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Intellectual Property & Technology Law Certificate

The Intellectual Property and Technology Law Certificate Program is offered under the auspices of the J. Thomas McCarthy Institute for Intellectual Property and Technology Law.

The institute is named in honor of Professor J. Thomas McCarthy, a long-time faculty member and intellectual property law pioneer recognized as a pre-eminent expert in the field.

To receive the Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate (IP Certificate), students must complete all of the certificate requirements and all of the requirements for the JD degree. Students intending to complete the requirements for the Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate are subject to all of the law school's academic policies, including rules governing enrollment priorities.

Course Requirements

To earn an Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate, a student must complete at least 15 units of approved course work in the subject area, including at least two of the following core courses: Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Intellectual Property Survey, Patent Law, or Trademark Law. Any remaining units (to reach a total of 15) must be completed by taking additional core courses and/or courses selected from the list of approved Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate elective courses.

Note: the curriculum below is subject to change and not all courses are offered every year.

Required Courses Units
Copyright Law3
Cyberlaw3
Intellectual Property Survey3
Patent Law3
Trademark Law3
Elective Courses Units
Antitrust Law3
Antitrust Law and Intellectual Property Rights2
Biotechnology Law2
Cyberlaw Seminar3
Entertainment & Media Law2
Information Privacy Law3
Intellectual Property Litigation2
Intellectual Property Seminar3
International Intellectual Property2
Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic3
Law of Mass Communication & The Press3
Patent Licensing2 or 3
Patent Prosecution2
Sports Law3
Technology Contracting2

Scholastic Requirements

Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate recipients must achieve a grade of C+ or higher in each course applied to meet the certificate requirements and achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.700 or higher for all courses applied to the certificate.

A student achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.500 or higher for all courses applied to meet the requirements of the certificate is awarded the certificate with honors.

All course work for the certificate must be taken for a letter grade except for any approved elective course in which credit/no credit or pass/fail grading is mandatory. For any course in which a letter grade is not provided, a "credit" or "pass" must be achieved in order for the course to be applied to certificate requirements.

Writing Requirement

To earn the certificate, a student must complete a substantial research paper analyzing an issue relevant to intellectual property, cyberspace, or technology law. The paper must demonstrate the ability to identify, describe, and analyze the subject matter, and, should, where possible, propose a resolution. The paper must meet the standards for an Upper Level Research and Writing Requirement project and may be used to satisfy that requirement and/or the requirements of a course taken for credit.

Transfer Units

All course work must be taken at USF with the exception of one elective course (for a maximum of three units of credit). If a student wishes to apply a course taken at another law school to meet the requirements of the Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate, prior approval must be obtained by the assistant dean for academic services. The student must take the course for a letter grade and earn a grade of C+ or higher for credit to be applied to the certificate.

A course taken at another law school will be transferred only as "credit" only for purposes of determining the Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate grade point average as well as for calculating the USF semester and cumulative grade point averages.

Applying for the Certificate

To be eligible to receive an Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate, a student must submit an application to the USF School of Law Office of the Registrar. Applications will not be accepted until the student's last semester. Applications must be submitted on or before the last day to drop classes in that semester.

Students may obtain only one certificate. No student will be awarded more than one certificate upon completion of the JD degree, even if such student completed the requirements to more than one certificate program.

It is each student's responsibility to ensure that all requirements for the Intellectual Property and Technology Certificate are satisfied in a timely manner.