LAW 597P SEC 1 – Intellectual Property Clinic.
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In the Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic, law students work to protect civil liberties and support innovation in the digital age, with a special focus on freedom of expression, by advising and representing clients on a range of matters dealing with copyright, privacy, First Amendment, Freedom of Information Act, public access to court records, reporter subpoenas, and other areas. Clients include artists, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, nonprofits, journalists, policymakers, and others. Through this work, Clinic students gain important legal skills while examining the role of the public interest in intellectual property and technology law.
Students will be assigned to one of three practice groups directed by Prof. Lerner (filmmaker counseling and advocacy, electronic voting, technology policy esp. copyright and privacy work–approx. 6-8 students), Prof. Gagnier (tech startup team–working with startups to register trademarks with USPTO, privacy counseling, other startup work–2 students), and Prof. Seager (Press Freedom and Transparency Team–working with independent journalists to fight government secrecy, litigate Freedom of Information Act cases, defend subpoenas of journalists–approx. 6-8 students).
Through the experience of directly counseling and representing clients (under the supervision of the professor) in various forums, students will learn professional responsibility and advocacy skills, substantive law and procedural rules related to their projects, and will closely examine the role of the public interest in intellectual property, other areas of the law related to technology, as well as the public interest in government transparency and press freedom. Clients may include individual artists, independent filmmakers, independent journalists, non-profit organizations, startups, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. Among other things, IPAT students engage in:
- Drafting and filing amicus briefs or regulatory comments
- Counseling and representing nonprofits, entrepreneurs, scientists, or others with IP or tech-related challenges
- Counseling individuals and institutions in the developing world
- Designing model licensing systems
- Presenting at conferences or conducting trainings
- Participating in regulatory or legislative hearings
- Registering trademarks and interacting with USPTO
Representative clinic projects include:
- Filing amicus briefs in state and federal courts of appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court
- Helping low-budget and marginalized documentary filmmakers make fair use of copyrighted materials appropriately and responsibly.
- Advocating in administrative rulemakings and other regulatory proceedings via comments, testimony and other forms of participation
Working with a nationwide coalition of documentary and independent filmmakers on regulatory proceedings involving network neutrality in the Federal Communications Commission and the doctrine of fair use in the Library of Congress
- Filing and arguing motions to unseal juvenile case files of children who died while under the protection of government agencies and juvenile court, resulting in front-page news articles about how the government failed to protect the children.
- Filing and arguing motion to unseal grand jury transcript in racially charged attack on two African-American sisters at Oakland BART station.
- Filing lawsuit against City of South Pasadena for violating the Public Records Act by refusing to release names of police officers, body cam footage, and other documents related to the police who shot and killed Latina actress in her home.
- Vetting prize-winning article about University of California doctor who sexually abused dozens of student patients.
- Advising entrepreneurs and non-profits on questions of patent, copyright, privacy and media law
- Practicing trademark law before the United States Patent and Trademark Office on behalf of low-budget technology startups and innovative small businesses
- Counseling policymakers and others in the developing world on complex international IP questions
In the companion seminar, the Clinic will examine public interest practice in intellectual property and technology law, explore related substantive law, and spend significant time workshopping and discussing Clinic projects. One to three short papers per semester will likely be assigned as part of the seminar. Student teams will also meet on a weekly basis with Professor Lerner and Lecturers Gagnier and Seager.
Please note that classes in the companion seminar will not be recorded except for non-privileged information necessary to accommodate a disability. There will sometimes be short turn-around times or quick deadlines, which vary by project. Some information during the classroom component is provided received orally and robust discussion occurs during the classroom component. Weekly team meetings feature verbal discussion between team members and the supervisor.
For more information and updates on the Clinic’s recent work, see https://ipat.law.uci.edu
Prerequisite: Prior completion or concurrent enrollment in LAW 514 Evidence is required. Fulfills the clinic degree requirement.