Strong Foundations in Intellectual Property Law


Have you ever had a new idea for an invention, solution to a common problem or new book? You might need a lawyer—specifically one that focuses on Intellectual Property (IP). IP Law focuses on legal rights to intangible assets, creations and products of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and designs or symbols used in commerce. Intellectual Property Law covers areas including patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets. Constant advancements in Internet, virtual reality and other technologies make IP an exciting and ever-changing field. The goal of an IP lawyer is to help clients protect their new ideas and implement products and services in a way that does not infringe on IP owned by others. Attorneys practicing in this field work in various areas, including litigation, licensing, clearance, transactions and acquisition.

For those budding IP lawyers, Villanova Law excels in offering many options to explore the field whether it is a JD concentration or taking courses in the focus area of study that will add to your knowledge base in the field. The concentration includes course requirements in core IP areas including patent and copyright, requires additional coursework in other areas, such as trademark or trade secrets, and offers the freedom to take related classes such as sports law, entertainment law and internet law. Students in the concentration also gain practice using their new skills by completing experiential learning in a clinic or in externships. The curriculum at Villanova Law, which includes five semesters of legal writing courses, helps students strengthen their basis of knowledge and hone the skills necessary for practice.

For those students seeking hands-on opportunities, the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship represents entrepreneurial clients whose organizational model involves community driven change, and promotes democratic decision making, sustainability in neighborhoods, and social, economic and racial equity. Students work directly with clients and are overseen by a faculty member. The Law School also offers a variety of externship placements in corporate and nonprofit settings to help students hone their skills.

Villanova Law’s IP preparation speaks for itself. Intellectual Property graduate Jennifer Black ’21 recently won the Pennsylvania Bar Association IP Law Section 2021 Writing Contest. Her article, “Patents as an Avenue for Women’s Empowerment: How Contraceptive Innovation Has Advanced Gender Equality in the United States,” discussed women in the IP field as an underserved market, an unresearched aspect of IP law and an underutilized pool of inventors. This is the ninth consecutive year a Villanova Law student has placed in the competition.

“Villanova Law helped prepare me for a career in Intellectual Property by introducing me to a network of mentors and peers who are always available to answer questions and give advice,” remarked Black. “I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had such great resources for academic and career guidance. Because I’ve had three years of access to Villanova’s resources, I’m also now able to help other students in addition to pursuing my career and research in IP.”