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.
Foundational Courses (2 courses totaling 5-6 credits required)
Elective Courses (5-6 credits required)
Skills Component (4-6 credits required)
Required courses (3 of 4 courses totaling 8-9 credits required)
Electives Courses in intellectual property and/or law and technology (5 credits)
Elective Courses in related law (5 credits required)
Writing Requirement (2 credits required)
Practice-Oriented Courses (2 credits)
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
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
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.
“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