Concentration in Intellectual Property Law

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Notre Dame Law School, through its Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law, offers a concentration in intellectual property law for students pursuing an LL.M. at Notre Dame. This concentration recognizes that students have completed a course of study focused on U.S. intellectual property law.

Practicalities and Deadlines

Students should communicate their interest in following this concentration as part of their application to the LL.M. program. At the start of the fall semester, enrolled students should meet with Professor Mark McKenna or Professor Steve Yelderman, faculty co-directors of the Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law, to discuss their interest and their course selections.

Requirements

Applicants may apply for either an introductory or advanced program of study. The introductory track, outlined in Section A below, is intended for international students (i.e., those who do not have a J.D. from an American law school). The advanced track, outlined in Section B below, is intended for domestic students (i.e., those who have a J.D. from an American law school) who wish to enhance their general education in intellectual property law and/or engage in specialized study of intellectual property law. No student in either track may take classes that are the same or substantially similar to courses taken in their J.D. or equivalent first degree.

A student must have earned the required number of credits in IP and technology law courses and have satisfied the writing and activity requirements. Externships and other experiential learning opportunities may count toward the credit requirement with approval from the program director.

Please note that requirements to sit for the bar exam differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Pursuing this concentration may not allow a student to enroll in the credits necessary to sit for a bar exam in a jurisdiction in the United States. Students are encouraged to evaluate how the requirements to sit for a bar in the United States fit with this concentration’s requirements in consultation with the Career Development Office, and to evaluate their course of study in this concentration in that light with Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Acting Director of International and Graduate Programs, as soon as possible after beginning the LL.M. at Notre Dame.

A. Introductory Track (International Students)

Students must complete at least 15 credit hours of courses from the Program on IP & Technology Law’s course list as detailed below, in addition to the two required courses for international students, Introduction to American Legal System and LL.M. Legal Research and Writing.

1. Complete 6 credits by selecting two of the following three Core Intellectual Property Law courses. In extraordinary circumstances, one of the core courses may be waived depending upon the similarity of courses students have taken as part of their J.D. studies abroad.

  • Copyright [3 credits]
  • Trademarks & Unfair Competition [3 credits]
  • Patent Law [3 credits]

2. Complete 9 credits from the following Advanced or Related Intellectual Property and Technology Law courses. In addition to the following courses listed below, a Core course taken over the 6 credits listed as a core course may count toward these 9 credits.

  • Information Privacy Law [2 or 3 credits]
  • Design Law* [3 credits and a Skills course]
  • Fashion Law [2 credits]
  • IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic I* [up to 5 credits and a Skills course]
  • Entertainment Law: Authors, Music & Artists [2 credits]
  • Licensing Transactions* [3 credits and a Skills course]
  • Trademark Prosecution* [2 credits and a Skills course]
  • Patent Drafting* [2 credits and a Skills course]
  • Patent Litigation [3 credits]
  • PTO Proceedings Post-AIA [2 credits]
  • Cybercrime Law [3 credits]
  • Cyberlaw Seminar [2 to 3 credits]
  • Cybersecurity and Data Protection [2 credits]
  • Antitrust Law [3 credits] or Global Antitrust Law [3 credits]
  • International Business Transactions [3 credits]
  • Trade Secrets and Unfair Practices [3 credits]
  • Freedom of Speech [3 credits]
  • Art and Cultural Heritage Law [2 credits]
  • Venture Capital Finance & IPOs [2 credits]

A student must also:

3. Satisfy a writing requirement by completing a substantial research paper of at least 10,000 words (including text and footnotes) on a topic in Intellectual Property or Technology Law, including Privacy Law. The writing requirement may be satisfied in conjunction with a course or as a 2-credit Directed Reading, which would be in addition to the 9 credit hour minimum detailed in Section 2 above.

4. Satisfy an activity requirement by attending two events sponsored by the Program on IP & Technology Law each semester. A list of exemplary Program events can be found at https://iptech.nd.edu/news-events/events/archives/. To ascertain that this activity requirement has been met, students are required to turn in a 1-page summary of the event, which should include the salient points discussed at the event and takeaways from any discussion, to Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Program Director of the Program on IP & Technology Law.

B. Advanced Track (Domestic Students)

Students must complete at least 15 credit hours of courses from the following exemplary areas as detailed below. Again, please note that students may not take for credit courses that are the same or substantially similar to those completed in their J.D. degree. Students should schedule an appointment to discuss their particular course of study with Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Program Director of the Program on IP & Technology Law, in light of annual course offerings.

1. Complete a minimum of 15 credits by completing the following courses, grouped in the following areas.

Patent Law

  • Patent Drafting* [2 credits and a Skills course]
  • Patent Litigation [3 credits]
  • PTO Proceedings Post-AIA [2 credits]
  • International and Comparative IP Law [3 credits]
  • Design Law* [4 credits and a Skills course]
  • IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic I* [up to 5 credits and a Skills course]
  • Venture Capital Finance & IPOs [2 credits]
  • International Business Transactions [3 credits]
  • Antitrust Law [3 credits] or Global Antitrust Law [3 credits]

Trademark Law

  • Licensing Transactions* [3 credits and a Skills course]
  • Trademark Prosecution* [2 credits and a Skills course]
  • Trade Secrets and Unfair Practices [3 credits]
  • Entertainment Law: Authors, Music & Artists [2 credits]
  • Fashion Law [2 credits]
  • Design Law* [4 credits and a Skills course]
  • IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic I* [up to 5 credits and a Skills course]
  • International Business Transactions [3 credits]
  • Antitrust Law [3 credits] or Global Antitrust Law [3 credits]

Copyright, Design, and Heritage

  • Entertainment Law: Authors, Music & Artists [2 credits]
  • Fashion Law [2 credits]
  • Design Law* [4 credits and a Skills course]
  • International and Comparative IP Law [3 credits]
  • Art and Cultural Heritage Law [2 credits]
  • IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic I* [up to 5 credits and a Skills course]
  • Licensing Transactions* [3 credits and a Skills course]
  • Freedom of Speech [3 credits]

Privacy and Cybersecurity Law

  • Information Privacy Law [2 or 3 credits]
  • Cybercrime Law [3 credits]
  • Cyberlaw Seminar [2 to 3 credits]
  • Cybersecurity and Data Protection [2 credits]
  • Freedom of Speech [3 credits]

A student must also:

2. Write a 3-credit LL.M. thesis — normally, of 50-75 double-spaced pages — under the direction of a faculty member from the Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law.

3. Satisfy an activity requirement by attending two events sponsored by the Program on IP & Technology Law each semester. A list of exemplary Program events can be found at https://iptech.nd.edu/news-events/events/archives/. To ascertain that this activity requirement has been met, students are required to turn in a one-page summary of the event, which should include the salient points discussed at the event and takeaways from any discussion, to Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Program Director of the Program on IP & Technology Law.