Intellectual property law—often just called “IP” law—serves to protect the rights of the people who have created artwork, or who own patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property. As you might imagine, the legal issues involved in this area can be thorny—especially in the age of the Internet, when artistic works are shared every day, sometimes legally, and sometimes not—and experienced IP lawyers are often needed to do everything from filing patent applications to drafting licensing agreements, and even defending trademark owners from infringement in court. An LL.M. program in Intellectual Property Law can help legal professionals get caught-up with current laws around patents, copyrights, and antitrust issues; some LL.M.s might even delve into specific fields where IP law applies, such as entertainment law. Fortunately, there are many career opportunities for a legal professional who has an LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law. Indeed, there are entire law firms dedicated to IP law; jobs can also be found in the legal departments of non-legal firms that own or manage artistic works, technology, or other intellectual property.
Founded in 1967, the World Intellectual Property Organization is an agency of the United Nations that serves as a policy forum for IP issues. The organization has also funneled its vast knowledge of IP issues into an LL.M. in Intellectual Property, which it jointly runs with the International Training Centre of the International Labor Organization. For students who want to work in IP rights practice, or teach, the LL.M. covers a range of significant topics, from copyright to unfair competition and patents.View School Profile
GW Law has been teaching IP law for a very long time: the school established a Master of Patent Law program in 1895, back around the time when Nikola Tesla filed a patent for the remote control, and the smoke detector was patented. Today, the school’s LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law helps students skill-up in many contemporary issues in the field: electives cover everything from law in cyberspace to chemical and biotech patent law. In terms of research capacity, the school hosts the Dean Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies, which focuses on IP law both domestically and internationally.View School Profile
Near the tech hubs of San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Berkeley has established itself as a leader in the IP law space. Indeed, the school is currently ranked at the very top of US News’ best law schools for intellectual property law ranking. Since 1995, the school has hosted the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology; IP-minded LL.M. students can choose to pursue Berkeley’s Law & Technology Certificate.View School Profile
Stanford students can study the school’s LL.M. in Law, Science & Technology, right in the heart of Silicon Valley, where technology issues run up against IP laws in startups and more established tech firms on a daily basis. And the school addresses various aspects of this dynamic intersection with several centers, including the Center for E-Commerce and the Center for Law and the Biosciences.View School Profile
Hong Kong is a technology hub, and as such, is a great place to study how IP laws intersect with new startups and new products. Interested students can pursue the school’s LL.M. concentration in Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law; HKU’s Law & Technology Centre publishes relevant research and puts on events.View School Profile
After merging with the Franklin Pierce Law Center, The University of New Hampshire opened the Franklin Pierce Center for IP Law, which puts on conferences and symposia around IP law themes. Students can pursue an LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law, or explore IP topics as they relate to technology in an LL.M. in Commerce and Technology. The school is currently ranked in the top ten of US News and World Report’s best law schools for IP law ranking.View School Profile
During their time in Cardozo’s well-regarded Intellectual Property Law LL.M., students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience through an intellectual property externship program. The school also offers an Indie Film Clinic, where students can help independent filmmakers with their legal issues, as well as a Tech Startup Clinic.View School Profile
“IP Osgoode,” a dedicated research center, explores legal issues at the intersection of IP and technology. Although the school does not offer an IP Law specialization as part of its full-time LL.M. program, it does offer a part-time Professional LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law.View School Profile
Students in Santa Clara’s LL.M. in Intellectual Property have the opportunity to get practical IP experience in Silicon Valley and beyond by participating in externships in law firms and other organizations as well as clinics.View School Profile
UniSA offers one of the few dedicated LL.M. programs in Intellectual Property Law in the region. And there’s more: Through a partnership with the WIPO Academy, the school also offers an online distance learning specialization in IP law.View School Profile
Related LLM News
Not Just Catwalks: A Closer Look at Fashion Law LL.M.s
Here’s an in-depth look at some of the fashion LL.M. programs offered, and what it takes to break into the industry.
5 Questions on Fashion Law—Susan Scafidi
Susan Scafidi, head of the Fashion Law Institute, talks to us about what actually goes into being a lawyer working in the industry, and how to break in.
The LL.M. in Technology and Law
The growth of IT and other tech branches has made an specialized LL.M. increasingly valuable for lawyers in this field.
The LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law
Plenty of quality programs to choose from in this rich and growing field of law