Academic Programs


The BU Law faculty offers an elective Intellectual Property Concentration. The Intellectual Property Concentration brings together three core areas--patent, copyright and trademark. This concentration capitalizes on the School's significant teaching and curriculum strengths in the intellectual property area and matches these strengths with a significant market need for intellectual property specialists.

Once students have decided to pursue a concentration, they should complete an Online Intent to Concentrate Form (also available in the Registrar’s Office). In the final semester, students will receive a Concentration Completion Form from the Registrar’s Office to show the course work and written work that satisfies the concentration requirements.

Program Requirements

A student may be certified as having completed a concentration in Intellectual Property by meeting the following requirements. Beginning with courses and seminars in the fall term of 2014, any "Exhibit A" or "Exhibit B" offering that you wish to count toward the concentration must be taken for a grade rather than CR/NC/H. This requirement does not apply to courses completed before prior to fall 2014.

  1. Satisfactory completion of three (3) of the following "Exhibit A" courses:

    Intellectual Property
    Copyright Law
    Patent Law
    Unfair Competition and Trademark Law

  2. Satisfactory completion of an additional two (2) BU Law courses/seminars in the Intellectual Property area. Current law course offerings that satisfy this requirement are:

    Exhibit B

    1. Antitrust, Intellectual Property and High Technology (S)*
    2. The Economics of Intellectual Property Law (S)
    3. Entertainment Law (S)
    4. European Intellectual Property (S)*
    5. Independent Study (Supervised Research with faculty on an IP topic)
    6. Innovation and Patent Policy (S)*
    7. Intellectual Property & the Internet (S)
    8. Intellectual Property Theory (S)*
    9. Intellectual Property Workshop (S)
    10. International Intellectual Property (S)
    11. International IP Dispute Resolution (S)+*
    12. Legislative Drafting Clinic (Intellectual Property)*
    13. Licensing Law & Practice (S)*
    14. Patent Litigation
    15. Patent Prosecution (S)*
    16. Public Policy Toward the High Tech Industry (S)*
    17. Selected Topics in Intellectual Property (S)*
    18. Software and the Law (S)*
    19. Technology Licensing (S)*
    20. Topics in Trademark Law (S)*
    21. Trade Secrets & Restrictive Covenants
      *Not offered 2014-2015
      + Counts as 1/2 course

  3. Satisfactory completion of two (2) additional course from select background and related courses from "Exhibit C" courses below, or from "Exhibit B" courses above.

    Exhibit C

    a. Administrative Law
    b. Antitrust Law
    c. Art Law (S)*
    d. Biotechnology Law & Ethics (S)*
    e. Communication Law (S)*
    f. Contract Drafting
    g. Counseling the Start-up Entrepreneur (S)*
    h. Economic Torts (S)*
    i. The First Amendment
    j. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law (S)
    k. Harms & Benefits (S)*
    l. Intellectual Property and Business Strategy (S)*
    m. Intellectual Property Law Research +
    n. International Business Transactions
    o. International Competition Law Research (S)*
    p. International Law
    q. International & Comparative Legal Research (S)*
    r. International Trade Regulation*
    s. Internet Law (S)*
    t. Issues Raised by the Internet*
    u. Law & Economics*
    v. Law & Economics (S)*
    w. Law & Economics Workshop (S)
    x. Law and Sports (S)
    y. Law & the Lifecycle of a Technology Company (S)*
    z. Representing Life Sciences Companies (S)
    aa. Restitution & Unjust Enrichment*
    bb. Technology Commercialization (GSM)*
    cc. Telecommunications Law*
    dd. IP Strategies in Life Sciences & Technology (GSM)

    * Not offered 2014-2015. Additional courses may be added.
    + Counts as 1/2 course

  4. Satisfactory completion of a substantial written work on an intellectual property topic. 

    CORE IP FACULTY—If a student prepares his or her written work for a member of the core IP faculty (Professors Dogan, Gordon, Gugliuzza, and Meurer, or Dean O'Rourke), then to satisfy the Concentration Writing Requirement the student must obtain approval from that faculty member on both (a) the topic and (b) the quality, type, and length of the written work. The faculty member will employ for the latter the standard of the Upperclass Writing Requirement.

    MATERIAL NOT WRITTEN FOR PROFESSORS WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE CORE IP FACULTY: The Concentration’s writing requirement will be satisfied with the same written work that satisfies the existing Upperclass Writing Requirement, or that a member of the regular faculty (non-adjunct) states in writing is equivalent in quality, type and length to written work that would satisfy the existing Upperclass Writing Requirement,  provided that a member of the core IP faculty approves that the topic is within the IP area.  Students should ordinarily seek pre-approval of their topic by a core IP faculty member; in all events, the student must obtain the approval of a member of the core IP faculty that the written material as finalized focuses on an IP topic. A member of the core IP faculty need not review the written material for other purposes if the material has been properly certified for the Upperclass Writing Requirement by another faculty member, whether regular or adjunct, or if a regular faculty member (non-adjunct) has stated in writing that in quality, length and type it meets the requirements of the Upperclass Writing Requirement.  The student is responsible for giving the member of the core IP faculty (a) proof of having met the Upperclass Writing Requirement or (b) a written statement by a member of the regular faculty that the paper as it stands would satisfy the Requirement’s standards for quality, length and type. Without such indication, the student must obtain substantive as well as topic review of the written work from a core IP faculty member.


Students receiving a 3.5 grade point average in courses taken from Exhibit A and Exhibit B will be certified as earning honors in the concentration. All courses and seminars taken from Exhibit A and B that could count toward the concentration will be considered when determining honors unless, by the end of the applicable add/drop period, a student designates, in writing, that the student does not want a course/seminar that is taken that semester to count towards the concentration. This "opt-out" provision does not apply to courses/seminars that are needed to satisfy the minimum concentration requirements.

To ensure maximum flexibility for students in their future career decisions, the transcripts of students who elect the Intellectual Property Concentration will not reflect the concentration; rather, the BU Law Registrar's Office will separately record completion of the concentration and honors in the concentration and will make available official documentation of completion of the concentration and of honors.

Important Note about Concentrating in Intellectual Property

A technical background can be useful in obtaining intellectual property jobs. It is not a requirement, however. Many areas of intellectual property practice do not require such a background. Nevertheless, some firms that view themselves as "intellectual property firms" are primarily patent firms and are not interested in hiring people unless they can practice on the science side of the intellectual property field. Speaking more generally, a science or technical background is probably required for patent prosecution (interacting with the U.S. Patent Office, e.g., to obtain a patent), while it is usually unnecessary for patent litigation.