The IPIC program at MSU College of Law is among the most comprehensive programs in the country focusing on intellectual property law, as well as the emerging areas of computational technology, informatics, and communications law. Classes offered through the IPIC program are rarely offered at other institutions giving our students an advantage when starting their careers.
All students are required to take a Research, Writing & Analysis (RWA) course in their first semester at MSU Law. Students may apply for an RWA section focused on IP law—a unique opportunity to explore this exciting field during the 1L year. Upper-level students can select from a growing menu of IP-focused electives. Those who choose to focus in IP law complete two of the basic-level courses in copyright, patent, or trademark law, along with at least eight credits from an ever-expanding menu of advanced IP-related courses.
MSU Law offers a unique opportunity to students through the Intellectual Property Start-Up Project. In this program representatives from MSU Law will match Michigan companies interested in receiving assistance with questions regarding patents, copyright, and trade secrets with volunteer attorneys. These attorneys will in turn mentor MSU law students studying IP law while investigating opportunities for patenting and protecting new technologies that these companies may be developing. This program will be offered through MSU Law’s Legal Clinic.
Basic and Advanced Courses
The IPIC Program requires students take two of the basic courses and at least eight additional credit hours of advanced courses offered. Students choose from a wide and ever-expanding array of courses and specialized seminars.
*Some of these courses my require prerequisites or corequisites. Not all courses are offered every semester, but MSU Law makes every effort to offer each of these courses at least once every two years. The offerings for Topics in Intellectual Property & Communications Law may vary.
Research, Writing and Advocacy I: From an Intellectual Property Perspective
Incoming students with an interest in intellectual property law may apply to take a specialized Research, Writing & Analysis course focused on intellectual property during their first semester at MSU Law. This course was specially designed to enable students to develop writing, research, and analysis skills while becoming familiar with this specialized field.
Interdisciplinary Graduate Courses
Students may take up to six credits of professionally related graduate courses offered by the Colleges of Communication Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Natural Sciences at MSU. The graduate engineering and science courses offered by the Colleges of Engineering and Natural Sciences offer easy solutions for students who need science and engineering course credits to complete their eligibility for the patent bar examination. Subject to approval by the program director, a maximum of three credits from these courses will be counted toward fulfillment of the concentration.
In addition, students may participate in courses, projects, and events sponsored by the following MSU Law IPIC partner institutions:
- The James J. and Mary B. Quello Center for Telecommunications Management & Law, MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences
- The Institute of International Agriculture, MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Institute of Public Utilities, MSU non-for-profit, independent educational and research organization
- Cybersecurity Initiative at MSU
- Matrix: The Center for Humane, Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online, at MSU
- Michigan Small Business & technology Development Center, cooperative agreement between U.S. Small Business Administration and Siedman College of Business at Grand Valley State University (GVSU)
- The Legal Institute of West Michigan, established in collaboration with MSU Law, GVSU, MSU, and Grand Rapids Bar Association
- The Working Group on Property, Citizenship, and Social Enterpreneurism (PCSE), sponsored by the Program in Law and Market Economy at Syracuse University College of Law
- Communications Law
- Copyright/Trademark Law
- Entertainment and Sports Law
- International Intellectual Property Law
- Patent Law
Visiting Scholars Program
MSU Law brings the most promising and engaging scholars and practitioners in the area of IP, information, and communications law to campus each year to participate in IPIC events and offer input on the program. The Law College works closely with MSU's Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP)
to develop a visiting scholars program so that they may participate at IPIC events and consult with faculty and students regarding their study in the field.
International Summer Internship Program
MSU Law and offers students an opportunity to participate in an intense and engaging one-week summer internship abroad. The International Internship Program in Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Transfer began in 1996 and is sponsored by the Institute of International Agriculture at MSU. Internships focus on technology transfer, use, and management within context of GATT/WTO. Students get hands-on training in the day-to-day handling of intellectual property rights issues in university, business, and other settings.
Master’s Degree Programs
The Law College offers two master's degree programs to provide students with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to keep pace with the ever-changing fields of intellectual property and communications laws. The Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree is aimed at students who already have earned an J.D., LL.B., or equivalent law degree. The Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) degree is designed for individuals who do not have a law degree, such as doctoral students in other disciplines, policymakers, government officials, business executives, intellectual property agents, journalists, media professionals, scientists and computer programmers. To offer further specialization and better prepare students for their career advancement, participants in the LL.M./M.J. Program select from the general category of Intellectual Property Law or one of the following five specialized tracks:
The LL.M. and M.J. programs are open to both domestic and international students. Participants may enroll on either a full- or part-time basis and may begin their studies in either the fall or spring semester. Unless approved by the program director, LL.M. candidates who do not have a basic or advanced law degree in a common law jurisdiction and M.J. candidates will not be able to begin their studies in the spring semester.