Intellectual Property & Technology Law Concentration
The University of Minnesota Law School offers J.D. and LL.M. students a concentration in intellectual property and technology to help prepare them to practice in a wide range of areas in these fields. Nationally and internationally renowned faculty teach basic and advanced courses in the core doctrines of intellectual property (IP)—patent, copyright, trademark, and unfair competition—as well as complimentary legal topics such as international IP, privacy, biotechnology, neuroscience, and the First Amendment.
Top IP lawyers serve as adjunct professors, bringing their specialized expertise to the classroom and providing valuable mentoring and networking opportunities for students. Students can further immerse themselves in the fields through seminars, lectures, externships, student organizations, and interdisciplinary opportunities throughout the University of Minnesota.
Further questions should be referred to the faculty chair for the concentration in intellectual property and technology law:
- Wide variety of core and specialized courses and seminars on topics such as patent, copyright, trademark, unfair competition, and privacy
- Opportunities to do one-to-one independent research and writing projects with faculty members who specialize in IP and technology
- Internships with businesses, advocacy groups, government, and international organizations related to IP and technology policy and law
- Opportunities for networking and career advancement with alumni worldwide
Students in the concentration take three core IP courses (from among patent, copyright, trademark, and the IP survey course) and six additional credits related to IP and technology. The extensive list of approved elective law courses includes such offerings as multiple advanced patent classes, privacy law, food and drug law, IP transactions, antitrust and IP, IP and climate change, and multiple classes focused on particular technologies or industries. There are also specialized courses throughout the university in areas such as science, public policy, business, or computer science.
Students may participate in the Law School's Intellectual Property Moot Court team or Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, & Technology. Students frequently write on topics related to IP and technology for other journals including the Minnesota Law Review; Minnesota Journal of International Law; and Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice.
The Minnesota economy depends greatly on intellectual property and technology. Major Twin Cities employers include technology companies with huge patent portfolios and consumer-facing retailers with large numbers of trademarks. The District of Minnesota is among the top 10 jurisdictions for patent cases in the last decade, handling more cases than the federal courts based in either Boston or Los Angeles. This vibrant IP and technology sector offers students opportunities for part-time work during the school year and full-time summer employment. Prospective employers from around the country come to the Law School to interview students for summer and permanent positions. The Law School provides regular notice of employment opportunities, fellowships, and other scholarly opportunities.
The Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA) offers programming designed to supplement the Law School’s curriculum by applying lessons learned in the classroom to a variety of practice areas. SIPLA invites practicing lawyers, faculty members, and entrepreneurs to speak to students and discuss cutting-edge legal and technological issues.