Intellectual Property, Technology & Innovation Law

The School of Law is transitioning its longstanding Intellectual Property & Technology Law Certificate Program into a new Intellectual Property & Innovation Law Area of Concentration:

  • Students who were admitted with the Class of 2017 or earlier classes can choose to pursue either the Certificate or the Area of Concentration. Whichever choice a student makes, the student must register for, and complete the requirements of, the chosen program in order to have completion of that program reflected on their transcripts.
  • Students who are admitted with the Class of 2018 or later classes may only enroll in the Area of Concentration.

Using the menu on the left, students can navigate to descriptions of each of these programs, including their differing sets of requirements. For students admitted with the Class of 2017 or earlier classes, we have also included a useful table comparing the requirements of the two programs to aid them in choosing between the programs. As indicated in the table, the Area of Concentration will require a minimum of 14 credits. The Certificate Program requires a minimum of 22 credits.  Below are additional details, too.

The Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Area of 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.

The Certificate Program in Intellectual Property and Technology Law is intended to provide students with a basic grounding in the field of intellectual property law, relevant clinical and/or other practical experience, and more in- depth study of advanced topics in intellectual property law and in related areas of law and legal practice involving technology-driven issues and clients.

We have also included a useful table comparing the requirements of the two programs to aid in choosing between the programs. Click here to view this side-by-side comparison between the Concentration and the Certificate Requirements.

Concentration Requirements

Foundational Courses (2 courses totaling 5-6 credits required)

Intellectual Property Law
Copyright Law 
Patent Law
Trademark Law

Elective Courses (5-6 credits required)

Artificial Intelligence and the Law Seminar
Biotechnology Law
Business Planning, Entrepreneurship & Technology
Copyright Law
Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulation
Cyberspace and the Law
Foundations of Intellectual Property Seminar
International Intellectual Property Law
Law and Economics
Law and Entrepreneurship
Patent Law
Telecommunications Law
Food & Drug Law
Trademark Law 
Trade Secrets Law

Skills Component (4-6 credits required)

Commercializing New Technologies
Intellectual Property Licensing
Law, Entertainment and Social Enterprise Practicum
Patent Law Practice
Patent Litigation
Trademark Law Practice
Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition
Cardozo/BMI Moot Court Competition
Externships with government agencies or other organizations that focus on intellectual property and/or technology law, practice, and/or policy
Semester in DC externship with a focus on intellectual property and/or technology law, practice, and/or policy.

Certificate Requirements

Required courses (3 of 4 courses totaling 8-9 credits required)

Intellectual Property
Copyright Law
Patent Law
Trademark Law

Electives Courses in intellectual property and/or law and technology (5 credits)

The Law of Art and Culture
Biomedical Technology Law
Biotechnology Law
Business Planning, Entrepreneurship & Technology
Business Law of Medical Technology
Commercializing New Technologies
Computer, Internet, and Electronic Commerce Law
Cyberspace and the Law
Food and Drug Law
Intellectual Property Licensing
International Intellectual Property Law
Liberty and Security in the Age of Information and the War on Terror (Taught at GSPIA)
Research in Intellectual Property Law
Telecommunications Law
Food & Drug Law
Trade Secrets Law
Trademark Law Practice
Non-law courses approved by the Director on a case-by-case basis

Elective Courses in related law (5 credits required)

Antitrust
Antitrust Law Seminar
Administrative Law
Advanced Bankruptcy
Agency and Partnership
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy Seminar
Business Organizations
Commercial Transactions
Comparative Commercial Law
Constitutional Law—First Amendment
Corporate Finance
Corporations
Enterprise Organization and Finance
Federal Courts and Federal Litigation
International Business Transactions
International Sales Seminar
International Trade Law
Media Law
Negotiating Commercial and Business Transactions
Neteracy for Lawyers
Sales
Secured Transactions
Securities Regulation
The Law of Professional Sports
Transnational Litigation

Writing Requirement (2 credits required)

Foundations of Intellectual Property Seminar
Advanced Topics in Patent Law Seminar
Antitrust Seminar
Artificial Intelligence and the Law Seminar
Intellectual Property and Fair Use Seminar
Information Law and Policy Seminar
Information Privacy Law Seminar
International Intellectual Property Law
Law and Economics Seminar
Legal History:  The Technology of Law Seminar
New Reproductive Practices Seminar
Semester in DC Seminar paper (Must be on a topic related to IP and/or law and technology and approved by IP Certificate Director)
Seminar paper in another seminar (Must be on a topic related to IP and/or law and technology and approved by IP Certificate Director)
Faculty Supervised Independent Study (Topic must be approved by the IP Certificate Director)

Practice-Oriented Courses (2 credits)

Intellectual Property Licensing
Patent Law Practice
Patent Litigation
Trade Secret Law
Trademark Law Practice
Externships with gov’t agencies or other organizations with a focus on IP and/or technology law and policy
Semester in DC Externship with a focus on IP and/or technology law and policy
External Moot Courts
 

Full-Time Faculty

Prof. Kevin Ashley
Professor Ashley teaches Intellectual Property, Cyberspace and Law, and the Artificial Intelligence and Law Seminar

Prof. Michael Madison
Professor Madison teaches Copyright Law, Trademark Law, and the Foundations of Intellectual Property Seminar

Prof. David Thaw
Professor Thaw teaches Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulation

Adjunct Faculty

Prof. Rodney Akers, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of General Counsel

Prof. Akers teaches Telecommunications Law

Prof. Lynn Alstadt, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Pittsburgh, PA

Professor Alstadt teaches Patent Law Practice

Prof. C. Allen Black, Jr., Pepper Hamilton, Pittsburgh, PA
Professor Black teaches Biotechnology Law

Prof. Daniel H. Brean, the Webb Law Firm, Pittsburgh PA
Professor Brean teaches Patent Law

Prof. Stephanie Dangel teaches Law, Entertainment & Social Enterprise

Prof. John McIlvaine, the Webb Law Firm, Pittsburgh, PA
Professor McIlvaine teaches Patent Litigation

Prof. Linda Pingitore, PPG Industries
Professor Pingitore teaches Trade Secrets Law

Prof. J. Matthew Pritchard, the Webb Law Firm, Pittsburgh PA
Professor Pritchard teaches Trademark Law Practice

Prof. Peter Watt-Morse, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Pittsburgh, PA
Professor Watt-Morse teaches Intellectual Property Licensing

Moot Court Advisors

Pitt's IP moot court teams are advised by Professor Alstadt and by Richard Rinaldo, Esq. of Williams Coulson and David Oberdick, Esq. of Meyer, Unkovic & Scott.

Courses in Intellectual Property Law

  • Copyright Law
  • Foundations of Intellectual Property Law Seminar
  • Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual Property Licensing
  • International Intellectual Property Law
  • Patent Law
  • Patent Law Practice
  • Patent Litigation
  • Trademark Law
  • Trademark Law Practice
  • Trade Secrets Law

Courses in Technology Law

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Law
  • Biotechnology Law
  • Business Planning, Entrepreneurship, and Technology
  • Cyberspace and Law
  • Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulation
  • Information Law
  • Telecommunications Law

Other Innovation Law Courses

  • Commercializing New Technologies
  • Food and Drug Law
  • Law and Economics
  • Law, Entertainment and Social Enterprise Practicum
  • Law and Entrepreneurship

For descriptions of the above courses, please see the Registrar's page.

Pitt Law competes annually in two interscholastic intellectual property-related moot court competitions: the Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and the Cardozo/BMI Entertainment and Communications Law Moot Court Competition, which takes place at Cardozo Law School in New York City.

Teams for both competitions are selected in the Fall in internal tryouts and are advised throughout the academic year by full-time Pitt Law faculty and experienced practitioners from the Pittsburgh intellectual property bar. Completion of the full competition entitles each team member to academic credit.

The Pitt Law Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA) welcomes students interested in the dynamic field of intellectual property law, including copyright, patent, and trademark law.   SIPLA hosts speakers and discussions, mentors students, and connects students with practicing attorneys, academics, and faculty in the intellectual property field.

Click here to view the SIPLA website.

Samuelson/Glushko Fellowship

“The Samuelson/Glushko Fellowship and the Semester in D.C. Program provided a wonderful platform for me to gain practical experience in the field of intellectual property law. In my externship with the Department of Justice, I worked alongside attorneys on a variety of intellectual property issues and observed cases in various stages of litigation.”

- Alan Leung, Pitt Law 2012

The Samuelson/Glushko Fellowship provides a $2,500 stipend for Semester in D.C. Program students who are working in intellectual property and technology law externships. The Samuelson/Glushko Fellowship is funded by a gift from Professor Pamela Samuelson of the University of California-Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and her husband, Dr. Robert J. Glushko, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Professor Samuelson is a former member of the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

The 2011 Samuelson/Glushko Fellow, Alan Leung ’12, worked in the IP Section of the Department of Justice Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch. Alan’s seminar paper for the Semester in D.C. Program was selected as the second place winner of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s 2012 Intellectual Property Law Section Annual Writing Competition and will be published. Alan is now a patent agent at a Washington-area IP law firm, Oblon Spivak McClelland Maier and Neustadt, L.L.P.

As Alan’s experience suggests, a semester-long externship is an excellent entrée into the Washington legal market, but its value is not limited to the Washington area. Gaining experience in a federal agency or on the Hill, or working for some of the well-known non-profits engaged in lobbying and policy-making in Washington provides you with an impressive credential that will be valued anywhere in the country. Your Semester in D.C. Program seminar paper can serve as an opportunity for publication, which provides an impressive writing sample for any employer.

Applying for the Samuelson/Glushko Fellowship is easy. When you obtain an intellectual property or technology law externship that meets the SDC Program requirements, you qualify. Simply contact Prof. Elena Baylis with confirmation of your externship and its focus on IP or tech law

For more information about the Samuelson/Glushko Fellowship, or to learn more about the Semester in D.C. Program, contact Prof. Baylis at pittindc@pitt.edu or visit the website at Semester in D.C.