University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Courses & Curriculum – Franklin Pierce Center for IP

An Innovative IP Curriculum

To say that much has changed in the IP curricula of law schools in the United States over the last decade is a gross understatement. According to data from the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors (NAPLA) Handbooks, growth of IP programs has been on a progressive rise.

This has led to the expansion of IP curricula at the top-ranked schools with IP programs. The problems for prospective students looking to gauge the value added of large course offerings are many.

The first question is how to measure the size of each IP curricula. The number changes each semester. There is no central source that tracks this data. Many schools only publish current courses. Other schools publish "course offerings" that inflates the figure since courses are taught more than once per year. Some schools list courses that are only peripherally related to IP. A 2008 review of the websites of the Top 30 IP Law School Programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report showed a wide range in the number of self-designated IP courses, from a handful to a staggering 70. The average was 25.

There are only so many IP courses a law student can take, and there are only so many courses an IP student might need. The Franklin Pierce Center for IP suggests that prospective students look carefully at both the quantity and the quality of IP courses.

UNH Law: A History of Firsts

When UNH Law was founded as Franklin Pierce Law Center, there were two law schools that taught patent law. We were the first school to teach patent prosecution in a multi-level course supported by a growing range of patent courses. Over time, a wide range of courses in trademark, copyright, trade secrets, licensing and other "soft IP" subjects steadily grew into what we consider to be the most robust IP curriculum in the United States. The Franklin Pierce Law Center was the first to add corporate patent lawyers to the IP faculty to teach IP Management. At that time, this was a knowledge base well guarded by corporate IP counsel mastered only by years on the job. The Franklin Pierce Law Center IP faculty were the first to develop course materials on IP management.

Integrating IP Throughout the Law School Curriculum

Beyond "dedicated" IP courses, the Franklin Pierce Center for IP attempts to point out the IP implications in a wide range of subject areas. The following is not a list of courses, but of areas of law with IP interrelationships. Looking at IP throughout the curriculum is a concept Franklin Pierce Center for IP has termed "IP through and through," meaning our students learn IP throughout their law studies.

  • Agriculture law
  • Art Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Conflicts of Law
  • Commerce & Technology
  • Crimes
  • Damages
  • Economics
  • Employment ( secrets)
  • Entertainment
  • Environment (e.g. sustainable development)
  • Health
  • Human rights (indigenous, cultural, traditional)
  • Insurance
  • Labor
  • Remedies
  • Sales (Uniform Commercial Code)
  • Secured transactions (debtor/creditor)
  • Sports
  • Taxation
  • Torts (defamation, appropriation)

Innovating With New IP Course Offerings

The Franklin Pierce Center for IP evaluates its IP curriculum each year, adding and dropping courses to meet the needs of law students and global IP professionals. The hallmarks of the Franklin Pierce Center for IP curriculum are:

  • Broad and deep, with dozens of growing and changing courses
  • Integrates all aspects of IP and then integrates IP throughout the general curriculum
  • Recognizes the global nature of IP and offers many foreign, international, comparative and global courses
  • Recognizes the value of a practice-based education as part of an integrated legal education
  • Recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of IP and includes courses at the interface of IP, business, management, science, technology, economics, public interest and more
  • Recognizes the ever changing nature of IP, offering courses in IP in developing nations, such as Traditional Knowledge
  • Recognizes the value of scholarship, offering many opportunities for IP students to engage in scholarly courses resulting in publishable quality work products.

The Courses Students Need, When They Need Them

We offer core courses up to three times a year. That is especially important to students here for the one year graduate programs degrees. At other schools students miss taking courses because of conflicts.
These law courses offer students the opportunity to master the IP life cycle:

  • Identifying IP and intellectual capital
  • Creating IP
  • Branding IP
  • Protecting IP
  • Managing IP
  • Valuing IP
  • Creating new markets for IP
  • Monetizing IP
  • Transferring IP
  • Financing IP
  • Securitizing IP
  • Taxation of IP

For more detailed information, please see our Curricular Guide.


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