From the start of the academic year, the IP clinic set out to develop a useful contribution to the ever growing industry of tech start-ups. In addition to client matters—which ranged from trademark oppositions and registrations to documentary fair use analyses to discrete copyright duration and registration issues—the IP clinic students worked as a team to launch a toolkit on IP-related issues for start-up companies, with a focus on the tech industry. They customized and built an online questionnaire that future IP clinic students will use to capture essential information that will be used to structure the forthcoming tool kit.
And in true clinic fashion, the IP clinic students then put the knowledge and experience they harnessed throughout the year into action in WCL’s first ever “IP Tips and Tricks for Startups” presentation, which took place on the law school’s state-of-the-art Tenleytown campus. For this event, the clinic hosted five start-up companies from American University’s on-campus incubator and provided them with tailored, high-level lessons on four areas of IP law: trademark, copyright, patent, and trade secrets. The start-up entrepreneurs were energized and engaged in the presentations and Q&A sessions, and afterwards the IP clinic students were able to mingle with the individual business owners and set up follow-up meetings to discuss their IP issues in further detail. Overall, this event was a huge success that resulted in peace of mind for the business owners and unparalleled hands-on learning for the IP clinic students.
-Dima Budron ’17