Intellectual Property Practice

Intellectual Property (IP) Law focuses on the study of legal rights to intangible assets, intangible creations and products of the mind. New advancements in the Internet, virtual reality and other technologies make this an exciting time to study this ever-changing field.

Intellectual Property encompasses four primary sub-fields: trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks. In each of these areas, the goal of an IP lawyer is to help clients protect their new ideas and implement products and services in a way that they do not run afoul of the IP owned by others. Attorneys practicing in this field work in various areas, including litigation, licensing, clearance, transactions and acquisition. Individuals of all academic backgrounds can pursue IP, though some of the work in patents typically requires a science or engineering degree.

Villanova Law’s comprehensive IP program offers students numerous learning opportunities in the classroom, in the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship and through externship placements in corporate, judicial, governmental and nonprofit settings. Intellectual Property is one of three practice areas for which Villanova offers a JD concentration. This intensive course of study allows students to show their breadth and depth of their IP experience.

Our campus is advantageously located just 30 minutes from Delaware, where many of the nation’s largest companies are incorporated. Recent changes to the law mandate that plaintiffs must sue companies in the state of incorporation, resulting in nearly 30% of the nation’s patent cases being adjudicated in Delaware. Many Villanova students have secured placements with firms or judges in Delaware, providing an immersive experience at the cutting edge of the field (see below for a list of recent placements). Externships are supervised by both an on-site field instructor and a full-time faculty member who works closely with each student to monitor progress and to ensure overall professional development.


The below list highlights Villanova Law courses that are fundamentally associated with this practice area.

Of the courses listed below, the foundational doctrinal courses—Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Constitutional Law and Torts—and an upper level Legal Writing (Transactional or Litigation) are required. The remaining courses are helpful but not required for those interested in the field.

  • Advanced Intellectual Property
  • Being Human in the 21st Century
  • Copyright Law
  • Internet Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Law, Economics, Technology: Privacy
  • Law and Entrepreneurship
  • Law of Drugs and Biologics
  • Patent Law
  • Patent Litigation
  • Patent Prosecution
  • Patent Office Trial Practice (IPRs)
  • Trade Secret Law
  • Trademark Law
  • Trademark Practice

The below list highlights Villanova Law courses that are related, but not necessarily essential to this practice area. Students interested in this field may consider enrolling in these courses to supplement their studies. 

  • Antitrust
  • Fashion Law
  • Internet Law
  • Sports Law
  • Entertainment Law