Intellectual Property Concentration
Intellectual Property (IP) law encompasses legal issues involving technology and the law, from software and hardware to cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, to creative products including music, movies, and authors’ works. IP attorneys work with a wide range of businesses and people, from the world’s largest and most influential companies to solo inventors and musicians.
Lawyers trained in IP are currently in high demand, particularly litigators (who enforce IP rights, and defend against IP claims, in court), patent and trademark prosecutors (who attain patents and trademarks for clients), and licensing and technology transfer attorneys (who assist in the exchange of technology and information between businesses or universities). IP law is also at the core of many key industries, such as the media and sports fields.
“IP is currently one of the strongest fields in law, and our location in the heart of Boston provides ready access to leading life science, technology and IP firms, Internet companies, and start-ups,” notes Professor Peter J. Karol.
“Athletics was always something I was interested in,” says Karen Cassetta ’14, who competed in gymnastics, track, and tennis. It was a natural fit for her to get involved with the Entertainment and Sports Law Organization during her first year at New England Law. In her second year she took classes with Professor Karol, including Copyright Law, and Trademarks and Unfair Competition. Her interest led to an internship that combined the two practice areas.
“The firm works with a lot of restaurants and bakeries. They really need protection for their brand to help them compete in the marketplace,” she says.
From her internship and other IP classes, Cassetta honed her skills and decided that she wanted to practice in the IP area. “It’s definitely an up and coming area of the law,” she says.
Her internship with Bay State IP, LLC, has evolved into a paid law clerk position. “IP has given me a different perspective,” she says. “It encompasses so many different practice areas and areas of the economy—small businesses, corporate law, sports, entertainment, inventions—it’s always interesting, and it keeps evolving.”
Serge Subach ’14 credits his professors and the school’s Summer Fellowship Program with his landing a job with the IP litigation group at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
“The Center for Business Law’s fellowship got my foot in the door,” he says, “and Professor Jordan Singer’s Patent Litigation class kept it there.” Subach joined the IP Litigation group, which specializes in International Trade Commission patent infringement cases, as an associate in September.
“Professor Singer’s class was spot on, in terms of preparing me for the experiences I had during the fellowship at Mintz,” says Subach, who studied engineering as an undergraduate. “Obviously, a patent litigation takes a very long time, but his class was like a concentrated simulation, so when I saw certain documents on the job, I knew what they were and what to do.”
Subach was asked to stay on as an intern during his final year of law school, and in April, was extended an offer.
“I appreciate that New England Law is serious about the study of intellectual property law and offers an IP concentration,” he says. “I had a great experience here.”
Intellectual Property Law Opportunities at New England Law
Student groups and organizations
- IP students are invited to attend the Boston Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, which regularly holds programs and discussions on matters of ethics, skills, and professionalism. The members include numerous federal court judges, leading members of the IP bar, and law students.
- Students compete in the Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).
- IP writing competitions include the annual Robert C. Watson Award Competition, sponsored by AIPLA; the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) Annual Writing Competition; and the Honorable William C. Conner Intellectual Property Law Writing Competition, sponsored by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association.
IP news and activities at New England Law
- Redefining theft law in the information age (symposium, 2013)
- Sony internship a hit for budding entertainment law attorney (student profile, 2013)
- Are your genes patentable? (presentation, 2012)
- Student receives top award in IP law competition (moot team news, 2011)
- Student takes on Major League Baseball over Bon Jovi jingle (copyright infringement case, 2010)
- Student wins IP law competition (writing competition news, 2010)
- Protecting IP rights in the knowledge economy (panel discussion, 2010)
- Bilski at the Supreme Court: a panel on patentable subject matter (2010)
Intellectual Property Law Concentration, Associated Faculty
- Associate Professor Peter J. Karol (IP Concentration coordinator), a former intellectual property partner at Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP, Boston, has broad practice experience as a patent, trademark, and copyright litigator; and global IP portfolio developer. Professor Karol’s scholarship focuses on a diverse array of intellectual property subjects, including scholarly articles in the fields of patent litigation procedure, trademark history, and peer-to-peer copyright infringement. His 2013 article, "Affixing the Service Mark: Reconsidering the Rise of an Oxymoron," was judged one of the best law review articles of the year related to IP Law.
- Associate Professor Jordan Singer came to New England Law from the University of Denver, where he served as director of research for the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. He previously served as a senior litigation associate with Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, with a practice emphasizing intellectual property litigation.
- Professor Russell VerSteeg, director of the law school’s Intellectual Property Institute, writes extensively on intellectual property law, including a chapter on “Originality and Creativity in Copyright Law” in the book, Intellectual Property and Information Wealth: Issues and Practices in the Digital Age. This four-volume work is considered the go-to resource for emerging issues in intellectual property law.
- Lecturer on Law Anne-Marie Dinius has been an IP attorney for 16 years and has experience strategically building IP portfolios, generating revenue through licensing IP, and asserting IP rights in litigating.
- Adjunct Professor Patti Jones maintains a practice specializing in transactions and legal issues within the entertainment industry and intellectual properties related to the industry.
Course Requirements and Additional information
- For more information or to apply for entrance to the IP Concentration, please contact Associate Professor Peter J. Karol, (617) 422-7327. [Course Requirements information for current students; TWEN login required; add the IP Concentration page.]
- Visit the Immigration Law Concentration webpage for information about that New England Law program.