The Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology


Cutting-edge Intellectual Property Program

Akron Law is an established leader in the realm of intellectual property (IP) law.  

IP law offers numerous opportunities for students with non-scientific and scientific backgrounds to explore cutting-edge issues involving trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, patents, licensing, Internet, entertainment, and other areas in this “hot” industry.

In our technologically advanced world, intellectual property has become increasingly important to individuals, corporations, organizations, governments, and lawyers. Take advantage of our extensive legal courses and programs in this area, as well as our instant connections to industry and a larger academic community that includes a world-re­nowned polymer science program and an award-winning engineering program.

Through daily interactions with the people who shape the law as well as easy access to leading lawyers, authors, inventors, and scientists who shape technology, students have an excellent opportunity to create lifelong, career-building relationships with the minds behind the technology.

The IP program

As part of our leading IP program, we have an innovative Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology. Nationally respected, the Center is renowned for:

  • Providing one of the most comprehensive intellectual property programs in the country including over 25 courses in the field;
  • Administering an LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Intellectual Property degree program and the joint J.D./LL.M. program in intellectual property law. Students can complete our stand-alone program in two semesters, and our joint program in only three years of full-time study.  
  • Offering a Certificate in Intellectual Property, signifying a focus on IP coursework coupled with above-average grades in those courses.
  • Hosting distinguished speakers on our campus, a highly successful annual symposium in the spring  as well as the David and Ann Brennan Annual Intellectual Property Scholars’ Forum in the fall, and the annual Oldham Lecture on cutting edge intellectual property issues. 
  • Creating opportunities to network and interact with leading IP attorneys from across the country. Our Intellectual Property Advisory Board is comprised of distinguished attorneys located in Ohio, Washington D.C., California, Georgia, Florida, and even South Korea. They meet several times each year in Akron to strategize, plan, and discuss opportunities for our students. 

Our IP experts

Ryan Vacca is the Director of the Intellectual Property Center and Associate Professor of Law.  He joined the Akron faculty in 2010. Professor Vacca has written numerous articles on a variety of intellectual property issues and has taught intellectual property courses and presented his research throughout the United States.  He currently teaches Fundamentals of Intellectual Property, Copyrights, and Trade Secrets.   Before entering academia, Professor Vacca was an intellectual property lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri.

A. Samuel Oddi is the Giles Sutherland Rich Professor of Intellectual Property. He is nationally recognized for his IP scholarship and expertise in the area of international intellectual property law. Professor Oddi has served as the senior legal officer at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jacqueline Lipton has held faculty and academic administrative positions at various law schools in the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom. Her scholarship focuses on law and digital technology, as well as law and the creative arts. She is the co-author of multiple editions of a leading cyberspace casebook and numerous other casebooks and articles, including articles that have been published in leading law reviews in the United States, Europe and Australia. Professor Lipton currently teaches trademark law, cyberlaw, and international intellectual property law.

Matthew J. Wilson, Dean of Akron Law, has extensive experience in the realm of IP law, both in practice and academia. He has handled matters involving patents, trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, electronic commerce, and Internet law in private practice while working as a lawyer at a large law firm, in-house counsel for a telecommunications firm, and general counsel of an American university. He teaches intellectual property law, electronic commerce, and international business.  

Adjunct Professors | Approximately one dozen adjunct professors support our students with their time, effort, and expertise. These distinguished practitioners teach specialized courses such as international patent law, international copyright law, patent prosecution, claim drafting, biotech patents, and other cutting-edge courses. 

IP Advisory Council | This body of experts from around the world assists Akron Law students via advice and guidance. The Council is comprised of two dozen IP professionals seeking to advance our IP curriculum, foster relationships with businesses and law firms, and assist students with career planning.

Our IP courses (JD & LL.M. courses)

Antitrust Law
Comparative Intellectual Property Law
Computer Law
Copyright Law
Current Policy Issues Affecting Intellectual Property Law
Entertainment Law
Intellectual Property Internship/Externship
Intellectual Property Legislation
Intellectual Property Litigation
International Copyright Law
International Intellectual Property Law
International Patent Law

International Trademark Law
Introduction to Intellectual Property
Licensing Intellectual Property
Managing Intellectual Property
Patent Law & Policy
Patent Prosecution
Sports Law
Taxation of Intellectual Property
Trademark Law
Trademark Prosecution
Trade Secrets
Valuation of the Firms & Intellectual Property