The Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology

Certificate in Intellectual Property Law for Non-JD Students

The University of Akron School of Law is proud to offer a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law for Non-JD Students. In our technologically advanced world, intellectual property has become increasingly important. Intellectual property law involves the study of rules, regulations, and policies impacting inventions, entrepreneurs, music, video games, literary works, trade names, the Internet, and more. The principal fields of law governing intellectual property include patents, trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, electronic commerce, cyberlaw, unfair competition, and the right of publicity.

Our certificate program is designed for individuals who are not necessarily interested in seeking a full 3-year juris doctor degree, but who want to learn about intellectual property matters. It requires the completion of our 3-credit course Fundamentals of Intellectual Property Law and an additional 9 credits of intellectual property courses. In sum, each student will take a total of 12 credits from our leading intellectual property curriculum. You must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 to acquire the certificate. You can complete this program in one semester, or spread it out over the course of several semesters.

The certificate program is particularly useful for engineers, patent owners, patent agents, business leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, artists, and individuals engaged in the entertainment industry. No specialized scientific knowledge is required for our intellectual property law courses. However, it is possible for those with engineering and science backgrounds to focus on patent-related courses and even prepare to become a patent agent.

By studying intellectual property law at Akron Law, you can access important and relevant information in an increasingly important area without committing to an entire 3-year juris doctor degree, develop new connections, experience the world of intellectual property law, and become even more competitive in the marketplace.


Benefits of the I.P. Certificate for Non-J.D. Students

You will gain a better understanding of intellectual property law and how it affects various industries. This is particularly useful for individuals starting a new business, small business proprietors, inventors, technology managers, engineers, and patent agents.

Your improved understanding of IP law will create opportunities for advancement in current employment while opening doors to new and exciting careers. Distinguish yourself by taking intellectual property courses from industry experts at a U.S. law school renowned for its intellectual property program.

You will develop the ability to identify and implement the initial steps necessary to protect inventions, creative works, brands, and ideas. Through our program, current and future professionals can acquire knowledge about protecting brands, original works, and inventions in both traditional and online settings.

For scientists and engineers, better prepare to sit for the patent bar exam and become a patent agent. Our courses can provide you with the foundation necessary to become a successful patent agent and set you on a course that better prepares you to sit for the patent bar examination.


Curricular Offerings

The following courses compose a sampling of the curriculum available to students in the JD program.

  • Fundamentals of Intellectual Property
  • Patent Law & Policy
  • Trademark Law
  • Copyright Law
  • Trade Secrets Law
  • Licensing Intellectual Property
  • International Intellectual Property Law
  • Patent Prosecution
  • Complex IP Litigation
  • International Patent Law
  • International Patent Prosecution
  • Patent Claim Construction
  • Current Policy Issues Affecting IP Law
  • Trademark Clinic*
  • Individual Studies and Research
  • Sports Law
  • Seminar in First Amendment Law
  • Entertainment Law
  • Post Grant Review
  • Entrepreneurship
  • International Business Transactions
  • Business Planning

* Trademark Clinic is only available for students who have already earned a Juris Doctor.


How do I apply?

You may start your studies in either January (spring semester) or August (fall semester). Our application deadline for spring admissions (January start) into the Certificate Program is Nov. 15, and our deadline for fall admissions (August start) is July 1. Late applications may be possible depending on space availability. Applications should be submitted as follows. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Office at lawadmissions@uakron.edu or 1-800-425-7668.


Required Components

Applicants for the Certificate in Intellectual Property Law for Non-JD Students must submit the following to be considered for admission:

  • A complete application form.
  • Transcripts for all college, graduate, or juris doctor work. At a minimum, a candidate must demonstrate completion of a Bachelor’s Degree (i.e., BA, BS, or foreign equivalent).
  • A personal statement describing interest in the program, what the applicant hopes to obtain from it, and any background related to intellectual property. The personal statement may not exceed two pages.
  • Demonstrated aptitude to succeed at a graduate level (can be demonstrated by having previously completed graduate level course work at an institution of higher learning; performance on a GMAT, GRE, MCAT or similar test; or other evidence of ability presented by the candidate (e.g., relevant work/life experiences).
  • Resume.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Non-native English speakers will be required to submit documentation of satisfactory results on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Students in our certificate program should be prepared to read and discuss legal materials. Because class preparation and participation is demanding, students with English limitations may struggle. For this reason, we utilize the TOEFL exam to ensure that you will not unduly struggle in the classroom. Preferred scores on the TOEFL are 650 for the paper-based test and 110 for the internet-based test. Register for the TOEFL. Please note that the TOEFL requirement may be waived if (i) the applicant has a college degree from an institution in which the primary language of instruction was English or (ii) the applicant can show other circumstances demonstrating proficiency in English.

Tips to help you prepare an effective personal statement.


Questions?

If you have any questions regarding our Certificate in Intellectual Property Law for Non-JD Students, please feel free to contact Prof. Ryan Vacca, Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology at Akron Law by phone (330-972-7972) or by email (vacca@uakron.edu).