LLM in Intellectual Property

This degree is designed for attorneys who intend to practice in the fields of patent, copyright, trademark and technology law in the United States or who would like to gain a knowledge of the United States' intellectual property laws and return to their home country for practice. The curriculum in the general LLM in Intellectual Property program includes courses covering every aspect of intellectual property law, from basic courses in patent, copyright , trademark and technology, to enforcement, litigation and dispute resolution, to practical experience drafting patents. Additionally, students may choose to pursue their LLM in Intellectual Property with a patent or a technology focus.

Master of Laws (LLM) in Intellectual Property

Table of Contents

Program Highlights

The Master of Laws (LLM) Degree in Intellectual Property is designed for attorneys who intend to practice in the fields of patent, copyright and trademark law, or technology law. 

Students in the LLM program will be selected from:

The George Mason LLM in Intellectual Property program draws on the law school's extensive existing resources and is one of the most comprehensive, diverse programs of its kind among Washington area and Virginia law schools, according to a GMU survey of law schools in this region.  While the strength and depth of the George Mason IP Program is in patent law and technology law, significant offerings are available in the areas of copyright and trademark law.

The LLM-level courses are taught by an experienced faculty, including full-time professors and adjunct professors who have practiced in the intellectual property field. Our distinguished adjunct faculty boasts a sitting Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; the Solicitor of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); a former Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks; a former Register of Copyrights; a former Examiner-in-Chief and Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences Administrative Judge; a former WIPO Director of Industrial Property Law; former chief counsels of the principal subcommittees on intellectual property in the United States Senate and House of Representatives; and prominent practitioners from most of the leading intellectual property law firms in the Washington, D.C., area.

The LLM in Intellectual Property Program is directed by Professor Stephen KuninSkunin@oblon.com.

Curriculum

To earn an LLM in Intellectual Property, students must complete 24 credit hours of coursework.  These hours will be made up of required courses, electives, and a thesis, seminar or writing course to fulfill the LLM writing requirement. Students may elect to complete our standard LLM in Intellectual Property or the LLM in Intellectual Property with a Technology or a Patent Focus.

The 24 credits making up the LLM in Intellectual Property are not designed to prepare or qualify students who are not graduates of a U.S. law school to engage in the practice of law in the United States or to qualify them to take a bar examination in the United States.  Additional coursework is possible for those trying to qualify to sit for a bar examination. For more details, see Bar Examination for Foreign-Trained Attorneys.

Students may attend the LLM program full-time or part-time.  Courses are offered in the day and evening to accommodate working professionals. Students may be able to complete the standard LLM in Intellectual Property or the LLM in Intellectual Property with a Technology Focus in one academic year, though most will take a year and a half to two years to do so.  The LLM in Intellectual Property with a Patent Focus takes a minimum of one and a half years.

All students must finish the degree requirements within three years of matriculation and be enrolled in at least two courses each semester, unless granted a waiver or leave of absence.  In order to remain in the LLM program, students must present a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.33 on a 4.33 scale at the end of the spring semester.

The course requirements and electives for both the standard LLM in Intellectual Property or the LLM in Intellectual Property with a Technology or a Patent Focus are below.  The required and elective LLM courses are not offered every semester and new offerings for approved LLM electives may become available.  Students should check with the Records Office for a current schedule of courses. A limited number of courses also will be available in the summer.

Important Program Note:  Students entering the LLM in Intellectual Property Program must take an Economic Foundations of Legal Studies course.  They may elect to take the course in the summer semester, preceding their fall start, or their first fall semester. The Introduction to US Law course (a requirement for international students without a US JD) begins in the summer.  The credits associated with the Introduction to US Law course do not count toward the 24 credits needed for the LLM.

To develop a personalized plan of courses based on your time-frame for finishing the LLM Degree, please contact the Director of Student Academic Affairs, Christine Malone, at cmalone4@gmu.edu.

Standard LLM in Intellectual Property

Required Courses  (14 to 16 credit hours)
Economic Foundations of Legal Studies
Patent I
Patent II
Trademark Law
Copyright Law
Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property
Introduction to US Law (International LLM Students ONLY.)
Intellectual Property Electives  (4 to 8 credit hours)
Advanced IP Seminar:  Tech & Entertainment
Advanced Trademark Seminar
Broadband, Net Neutrality and the Future
Chemical and Biotech Patent Practice
Communications Law
Computer Crimes Seminar
Emerging Law of Internet Privacy Seminar
Federal Circuit Practice Seminar
International Intellectual Property & Policy Seminar
Internet and Online Law
Legal Clinic:  GMU Patent Applications
National Security Law
Patent Know How & Licensing
Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution Seminar
Patent Litigation at the ITC
Patent Office Litigation
Patent Prosecution
Patent Writing Theory and Practice
Perspectives on Regulation
Privacy and Information Security
Regulated Industries
Regulation of Food and Drug
Surveillance Law Seminar
Telecom & Internet Seminar
Trade Secrets
Unfair Trade
LLM Writing Requirement  (2 to 4 credit hours)

Thesis  OR  Seminar/Writing Course from Intellectual Property Electives

LLM in Intellectual Property with Technology Focus

Required Courses  (14 to 16 credit hours)
Economic Foundations of Legal Studies
Patent I
Patent II
Trademark Law
Copyright Law
Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property
Introduction to US Law (International LLM Students ONLY.)
Technology Electives  (4 to 8 credit hours)
Advanced IP Seminar: Tech & Entertainment
Broadband, Net Neutrality and the Future
Communications Law
Computer Crimes Seminar
Emerging Law of Internet Privacy Seminar
Internet and Online Law
National Security Law
Perspectives on Regulation
Privacy and Information Security
Regulated Industries
Regulation of Food and Drug
Surveillance Law Seminar
Telecom & Internet Seminar
Trade Secrets
LLM Writing Requirement  (2 to 4 credit hours)
Thesis (Tech) OR  Seminar/Writing Course from Technology Electives

LLM in Intellectual Property with Patent Focus

Required Courses  (14 to 16 credit hours)
Economic Foundations of Legal Studies
Patent I
Patent II
Trademark Law
Copyright Law
Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property
Introduction to US Law (International LLM Students ONLY.)
Patent Electives  (4 to 8 credit hours)
Chemical and Biotech Patent Practice
Federal Circuit Practice Seminar
Legal Clinic:  GMU Patent Applications
Patent Know How & Licensing
Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution Seminar
Patent Litigation at the ITC
Patent Office Litigation
Patent Prosecution
Patent Writing Theory and Practice
Trade Secrets
LLM Writing Requirement  (2 to 4 credit hours)
Thesis (Patent)  OR  Seminar/Writing Course from Patent Electives

 Admission

Students will be selected from the pool of U.S. law school graduates, and graduates of universities outside of the U.S. who hold a law degree or its equivalent in education or practical experience.  For information on the admission requirements and the application process, please visit FAQs.

Tuition and Fees

For the most current posting of tuition rates for the School of Law, please visit: 
budget.gmu.edu. Tuition is updated in mid-May by the university's Board of Visitors and is subject to change at any time.

Contact Us

Prospective applicants who have questions concerning admissions details or the admissions process should contact the Admissions Office at 703.993.8010 or lawadmit@gmu.edu. Curriculum questions should be addressed to the Director of Student Academic Affairs, Christine Malone, at cmalone4@gmu.edu.