Top Intellectual Property Law Schools

Intellectual property law deals with the rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to of intangible assets like inventions, designs, and artistic works. The purpose of these laws is to give an incentive for people to come up with ideas that can benefit society by ensuring they can profit from their works and protect them from others.

There are two general categories of intellectual property: industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source, and copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works and architectural designs.

Intellectual property lawyers always have work to do. Industrial property is constantly updated with the latest technologies and each advancement produces a patent that needs to be protected. Copyright law has boomed in the last decade with media and art shifting to a digital, online medium where copyright laws get blurry.

Interested in learning how to protect ideas and inventions to encourage further progress in many industries. Here is a list of schools with some of the best intellectual law programs in the country.

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University of California at Berkeley Law School

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The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology is the hub of the intellectual property study at the Law School. In addition to facilitating research in the field, the Center offers many courses on law and technology. Berkeley Law also offers students the opportunity to get hands-on, real-world experience working with intellectual property through the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic.

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Stanford University

Supported by its own Intellectual Property Association, Stanford Law’s program in intellectual property is extensive and prominent. In addition to specific courses in patents and the different types of copyright, students can develop their skills by advocating on behalf of real clients through The Juelsgaard Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinic. Students participating in the clinic have recently written amicus briefs to the Supreme Court and a policy paper on behalf of tech startups advocating for net neutrality at the FCC. 

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At NYU Law, the intellectual property curriculum begins with introductory courses in patents, copyrights, and trademarks, and from there students select from many courses to concentrate on a particular type of intellectual property law.

In addition to traditional intellectual property classes, NYU offers courses in antitrust law and competition policy in both US and European legal systems. Outside of class, students can explore IP law through the student run Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society or contribute to the NYU Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law.

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Santa Clara University Law School

Santa Clara Law’s High Tech Law Institute brings together a large dedicated faculty, a broad range of courses, and a strategic location in Silicon Valley. Santa Clara’s Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA) holds interdisciplinary discussions about present and future IP situations in the Silicon Valley.The High Tech Law Journal discusses hot topics in IP around the world.

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University of Houston Law Center

Located in the nation’s fourth largest city home to international industries in computer, biomedical, and space technology, University of Houston Law Center’s Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law is “recognized throughout the world for the strength of its faculty, scholarship, curriculum, and students.”

It is the core of the Law Center’s intellectual property curriculum which offers courses in patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and information law. The Institute offers both a J.D. program and an LL.M. Program. 

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Boston University School of Law

The BU School of Law offers a flexible and expansive concentration in Intellectual property and more than twenty courses in the area. Copyright Law. Some unique courses include E-commerce & Business Law, Entertainment Law, Representing Life Sciences Companies, and Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law.

Outside of the classroom, law students have the opportunity to advise entrepreneurs seeking to establish or develop real IP-intensive businesses through the Entrepreneurship and IP Clinic.

Additionally, students can stay engaged with the IP community through the Intellectual Property Law Society or by writing for the Journal of Science & Technology Law.