.

The Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Concentration is designed to allow students to obtain a focused introduction to these bodies of law and practice while simultaneously getting a broad grounding in modern law practice generally.  No scientific or technical background is required to pursue the Area of Concentration or to practice law in any of the related fields, though students who wish to practice law as a patent prosecutor do need to have an engineering degree or other, similar technical qualification.

Students may pursue this concentration by taking foundational courses in intellectual property law, 5-6 credits of electives, and 4-6 skills-based credits.

It is expected that students who complete the Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Concentration will learn substantive and procedural law in various areas of intellectual property law and related law concerning law and technology, and law and business, and will acquire the ability to apply their subject-matter expertise in experiential settings such as externships, practicums, advocacy programs, and classroom simulations.

Many of the courses included in the design of the Area of Concentration are taught by and/or are aligned in their content and teaching goals with faculty associated with Pitt Law’s Innovation Practice Institute (IPI).  The IPI itself is not a curricular program and does not offer any courses for credit, certification, or degrees.  Instead, the course-related and academic goals of the IPI, which are to prepare new law graduates to work with innovation industries and to be innovative lawyers, are expressed in the classroom through this Area of Concentration.  In addition, the IPI offers a broad range of extracurricular programming for law students and facilitates student placement in local technology-related and entrepreneurship-related internships and externships.

Last updated Aug 2020

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One of the Nation's Great Universities The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university, founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. Pitt is a member of the Association of American U ... Read More

One of the Nation's Great Universities The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university, founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 63 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America. Pitt students, alumni, and faculty members have won Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, Rhodes Scholarships, and NCAA championships, among many other honors. Pitt researchers led by Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine in 1955 Read less