Clinical Programs

Intellectual Property Clinic

Innovation drives our economy and lawyers experienced with leveraging intellectual property and technology assets are in high demand.

The Intellectual Property Clinic offers a rare opportunity to work with clients involved with developing new products and businesses. Under the supervision of intellectual property lawyers at the Center for Law & Innovation (Center), students work directly with independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and research scientists engaged in technology transfer. The Clinic is overseen by the Center, whose director is a law professor and intellectual property attorney. Also operating within the Center is the Maine Patent Program (Program), through which clinic clients seek services. The Program is itself directed by a patent attorney and technology transfer expert and employs an additional patent attorney and registered patent agent. Students enrolled in the Intellectual Property Clinic work under the supervision of the Center and Program directors as they assist the innovators of Maine.

The Center and Program are staffed with a professional administrative manager and an administrative assistant. Each student is assigned a workstation and computer, and has full access to the Center's ample office facilities and resources.

A wide variety of projects exist for acquiring practical skills. Students typically review innovation disclosures for patentability and write opinion letters based on their results. They will frequently determine whether trademarks qualify for protection and are available for registration, and counsel clients on how to proceed. In the case of university clients, students may assist with drafting a patent application, registering a copyright, applying for a trademark, or working on a licensing agreement.

One need not have a science and technology background to benefit from this clinical opportunity. But for those students who have majored in engineering, biology, computer science, chemistry or related field, intellectual property law is an ideal avenue for their legal careers as it richly integrates science and law.

The 6-credit Intellectual Property Clinic is available to second-or third-year students who have completed at least an introductory course in intellectual property law. Completion of or enrollment in Patent Law is highly recommended. The Clinic is offered both fall and spring semesters and during summer session.

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