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Intellectual Property & Technology Law

Intellectual property law, also known as IP law, is a legal practice that is closely related to technology law. IP laws encourage individuals to invent and create by preventing others (for a set time) from copying or using their creations without permission or compensation. IP laws support the innovation that, in turn, benefits society by advancing technology and the arts. As for technology law, it is the body of law that governs both the public and private use of technology.

In the private sector, intellectual property and technology lawyers work in law firms of all sizes, working on a range of activities from applying for a patent to litigating infringement suits, to mitigating damages in the event of a data breach, to dealing with a ransomware attack. Employment is also available in house in almost every economic sector and in research universities. In the public sector, there are opportunities in the Federal Circuit, which is a specialized federal court that hears patent appeals. However, there are also opportunities in agencies such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

Many students believe that attorneys need a science or engineering background to practice Intellectual Property Law or Technology Law. A science, engineering, or technical background can be helpful, but is usually only necessary for those who want to become patent prosecutors. Students without a science or engineering background, particularly for those well-versed in technological advancement, will find many opportunities in copyright, trademark, trade secret, and technology law.

Because of the connection between the two fields, you will find a great deal of overlap between the recommended courses, co-curricular activities, and extracurricular activities for each. If you have an interest in one field, consider exploring the other as well.

Copyrights & Trademarks Law

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Patent Law

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Law & Technology

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