One common mistake made by artists, inventors and entrepreneurs is not recognizing early enough that, just as they routinely protect tangible property from damage and theft, they should protect their intellectual property from damage and theft. Too many businesses and ventures fail for easily preventable reasons.
What is “intellectual property?” The World Intellectual Property Organization provides as good a definition as any: “Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce,” any of which allow people to “earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.”
There are three core IP disciplines:
- patents, which may be obtained for inventions that provide a new way of doing something;
- copyrights, which grant exclusive rights to authors over their original creations, ranging from books, music and films to computer programs, databases and technical drawings;
- and trademarks, which include any word, symbol or device that acts as a source identifier capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of others.
The IP CO-LAB, an intellectual property clinic at Northeastern University School of Law, is here to help. Founded in 2014 to provide legal services to the Northeastern University “entrepreneurial ecosystem,” the clinic offers free assistance to any current or former Northeastern student, faculty or staff member. The clinic routinely provides trademark and copyright services and has a proven track record of success, most notably by protecting brand names and logos. And although not yet actively involved in providing patent assistance, the clinic can help protect trade secrets and advise on steps that may be needed to obtain patent protection. We work closely with Northeastern University’s Mosaic community and, as part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Law School Clinic Certification Program, we offer IP-related assistance to individuals and entities throughout Massachusetts who cannot otherwise afford legal services.
This is a win-win endeavor. The IP CO-LAB work is performed by upper-class law students who gain practical knowledge and hands-on experience representing clients under the direct supervision of faculty and staff; our clients, in turn, obtain valuable counsel and legal assistance understanding how to protect — and gaining protection for — what is rightfully theirs.
For more information or to apply for assistance, please contact us at email@example.com.
IP CO-LAB in the News
- “A Small Claims Program for Copyright Violations? It's an Idea the ABA Supports,” ABA Journal (August 12, 2019).
- “How an Idea Became an IDEA,” news@Northeastern (June 18, 2019).
- “'Fair Use' Doctrine Should be Consistent and Protect Copyright Owners, ABA House Says,” ABA Journal (January 26, 2019).
- “Trademark Expert John Welch Joins Northeastern Law’s IP CO-LAB,” (January 1, 2019).
- “Move Over, Shark Tank. Here’s Where the Next Great Entrepreneurs Rub Elbows,” news@Northeastern (November 15, 2018).
- “Women Face Enough Challenges in the Workplace. These Graduates Won't Let Blisters Be Another,” news@Northeastern (October 23, 2018).
- “When New Entrepreneurs Navigate Intellectual Property: IP Matters That Really Matter in University-Based Venture Incubators,” Landslide Magazine (July 2018).
- “Startup Brings Virtual Reality Tours to Apartment Hunting,” news@Northeastern (June 25, 2018).
- “Northeastern Recognized for Excellence in Fostering Entrepreneurship,”news@Northeastern (June 14, 2018).
- “Two Northeastern Students Created an App to Revolutionize the School Bus Industry,” news@Northeastern (May 9, 2018).
- "Northeastern Law Clinic Certified to Register Trademarks for Entrepreneurs,"news@Northeastern (June 16, 2017).
- "USPTO Certifies Northeastern Law Students to Register Trademarks" News Announcement (April 26, 2017).
- "It Takes a Team,"Northeastern Law Magazine (Winter 2017).
- "Dos and Don’ts for Teaching Students About Intellectual Property Law." Tiffany Kwong '16 and Judith Young '16 share tips on what to do, and what not to do, when teaching a class about IP law.
- "The IP-COLAB: An Exploration of a Novel Means by Which Practical Skills Can Be Developed in the Field of Intellectual Property," Student Project Presented by Justin Pounds '16 at the RISE:2016 Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo (April 7, 2016).
- "Building Businesses Piece by Piece," Northeastern Magazine (Spring 2016).
- "Blurr, the App That's out to Change How You Share Photos," news@Northeastern (March 14, 2016).
- "Colleges Give Legal Hand to Student Startups," The Boston Globe (September 29, 2015).
- "Law Clinic Helps Students Protect Their IP," news@Northeastern (August 24, 2015).
- "Student Entrepreneurship, by the Numbers," news@Northeastern (August 24, 2015).
- "Startup Schools: America's Most Entrepreneurial Universities 2015," Forbes (August, 2015).
August 12 -13, 2019 | Professor Montgomery Attends the Annual Meeting of the ABA House of Delegates
Professor Susan Montgomery ’86, a delegate with the Intellectual Property Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates, participated in the annual meeting of the House in San Francisco, moving and successfully advocating a resolution supporting legislation to establish a small claim program in the US Copyright Office.
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July 1, 2019 | IP CO-LAB Welcomes Bruce Jacoby
Bruce Jacoby joins NUSL as associate clinical professor and director of the IP CO-LAB. He previously served as an assistant clinical professor for the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic at UConn School of Law, where he earned his JD in 2003. After law school, he joined Wiggin & Dana in New Haven as a member dedicated to the firm’s intellectual property practice group, and held similar positions in subsequent years at other firms, most recently as senior trademark counsel to Kim IP Law Group, an intellectual property boutique. The years between his undergraduate and law degrees were spent as both a freelance cameraman and filmmaker, then as a writer and creative director. His experience on both the creative and legal sides of intellectual property issues gives him a unique perspective on the challenges involved and makes him particularly well-suited for his new role.
May 16, 2019 | Annual Gathering of IP CO-LAB Alum and Current Members
This year’s gathering included a surprise celebration of Professor Mary Landergan's retirement.
April 17, 2019 | Annual Mosaic Celebration at ISEC and Recognition Event of Graduating IP CO-LAB Members
2019 graduating IP CO-LAB students
L-R: Shelby Hecht; Florence Aribeana; Julia Blackburn Otero; Miranda Jang; Seth Katzman; Anthony Witkowski; Victoria Downey; Susmita Gadre; Alyssa Vetrano; Hanbo Yu; Amanda Varrichione; Katerina Stavrianidis; Thisaru Perera; Audrey Ricks; Elizabeth Gardon; Shawnam Osman; Lacey Chrabaszcz; Raven Smith; Conor O’Sullivan-Pierce; Stephanie Gianno; Micah Jones; Yaxkin Rodriguez-Thier
April 29, 2019 | IP CO-LAB Visits Fish & Richardson
A panel of attorneys at Fish & Richardson treated members of the IP CO-LAB to lunch and an informative panel discussion on IP Law at the firm's head office at One Marina Park Drive, Boston.
April 15, 2019 | IP CO-LAB Visits the US Patent and Trademark Office
Students in the IP CO-LAB spent the day on April 15 with Professor Mary Landergan at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which has certified the IP CO-LAB to participate in its trademark and patent program. The group viewed a Trademark Trial and Appeals Board hearing, talked with USPTO leaders and met with faculty and students from other law schools.
Please note, nothing about this website or an inquiry you send to IP CO-LAB creates an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not include any confidential information in your initial inquiry or at any time before you and IP CO-LAB have entered into an engagement contract confirming the parties’ agreement to establish an attorney-client relationship.