Online Training for Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Law Now Available Without Applying to Law School



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Inventors, designers, developers, brand managers, IT managers, writers, engineers, entrepreneurs—virtually all professions, whether as a sole proprietor or employee of a large corporation or small business—now have an opportunity to earn an online legal certificate that will help them protect their brand, assets, ideas, and creative work. Working professionals can receive this training online (without previous legal experience or even applying to law school) direct from one of the nation’s leading intellectual property (IP) law schools. And it happens to originate right here in Detroit.

Launching in October 2018, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will be offering a part-time online Certificate in Law - Intellectual Property program developed specifically to address the increasing demand on individuals and organizations to safeguard their intellectual property assets, such as inventions, patents, trademarks, technological innovations, copyrights, and trade secrets. As individuals and companies are racing to develop, manage, and market their innovation, competition is increasingly watching and often threatening to compromise one’s brand and success. The need to legally protect one’s ideas, work, and even customer data and trade secrets is a growing priority.

From 2004-2016, there has been a significant increase in intellectual property filings, with U.S. patent applications up 41%, trademark applications up nearly 43%, and copyright applications remaining steady. During this same time period, worldwide patent applications rose nearly 50% and trademark applications rose by 54%. As a result, organizations have expanded their intellectual property staff to include lawyers, non-lawyers, and technology experts to manage and monitor ideas, inventions, brands, R&D, and more.

The Certificate in Law-Intellectual Property program director and professor Wissam Aoun says he has witnessed a growing desire of professionals to learn about this important area of the law without having to attend law school and obtain a J.D. degree. “We created and designed this program in response to the growth in the intellectual property field in the past 15 years,” says Aoun. “The Certificate in Law will teach participants about intellectual property and cybersecurity laws, the legal protection of ideas and works, and monitoring and managing their intellectual property after legal protection has been obtained.”

The four online courses can be completed in one year (or longer if preferred) and be taken following a flexible schedule that balances a student’s professional and personal life. The first seven-week course, Introduction to Intellectual Property, begins on October 1, with additional courses in the program starting in January (Patent Law), March (Trademark and Marketing Law), and May 2019 (Cybersecurity Law). All courses are taught by highly accomplished Detroit Mercy Law faculty and industry leaders who are experts in their fields, including intellectual property, information technology, and patent attorneys. Each course will cover established and emerging patent, trademark, copyright, and cybersecurity laws essential to today’s job markets.

“The Certificate in Law will continue the school’s tradition of preparing students for real-world situations by learning the law through innovative types of study,” says Detroit Mercy Law Dean, Phyllis L. Crocker.

To complete the online certificate, participants take one seven-week course at a time, requiring two to five hours of total commitment per course, per week. Pre-recorded video lectures are available for viewing at the participants’ convenience. There are also opportunities for real-time interactions with classmates and instructors. Special discounts are available for groups, federal or state employees, and active military members, among other opportunities. To learn more about the online program, visit http://lawschool.udmercy.edu/certificate.

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