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Intellectual Property Certificate

No area of law today is more dynamic than intellectual property law and Connecticut is at the epicenter of the emerging information economy. Located between Boston's Route 128 and New York's Silicon Alley, it is the home of many of the country's leading technology firms, including United Technologies, Xerox, and General Electric. Four major pharmaceutical companies, including the research facility for the world's largest pharmaceutical, and a cluster of other research institutions, create a robust presence for pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Connecticut is the first in the nation in the number of patents issued per capita. It is one of the top ten states in the country for the number of domain names registered. With such a variety of information economy industries; its strong tradition of Yankee ingenuity going back to the Industrial Revolution; and its location in the heart of New England, it is not surprising that Connecticut has recently been ranked one of the five leading states in preparing for the new economy.

The Program in Intellectual Property at the University of Connecticut prepares students to participate in this new information economy. It draws upon the strength of the Law School as the leading public law school in the Northeast United States; the school's commitment to international law, financial services and insurance law; and New England's and Connecticut's significant place in the new economy.

There are two sets of certificate requirements:  one for JD students and one for LL.M. students.

J.D. Students

There is no application procedure for the certificate in Intellectual Property Law, though students are encouraged to announce their intention to seek the certificate early in their studies. Additionally, students are not required to begin taking their intellectual property courses in a certain point during their law study.  All J.D. candidates for the certificate in Intellectual Property must complete:

  • (15) credit hours of courses, including the introductory Intellectual Property course plus at least one regime class (see below) or, alternatively, two regime classes. Students will also be required to take an intellectual property seminar.
  • Students may include in the (15) credit hours one class from a list of adjacent field courses.
  • A supervised writing (which meets the Law School's upper-class writing requirement) project under the direction of a member of the Intellectual Property faculty or, alternatively, a supervised externship in intellectual property, with a significant writing component; or participation in the Intellectual Property Clinic.
LL.M. Students

There is no application procedure for the certificate in Intellectual Property Law, though students are encouraged to announce their intention to seek a certification at the beginning of their academic year. All LL.M. candidates for the certificate in Intellectual Property must complete:

  • 9 credit hours of intellectual property courses
  • Fulfill their writing requirement in an Intellectual Property course or an independent writing project on the subject.
  • Students must achieve a minimum of a B average in their certification courses and writing requirement in order to be awarded the certificate.

At the core of intellectual property are its traditional regimes: copyright, trademark, and patent, as well as trade secrets, moral rights for artists, and rights of publicity. 

  • Trade Secrets: protects concrete information of economic value which is the subject of reasonable efforts under the circumstances to maintain secrecy. This protection is most commonly provided under state law regimes, and does not require any formalities.
  • Trademark: provides for the protection of any word, symbol, or device adopted and used to identify goods and distinguish them from others. As established under the Federal Lanham Act, trademark protection may attach through use, although registration affords procedural and remedial advantages.
  • Rights of Publicity: grants an individual exclusive control over commercial use of his or her identity, including name, likeness, and performing style. These are protected as common law rights or through state statutes.
  • Copyright: grants holder exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, or license his or her work. These rights arise automatically when an original work is fixed in a concrete medium of expression. As defined under the amended Copyright Act of 1976, the scope of copyright protection is limited in time and through such additional limitations as fair use.
  • Patent: confers rights upon any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of nature. According to the Patent Act, a patent may be obtained only through filing a timely application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which will determine if the invention falls within the subject matter of patent, meets its three requirements-utility, novelty, and non-obviousness as a over the prior art, and includes an enabling description.

Clinic: Intellectual Property Clinic: Intellectual Property Students in this clinic represent individuals and small businesses in matters relating to intellectual property as well as business organization and planning. The clinic is part of the University of Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship, established by the state legislature in 2006 to "train the next generation of entrepreneurs in an experiential manner that would assist businesses in the state today." Students will receive intensive training in the relevant law and lawyering skills and will represent clients under the supervision of a full-time supervising attorney. Opportunities for collaboration with students and faculty from the University's School of Business may be presented. Some classes, and other activities, will take place off-campus at the Center for Entrepreneurship's offices in East Hartford. A scientific or engineering background may be helpful but is not required.  Check course catalog for course prerequisites.

Copyright in the Digital AgeThis seminar examines how the legal regulation of expression is shaped by the expansion of copyright's subject matter.  These include media constructed through such new technologies as digital platforms for electronic distribution of information, transdisciplinary visual art, and music sampling.  While the course considers new media, it also is intended to serve as an advanced copyright course for students seeking to pursue studies beyond the general intellectual property class.  The seminar will begin with a consideration of the conceptual basis for copyright, its historical development, and comparative law.  It will analyze legislative proposals and court decisions, policy arguments, and pose questions about copyright's relationship to participation of the public as informed citizens, privacy and access to markets.  Both seminar's deep probing of the underlying principles of copyright law and its focus on new digital media probes the broader question of how legal regulation is transformed in a period of rapid technological change.  Pre-requisites: Intellectual Property.

Copyright Seminar:  This course is an examination of the philosophical, psychological, and economic bases of the legal protection of intellectual and artistic works. Topics include the term and scope of protection, international protection, the relationship of copyright and the first amendment, the relationship of federal and state law in the protection of copyrighted material, and the impact of technological change such as developments in computer technology, record piracy, and photocopying.

Cyberlaw, Special Topics:  This course is a seminar providing intensive examination of a selected set of theoretical and/or practical issues concerning the rise of the global information network. Specific content varies, but there is s consistent focus on the interaction of legal developments and cultural change in this rapidly-developing field, as well as the important role academic scholarship can play in helping to shape public policy. Requirements include weekly 1-3 page reactions to the assigned readings, as well as a term paper on a topic mutually agreed upon between instructor and the student. The term paper may fulfill the Upperclass Writing Requirement. Please note that, because the course takes a cultural rather than technical approach to cyberspace issues, technical expertise or experience is not required.

Cybercrime:  This is a course that examines legal and policy aspects of computer and electronic crimes and related issues. The primary focus will be on modern "cybercrime", including the legal frameworks, prosecutorial tools/discretion, and other measures available for deterring, investigating, prosecuting and punishing criminal acts which leverage, target, or otherwise involve modern information systems. Topics will include "hacking," electronic surveillance, the Fourth Amendment and technology, digital forensics, cyberbullying, identity theft, electronic espionage, cyberterrorism, digital copyright and related issues, privacy, the era of "forced disclosure", and the challenge of cross-jurisdiction enforcement.

Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulation:  This seminar that explores emerging issues in the regulation of information technologies and the Internet, with a specific focus on cybersecurity and privacy regulation. Students will review and discuss the regulatory actions of the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, federal financial regulators, and other state and federal actors. Neither a technical background nor prior Cyberlaw experience is required, and appropriate background material will be included to facilitate student engagement.

Defamation, Privacy and Publicity:  This course examines the rights attaching to personality interests. To what extent do individuals have the right to control the reputational aspect of personality; to exercise freedom from public exposure, and to authorize commercial use of his or her identity? Beyond the increasingly important role that such rights play in an information society, the subject of this seminar provides a laboratory for looking at the way new rights are created and sustained. Are the rights discussed in the course grounded in the Constitution, common law, or statutory innovation? Defamation has its roots in the common law of slander, privacy rights are traced (in modern American law) to the search of Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis (1890) for a common law of privacy, and the rights of publicity emerged from a privacy tort to a vested property right of commercial exploitation of one's own likeness.

Entertainment Law:  This course explores many of the legal, business and policy issues which a lawyer encounters in music, film, television and sports industries. Some of the topics which the course covers are intellectual property issues in the entertainment industry; conflict of interest and other legal ethics issues; contractual rights and relations among entertainment industry workers in television, motion pictures, and recordings, including agency and management agreements; an analysis of the economic structure of the entertainment industry; basics of film and television practice including financing, production and distribution arrangements and agreements; and a survey of the various unions and guilds having jurisdiction over the various personnel in the entertainment industry, including the Writers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, American Federation of Musicians and Actors Equity.

Entertainment Law, Topics In: This course examines the role of the music industry lawyer within the broad area of law and practice known as 'entertainment law'. Entertainment law embraces a variety of subjects, including but not limited to business law, copyright, trademark, contracts, estate planning, real estate, and bankruptcy. This course focuses on the relationships between recording artists and their managers, agents, and record companies, and how lawyers interact with and advise these individuals and entities, as well as other players in the music industry. Key entertainment law cases are analyzed, as is the critical role of the music lawyer in licensing and protecting song copyrights. Assessment is based on a paper, short-form exam and simulated contract negotiation. Pre/co-requisite: Business Organizations (LAW 7605).

Food and Drug Law:  The Food and Drug Administration is the oldest federal regulatory agency. Its lineage can be traced back to 1848 when it was established as the Agricultural Division of the Patent Office. It has grown into one of the most important agencies of the federal government; products regulated by FDA account for approximately 25 cents of every dollar spent by US consumers. Its influence is pervasive, extending to standards for foods, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and even aspects of consumer products such as microwave ovens and color television sets. This seminar is intended to provide students with a grounding in the basic statutory and regulatory authorities under which FDA operates. Many of the issues to be discussed represent major current policy issues: drug approval standards, food safety regulation, regulation of biotechnology, advertising and promotion (including the tension between the First Amendment and constraints on manufacturer speech), dietary supplements, availability of AIDS and other drugs prior to approval, and FDA's involvement in both the intellectual property and scientific issues surrounding approval of generic drugs and biotech products. The course will require a written paper.

Global Intellectual Property PolicyThis two-credit class is designed to expose students not just to comparative and international intellectual property law, but also to students, attorneys, and intellectual property scholars from other countries as well as to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), the leading organization for establishing international intellectual property frameworks.  Students will meet as a regular seminar four times during the semester to acquire a basic understanding of this area of law.  Under the supervision of the professor, each student will write a paper of about fifteen pages.  From May 19 - 21st, students and faculty members from the Law School of the University of Connecticut and a select number of United States and foreign law schools will gather at WIPO headquarters in Geneva for a comprehensive meeting on Authors and Creators.  Students will present their research, and will receive comments from participants.  In addition, WIPO officials will conduct workshops. The seminar will examine a taxonomy of business strategies that authors and creators might rely upon to promote and secure their interest in a variety of sectors, including the music industry, visual arts, theater, book publishing, and digital arts technology.  Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, issues such as publicity rights, economic aspects of author's moral rights, the role of collecting societies, trademarks, best contractual practices for authors and creators, and comparative law.  Due to the special nature of this educational experience, all participating law schools are limited to one professor and four students.   This course does entail additional costs for travel.  However, the Law School will provide a limited subvention to offset these costs.  Instructor approval required for enrollment.

Information Governance:  Data is exploding.  Approximately 90% of the data in the world was created in the past three years. The sheer volume of data needed for the everyday operations of modern companies is staggering. When combined with the complex patchwork of overlapping, uncoordinated regulations, both domestic and international, that predate contemporary modes of data usage, properly implementing policies for data development, preservation, retention, and security emerges as an essential aspect of corporate governance in the modern era.  This course  examines the myriad connections implicated by this complex tapestry and how these advances have transformed most modern industries and the work of those who regulate and advise corporate entities.  This class will cover many issues around data governance, focusing on the implications for U.S.-based corporations, with a particular focus on two sectors: Finance (Banking) and Healthcare (Hospitals). Topics will include data retention and discovery, cybersecurity and privacy, and regulatory compliance.   The course will review existing domestic and international legal frameworks and regulations in the data retention realm (e.g., Dodd-Frank Act, Basel Accord, MiFiD II, Bank Secrecy Act, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, Sarbanes-Oxley, Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014), and in the cyber-security realm  (e.g., FTC, HIPAA, CLEA, GLB, Tallinn Manual, DoD, FFIEC IT Handbook, Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, the European Data Directive, the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act, Russia's Law on Data Protection and Law on Information).  Although the subject matter of this course involves technology, no background in technology is necessary for the class.

Introduction to Copyright:  This course explores how copyright has shaped our culture and how the legal underpinnings and emerging technology have shaped copyright.

Intellectual Property:  Intellectual property law is concerned with the legal regulation of mental products. It affects such diverse subjects as the visual and performing arts, new plant varieties,electronic databases, advertising, insulin producing bacteria, and video games. This course seeks to mix practice-directed material with public policy concerns. It will approach intellectual property as a regulatory system, balancing incentives to foster human creativity while at the same time seeking not to unduly restrict its diffusion. Since intellectual property is such a dynamic, rapidly changing area of law, many of the cases and statutes discussed are of quite recent vintage. In order for the course material not to become obsolete within just a few years, the organizing focus of the course is conceptual (upon the core doctrines of intellectual property and how they are interconnected) and upon directly confronting the question of legal change itself-how are intellectual property regimes evolving? What new judicial and legislative developments are in the works? And how should we respond?

Intellectual Property in the European Union: This course will analyze the past and present intellectual property policies of the Commission of the European Communities and the European Court of Justice. Topics for discussion may include the concept of international exhaustion, the problem of parallel imports, and European Union harmonization efforts in the area of intellectual property. Readings for discussion will be taken from Commission decisions, Court of Justice opinions and law review articles. An intellectual property course must be taken prior to or concurrently with this course. Also helpful, but not required is the basic European Community Law course.

Intellectual Property Policy:  This course will investigate the phenomenon of information flow: how information is created and disseminated, the legal incentives to create and protect information, and the public policy reasons for doing so.

Intellectual Property Practicum: This course is designed as kind of a laboratory parallel to the introductory Intellectual Property class.  Intended to supplement the conceptual proficiency developed in Intellectual Property, the Practicum will included training in practice skills such as drafting a confidentiality or non-compete-agreement, conducting a digital trademark search, filing domestic and international trademarks, IP tax counseling for international transfer of intangible assets, negotiating trademark licensing agreements, copyright registration, notice-and-takedown actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), patent landscaping software, and international patent (PCT) procedure.  Although the instructor will attend all sessions and be responsible for grading, practicing attorneys will be invited to co-teach individual sessions.  Enrollment is restricted to upperclass students simultaneously enrolled in Intellectual Property.

Law and Technology: Computers and the Law deals with selected issues involving the general question of how the new technology is affecting, and is affected by, the law and the legal system. Each student undertakes a substantial project on a topic mutually agreed upon by the instructor and the student, and is required to report on or critique projects prepared by others. These projects may include research papers or the preparation of computer-assisted materials. Research papers may fulfill the Upperclass Writing Requirement.

Law and Cultural Issues in Cyberspace:  This course deals with selected issues involving the general question of how the new technology is affecting, and is affected by, the law and the legal system. Each student undertakes a substantial project on a topic mutually agreed upon by the instructor and the student, and is required to report on or critique projects prepared by others. These projects may include research papers or the preparation of computer-assisted materials. Research papers may fulfill the Upperclass Writing Requirement.

Legal Regulation of Art and Public Culture Seminar:  This course focuses largely upon public law issues surrounding the legal regulation of art, assigning particular attention to the problem of balancing the interests of owners, visual and performance artists, and the public in creating a system of legal governance. Among the topics examined are the protection of art works through existing intellectual property regimes; obscenity, parody, and defamation; artists' moral and economic rights; museum board fiduciary responsibilities and deaccession; government funding for the arts; reparation of stolen art; cultural property and issues of cultural identity; and the challenge of new technologies for art law. International and comparative aspects of art law will be addressed. The seminar is neither an entertainment law course nor a survey of private art law practice.

Ownership and the Law of Arts and Antiquities Seminar:  This course explores the body of law that has developed around cultural property. Our focus will be on the recognition and reconciliation of competing ownership interests in cultural and artistic items. When disputes arise as to the ownership of a cultural object, or when an object is moved, sold or even threatened, the resolution process is usually both contentious and emotional. Many questions are raised: What makes an object special, or comparatively more special than another? Is there a single right answer to the question of where a given object belongs? What interests are to be served in the legal administration of cultural property? How do we evaluate duties to protect and restitute these items? What laws, market forces and institutional policies can be brought to bear on these issues?

Patent Law and Procedure:  This course looks at practice and procedure in preparation and prosecution of patent applications, including interferences, appeals, and patent conveyancing as well as the substantive law of patents, patent litigation, including patent antitrust problems, and license litigation.

Patent Litigation:  This seminar explores, in depth, the life cycle of a patent infringement action from a hands-on practical perspective. The course will cover how to conduct a pre-suit investigation, prepare a Complaint and select jurisdiction. The course will also cover how to prepare patent-specific written discovery and explore the different facets of fact and expert discovery, including document production, motion practice and depositions. A discussion of Markman proceedings and summary judgment will follow. The course culminates in a Markman Hearing based on a real-world patent and a hypothetical fact pattern. The Hearing will include briefing and oral argument. By practicing the actual mechanics of litigation, students will develop writing, analysis and oral advocacy skills. Prerequisite: Patent Law.

Trademark and Unfair Competition Law:  This course considers legal and policy problems in the law of trademarks through case analysis and examination of the Lanham Act. Topics include marks subject to protection, the federal registration process, likelihood of confusion, "palming off," and remedies. At the end of this seminar you should have acquired general knowledge about Trademark law and practice. To that end, the course will examine the case law in the required textbook and will also spend some portion of the time allotted in actual trademark practice--i.e., preparation of a trademark application, opinion work and responses to the Examiner.