Intellectual Property Institute

The mission of the Intellectual Property Institute at the University of Richmond School of Law is to maintain a dynamic and respected center for the study of contemporary intellectual property issues, to increase curricular and other learning opportunities available to law students interested in intellectual property law, and to encourage widespread awareness and understanding of the role that intellectual property plays in fostering a creative and innovative culture.

Founded in 2004, the IP Institute has grown to include four full-time IP professors, a curriculum of more than a dozen courses, and a clinic focusing on the transactional side of IP law. The Institute also offers a certificate in IP, making Richmond Law one the few law schools that provide such an opportunity to its students.

IP Institute News

  • The Seventh Annual Evil Twin Debate took place on November 15, 2013.  Professor Mark Janis of Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Professor Andrew Torrance of University of Kansas School of Law debated the topic Design Patents: Great Idea, or Greatest Idea?  A video of the debate is available on our YouTube channel.  The proceedings start about thirty-five seconds in.
  • The Intellectual Property and Transactional Law Clinic is back in business and off to a great start, having filed three trademark applications with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office during the fall semester and provided legal representation to over a dozen entities.  In addition to supervising students in the clinic, Professor Lainez is coordinating a community education event on product branding and trademark prosecution for Richmond-area small businesses.  She will also serve as moderator for the Law Practice Technology panel at the law school's 2014 Technology Boot Camp.
  • Professor Osenga has received a Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship from the Center for Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at George Mason University.  In January she participated in a CPIP roundtable, Patented Inventions and Promoting Innovation, and in March she will speak on The Shrinking Scope of Patentable Subject Matter at a CPIP conference, From Lab to Market: How Intellectual Property Secures the Benefits of R&D.
  • Professor Osenga will also present at Elon University School of Law's faculty colloquy in April and will do a press call for the Federalist Society preceding oral arguments in two patent cases at the Supreme Court this spring, Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Management Systems and Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness.
  • Professor Cotropia's publications have been making quite a splash.  His article Do Applicant Patent Citations Matter? (co-authored with Mark Lemley and Bhaven Sampat) has more than a thousand downloads on SSRN.  Patent Applications and the Performance of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (co-authored with Cecil Quillen and Ogden Webster) has received a lot of attention in the popular press.
  • Professor Cotropia also has several works in progress: Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) Under the Microscope: An Empirical Investigation of Patent Holders as Litigants (co-authored with Jay Kesan and David Schwartz, and cited by multiple witnesses at congressional hearings on the "patent troll" controversy), Is Patent Claim Interpretation Review Deference or Correction Driven?, and The Dominance of Teams in the Production of Legal Knowledge (co-authored with Lee Petherbridge and selected for presentation at the Workshop on Empirical Methods in Intellectual Property, sponsored by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and Chicago-Kent College of Law).
  • Professor Osenga’s article Still Aiming at the Wrong Target: A Case for Business Method and Software Patents from a Business Perspective will be pubished by Cambridge University Press in the forthcoming book Patents & Entrepreneurship in Business & Information Technologies.
  • Professor Lainez has co-authored two articles.  The first, Enriching the Law School Curriculum: The Rise of Transactional Legal Clinics in U.S. Law Schools , was recently published by the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy.  The second, Viewing Value Creation by Business Lawyers Through the Lens of Transactional Legal Clinics, will be published in the UC Davis Business Law Journal.
  • Professors Cotropia's and Gibson's paper Copyright’s Topography: An Empirical Study of Copyright Litigation was featured at the Texas Law Review symposium Steps Toward Evidence-Based IP and will be published in the Texas Law Review later this year.  The paper was also presented at the Fifty-First Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Law at the Center for American and International Law’s Institute for Law and Technology in November and at the Thomas Jefferson Intellectual Property Inn of Court in October
  • In January, Professor Lainez spoke on a panel, Value Creation by Business Lawyers in the Twenty-First Century, at the Transactional Law & Skills Section of the AALS Annual Meeting in New York City.
  • In November, Professor Osenga spoke at a George Washington University Law Review symposium, Cracking the Code: Ongoing Section 101 Patentability Concerns in Biotechnology and Computer Software. Her essay Debugging Software’s Schemas will be published in the law review's symposium issue.
  • In October, Professor Gibson moderated a panel on Social Media and Discovery at the Richmond Bar Association’s Bench-Bar Conference and also served a commentator at the Junior Scholars in Intellectual Property conference at Michigan State University College of Law.
  • In October, Professor Cotropia presented Ethical Conflicts in Intellectual Property Law at the Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, Rising USPTO Prosecution Fees and Their Impact on Patent Attorneys and Patent Quality at the Workshop on Empirical Methods in Intellectual Property at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Patent Exhaustion and Patent Licensing at the Twenty-Fifth Annual Virginia State Bar IP Seminar.  The previous month, he spoke on Significant Recent Developments: International Trade and FTA at the 2013 Federal Bar Association International Series in Toronto.
  • Professor Gibson made several recent appearances on the news: WWBT aired an interview on a consumer class-action suit against Google and also featured his research in a segment on fine print in consumer contracts.  WTVR interviewed him about provisions in the Henrico County school superintendent's contract.
See more IPI news.