IP Faculty Q&A: Professor Jodi Clifford

Author: Program on IP & Technology Law

Jodi Clifford Web

Are you missing campus following announcements by the University and the Law School to postpone events and move to online courses until April 12th to reduce the risks and mitigate the impact of COVID-19? We’ve got your IP Law cravings covered! We’re staying in touch with the NDLS IP Community through stories and posts that spotlight the people that make our Program great while offering fun and helpful guidance during these extraordinary times. For our second installment of “Five Questions in the Time of Coronavirus” we talk to our IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic Director, Professor Jodi Clifford. A patent attorney who practiced with Thompson Hine, LLP, Professor Clifford is admitted to practice in Indiana, Ohio, and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Under Professor Clifford’s expert supervision in the Clinic, our IP law students provide advice on whether an invention is or is not patentable as a first matter to clients, and they also assist clients with transactional IP issues such as developing an IP strategy; preparing and prosecuting patents applications; registering trademarks; licensing IP; and counseling on the scope of copyrights.


NDLawIP: As classes go online for the next few weeks, what are you most looking forward to in this new digital teaching environment? 

JC: I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing from my students – and I’m hoping for divine inspiration in engaging from a distance.  Hopefully, we’ll come out of this with new tools that will supplement our classes going forward.  


NDLawIP: What advice do you have for students during this unexpected time? 

JC: It’s tempting to spend the entire day looking for news updates and becoming more anxious.  You need to stay informed, but be sure to step away and focus on something else rather than letting your anxiety build.


NDLawIP: It’s said that Isaac Newton developed calculus and the theory of gravity when Cambridge temporarily closed in 1666 and that Shakespeare wrote King Lear under similar circumstances. Given all the time in the world, what legal theory would you craft or what legal issue would you solve? 

JC: I’m supposed to say that I’d resolve the Section 101 Patentable Subject Matter and software issues, but let’s be honest, if I’m lucky I’ll get my docket updated.


NDLawIP: What’s your favorite YouTube channel, Instagram account, or Twitter feed to follow now? 

JC: The Shedd Aquarium just showed its penguins going on a walk and the Monterey Aquarium provides live feeds of their sea otters being fed.



NDLawIP: As Aristotle said, we are social animals. What are you doing to stave off cabin fever and maintain your humanity during this time of social distancing?  

JC: There will be numerous, long phone calls with friends and family, and I’m hoping the Animal Crossing is as good as the reviews.