IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic


Under Professor Jodi Clifford's supervision and within a broader design-oriented approach to IP and technology law, students in the Clinic counsel and practice with an awareness of how their actions promote their clients’, and the wider public’s, flourishing. Students provide advice on whether an invention is or is not patentable as a first matter to clients. In teams, students in the Clinic 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. Certified as part of the USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Program for both trademark and patents, the Clinic allows law students to speak directly with patent and trademark examiners. 

In meeting with Professor Clifford, students assess their work with their client, with an eye towards the impact the law, by design, can or cannot have on innovation, products, processes, and other forms of expression. Professor Clifford allows her considerable practice experience to guide students’ engagement with substantive intellectual property law issues while promoting a holistic approach to engaging with clients. 

The clinic is a participant in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Law School Clinic Certification Program.

Information for potential clients:

The IP and Entrepreneurship Clinic does not charge a fee for its services, but the client is responsible for paying any required government fees — such as a patent application filing fee to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

While the clinic will assist clients on a variety of intellectual property matters, it is focused on transactional matters and will not handle litigation or contested matters. Exemplary matters include patent searches and provisional patent preparation, trademark searches and registration, and intellectual property agreement and licensing issues.

For assistance from the IP and Entrepreneurship Clinic, please contact the director, Professor Jodi Clifford, at 574-631-1148.

Information for ND Law students:

The clinic provides students with an opportunity to work directly with clients, develop practical skills, and gain experience counseling and advising clients on intellectual property issues. Under the close supervision of full-time faculty, students will take primary responsibility for the cases and clients to which they are assigned.

Students receive five credit hours and are graded on the quality of their work and the amount of responsibility they assume for meeting client needs.

The clinic includes a classroom component focused on substantive intellectual property law and core lawyering skills, such as interviewing and counseling clients. The classroom component is a mixture of lecture, discussion, and simulations. Participation in the classroom component is required for the course.