The Patent Law Certificate prepares Mitchell Hamline’s J.D. students to become leaders in the patent law community. It supplements the J.D. degree and demonstrates that a student has achieved patent-law competency, practical experience in patent contexts, and mastery of critical thinking and communications skills through a rigorous course of study, research and writing, and practical experience.
To earn the Patent Law Certificate, students must complete core and elective courses in a range of patent topics including Patents I and Patents II, Patent Prosecution, and International and Comparative Patent Law. Students must also obtain practical experience in patent law through either patent-specific clinic work, or a combination of externship and/or work experience in a patent-law specific work environment. The practical experience must be approved by the Associate Director of IP Institute, Professor Carl Moy. The Patent Law Certificate will be awarded to those students who have completed the following requirements plus all other requirements for a Juris Doctorate degree from Mitchell Hamline.
The following program description applies to on-campus students.
Course Requirements: To obtain the Patent Law Certificate, a student must complete the Core Patent Law Courses listed below as well as at least eleven (11) credits of electives from the Related Elective Courses listed below.
Core Patent Law Courses – 11 Credits
Patent Law I (3 credits)
Patent Law II (3 credits)
Patent Prosecution (2 credits)
International and Comparative IP Law – Patents (3 credits)
Related Elective Courses – 11 Credits
IP Appellate Practice (3 credits)
IP Asset Management and Licensing (3 credits)
IP Survey (3 credits)
Trade Secret Law (2 credits)
Antitrust (3 credits)
Trademark Law (3 credits)
Copyright Law (3 credits)
Clinic: Intellectual Property – Patents (up to a maximum of 2 credits)
IP Law Review (up to a maximum of 2 credits)
IP Seminar: (up to a maximum of 2 credits)
Comparative and International IP (non-patent) (up to a maximum of 2 credits)
The Business of IP: seminar course (up to a maximum of 2 credits)
IP- Related Independent Study (up to a maximum of 2 credits)
Or other Patent-related courses as they may be added to the Mitchell Hamline course catalog
Practical Experience Requirement
To obtain the Patent Law Certificate, a student must demonstrate possession of practical skills directly related to the practice of patent law. Demonstration can be satisfied by (i) the successful completion of the Clinic: Intellectual Property – Patents course, or (ii) the successful completion of at least 200 hours of work in a patent law-specific work environment, through one or more internships or externships, or paid work in a patent law-specific work environment, such as a law firm or a corporate legal department. Where questions arise the student’s successful demonstration of practical skills will be determined by the Associate Director for Patent Law, as informed by this description.
To obtain the Patent Law Certificate, a student must complete a scholarly paper on a patent-related topic. The paper must meet the guidelines applicable to the Advanced Research and Writing (ARW) requirement for graduation from Mitchell Hamline School of Law and be approved by the Associate Director for Patent Law in addition to the regular assigned faculty (if different). A student may satisfy the Writing Requirement by completing a paper for a course that satisfies the ARW requirement through the IP Law Review Cybaris, Independent Study, or an IP Seminar, provided the subject of that paper is patent-related.
To obtain the Patent Law Certificate, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
Sustained Commitment to Professional Service Requirement
To obtain the Patent Law Certificate, a student must demonstrate a substantial commitment to service to the patent-law profession for a sustained period of time. Activities that can contribute to such a demonstration can include successful completion of a leadership role in SIPLA, MIPLA, the AIPLA, the IPL Section of the ABA, the Federal bar Association, or other patent-law related professional organizations. The candidate must demonstrate a commitment over multiple semesters. Where questions arise the student’s successful demonstration of a substantial commitment will be determined by the Associate Director for Patent Law, as informed by this description.
Pro Bono Awareness Requirement
To obtain the Patent Law Certificate, a student must demonstrate an awareness of the professional requirement to provide pro bono services to users of the Patent System. This can be satisfied through participation in the IP Clinic – Patents, Legal Corps the Upper Midwest Patent Assistance Program, or other relevant activities.