Insight by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Protecting intellectual property

This content is sponsored by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

From startups to Fortune 500 companies, many businesses stay ahead of their competition through innovation. While research and development can be costly, innovation is essential for growth and differentiation. Whether it’s a smartphone feature or app, the next addictive fidget toy, or a desperately needed vaccine for a novel disease like the coronavirus, new products and ideas can mean significant financial gain for the companies that bring them to market.

But without careful protection, valuable intellectual property can be pilfered before a business has time to recoup its investment. Competitors will co-opt ideas and make knock-off products, stealing market share and diminishing potential returns.

Employees who understand patent law and know how to navigate the patent filing process are essential to any business focused on innovation. They can help protect ideas and investments from conception to distribution and support legal counsel if litigation is required.

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s MS in Law with a specialization in Patent Law provides that knowledge and know-how through a two-year, part-time evening program. With classes taught at the University of Maryland, College Park, and at Maryland Carey Law in Baltimore, the Patent Law specialization enables students to delve into intellectual property law and gain knowledge and skills in patent drafting, licensing, and litigation.

A capstone project gives students the opportunity to develop real patent applications for real inventions under the supervision of legal scholars and practitioners. Past capstone projects include patent applications for an anti-leakage system in a tank car, a flexible bioelectric sensor for detection and inhibition of biofilm, and a workflow technology that enables the use of legacy systems.

Gabrielle Summa ’19, who doesn’t wish to practice law but finds her new legal expertise invaluable in her position at the Department of Justice serving in the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, appreciated learning after graduation that the patent application she drew up for her capstone had been officially submitted.

“It was the perfect capstone,” she said. “What better way to test everything you know than by actually having the opportunity to do it?”

For experienced professionals not seeking to earn a JD and practice law, the MS in Law program offers a way to complement expansive industry experience with valuable legal knowledge and skills. Find out more about Maryland Carey Law’s Master of Science in Law specializing in Patent Law.