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Areas of Study

Intellectual Property & Information Privacy Law

Intellectual Property and Information Privacy Law

Legal rights concerning innovation, information, and technology – ownership rights through intellectual property (IP) and information-privacy protections through various laws – are among the most important and fast-developing areas of legal practice. You have many opportunities at St. Thomas Law to begin pursuing these fields for your legal career.

IP courses at St. Thomas Law cover the major statutes protecting trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. Courses also cover related areas of law that may be part of a practice focused on innovation and technology, including privacy law, cybersecurity and entrepreneurship.

Through classroom and experiential courses (clinics, externships and national competition teams), students are introduced to the principles underlying IP and information-privacy law; to practical aspects such as drafting patent and trademark applications, developing cybersecurity policies and handling employee inventions; and to broader issues such as the law's response to new technologies, the interaction of technology and privacy, protecting IP and privacy in other nations and the relationship of IP to social justice and economic development.


Admissions Office

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Course List

Below are examples of some of the courses offered at St. Thomas Law for students interested in pursuing a career in intellectual property or information-privacy law.

  • Cybersecurity: Managing Risk
  • Decentralization Technology and Policy
  • Information Privacy and Data Protection Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International and Comparative IP
  • IP Moot Court Competition: Patent
  • IP Moot Court Competition: Trademark
  • Patent Application Drafting Competition
  • Patent Law
  • Patent Prosecution
  • Privacy Law
  • Representing Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses
  • Trademark Law Clinic

Featured Faculty

Thomas Berg headshot

Thomas Berg

Professor Berg is a co-author of the book "Patents on Life: Religious, Moral, and Social Justice Aspects of Biotechnology and Intellectual Property" and he has been a leader in writing on the relationship between global intellectual property and religious thought.

More about Thomas Berg
Daniel Pauly headshot

Daniel Pauly

Professor Pauly teaches Patent Law. He is an owner at Pauly, DeVries Smith & Deffner LLC in Minneapolis where he provides IP guidance to individual innovators and large companies.

More about Daniel Pauly
David Grenardo Headshot

David Grenardo

Among Professor Grenardo's areas of expertise is sports law. He has published articles regarding the NCAA Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policy.

More about Professor Grenardo
Christopher Wheaton headshot

Christopher Wheaton '08 J.D.

Professor Wheaton teaches Privacy and Data Protection. He is the Director of Global Privacy and HIPAA Privacy Officer at LivaNova, PLC, a medical technology company.

More about Christopher Wheaton
Lea Westman Headshot

Lea Westman '15 J.D.

Lea Westman coaches the Trademark IP Moot Court Team. She is a Patent Attorney at Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, P.A.

More about Lea Westman

Experiential Learning

Legal Externships, Clinics & Volunteer Opportunities

Accelerate your professional development and substantive understanding of IP law in a legal externship or clinic. Students at St. Thomas may also volunteer to conduct limited searches of prior art for the Inventor Assistance Program of Legal Corps, which offers help to low-income inventors.

Kevin Beach portrait

Trademark Clinic

The Trademark Clinic counsels clients regarding trademark matters and drafts and files trademark applications, responses to PTO actions and other related documents.

Learn more
Stella Haberman portrait

Business Externship

Gain IP experience through an externship with one of the major corporations or companies that make up the dynamic Twin Cities business community.

Learn more

Our Alumni

Mentors Laura Gisler with Mentee Erin HErdemen

Mentor Externship Program

We Pair Each Student With A Mentor

Each law student is matched with a mentor who complements their interests and professional goals, such as IP law. Our mentors allow students to engage in legal work, professional networking and meaningful reflection.

2020 Competition award winners

Moot Court & Patent Drafting Competition Teams

St. Thomas Law annually participates in three national IP student competitions: the Giles Sutherland Rich IP Moot Court, the Saul Lefkowitz Trademark Moot Court and USPTO National Patent Application Drafting Competition. Each is offered as a credit-earning course for 2Ls and 3Ls. The competitions introduce students to current issues in IP law and help them build their written and oral advocacy and drafting skills.

St. Thomas teams have advanced to the national round of the Rich IP Moot Court competition each year since 2018. In 2020, St. Thomas Law students took first place in the Patent Application Drafting Competition.

The Twin Cities: A Dynamic Business Community

Minnesota is home to 17 Fortune 500 corporations, including Target, Best Buy, Cargill, General Mills, 3M and UnitedHealth Group—many of them with headquarters in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul or the surrounding suburbs. The Twin Cities has the most Fortune 500 companies per capita of any U.S. metro area. Major industries in Minnesota include medical devices, manufacturing, renewable energy, technology, finance and engineering.

Members of the Student Intellectual Property Law Association

Clubs & Organizations

Student Intellectual Property Law Association

The St. Thomas Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA) connects students with the IP and data protection and privacy communities through direct engagement with attorneys working in patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, data protection and privacy.

Further, SIPLA works to educate students in IP and data protection and privacy by supporting IP competitions, promoting classes and building relationships between St. Thomas Law and in the greater legal community.