THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON SCHOOL OF LAW
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
Akron Law is an established leader in the field of intellectual property (IP) law.
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.
Students with and without scientific backgrounds can explore the myriad opportunities Akron Law provides to students interested in learning more about cutting-edge issues in fields such as trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, cyberlaw, sports and entertainment, entrepreneurship, and international trade. Through daily interactions with and easy access to leading lawyers, authors, inventors, scientists, and businesses who shape the law and information economy, students have an excellent opportunity to create lifelong, career-building relationships.
THE IP PROGRAM
As part of our leading IP program, Akron Law has an innovative Center for Intellectual Property Law & Technology, which facilitates the study and advancement of IP law and strives to attract and educate current and future leaders to design and implement a well-balanced ecosystem of law and technology. Nationally respected, the Center is renowned for:
- Providing one of the most comprehensive intellectual property programs in the country including over 20 courses in the field.
- Administering an LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Intellectual Property program and the joint J.D./LL.M. program in intellectual property law. Students can complete our stand-alone program in two semesters, or our joint program in only three years of full-time study. Application information can be found on the LL.M. homepage.
- Offering a Certificate in Intellectual Property, signifying a successful completion of focused IP studies.
- Offering a Non-JD Certificate in Intellectual Property designed for individuals who are not necessarily interested in seeking a full 3-year juris doctor degree, but who want to learn about intellectual property matters.
- Hosting distinguished speakers, including a highly successful annual symposium, the David & Ann Brennan IP Scholars Forum, the Oldham Lecture Series on cutting-edge IP issues, and an annual Patent Experts Conference with leading patent lawyers, judges, and leaders from across the world.
- Creating opportunities to network and interact with leading IP attorneys from across the world. Our Intellectual Property Advisory Council is comprised of distinguished attorneys, judges, and inventors located in Ohio, Washington D.C., California, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Illinois, Canada, and South Korea. They meet semi-annually in Akron to strategize, plan, and discuss opportunities for Akron Law's IP students.
OUR IP EXPERTS
Ryan Vacca, Interim Co-Dean, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology | Bio
Dean Vacca is the Director of the Intellectual Property Center and Professor of Law. He joined the Akron faculty in 2010. Dean Vacca has written numerous articles on a variety of intellectual property issues and has taught intellectual property courses including Fundamentals of Intellectual Property, Copyrights, Trade Secrets, Patents, and Trademarks. Dean Vacca has presented his research throughout the United States. Before entering academia, he was an intellectual property lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri.
Camilla Hrdy, Assistant Professor of Law | Bio
Professor Camilla Hrdy joined the Akron Law faculty in 2016. Her primary teaching areas are Trade Secrets and Trademarks. Before coming to Akron Law, Professor Hrdy was a resident fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project and a teaching fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School's Center for Innovation, Technology & Competition.
Daniel H. Brean, Assistant Professor of Law | Bio
Professor Daniel Brean joined the Akron Law faculty in 2016. Professor Brean researches and writes in the field of intellectual property law, with a focus on patent law. His published works have addressed issues concerning patent infringement remedies, disruptive technologies, and industrial design. Professor Brean currently teaches Patent Law, Patent Office Litigation, and International IP.
Matthew J. Wilson, President | Bio
President Matthew J. Wilson 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 had taught various intellectual property courses including: intellectual property law, electronic commerce, and international business.
Jack P. Sahl, Joseph G. Miller Professor of Law and Director of The Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Center for Professional Responsibility | Bio
Professor Sahl is the Joseph G. Miller Professor of Law. He is the author of a Sports Law casebook and contributes a chapter on lawyer malpractice to a leading publication on entertainment law. He is a frequent speaker on issues related to sports and entertainment law and is regularly cited in media outlets on these issues. Professor Sahl teaches Sports Law and Entertainment Law as part of the IP curriculum.
Patrick H. Gaughan, Associate Professor and Executive Director, Innovation Practice Center | Bio
Professor Gaughan is the Executive Director of the Innovation Practice Center and Associate Professor of Law. Professor Gaughan previously worked with several startup businesses and now works with students and departments across campus to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. He currently teaches Entrepreneurship and Valuation of Firms & IP.
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, patent prosecution, claim construction, complex IP litigation, 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 approximately three dozen IP professionals seeking to advance our IP curriculum, foster relationships with businesses and law firms, and assist Akron Law IP students with their careers.
OUR IP COURSES (JD & LL.M.)
Complex IP Litigation
Corporate Legal Department Skills
Current Policy Issues Affecting IP Law
First Amendment Law
Fundamentals of IP
Individual Studies & Research
IP Moot Court
International Business Transactions
International Copyright Law
International IP Law
International Patent Law
International Patent Prosecution
Licensing Intellectual Property
Patent Claim Construction
Patent Law & Policy
Trademark Prosecution Clinic
Valuation of Firms & IP