LLM in Intellectual Property

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This degree is designed for attorneys who intend to practice in the fields of patent, copyright, trademark and technology law. The curriculum in the standard 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.


Degree Requirements

To earn an LLM in Intellectual Property, students must complete 24 - 26 credit hours of coursework. These hours will be made up of required courses, restricted 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.

Students who have completed the JD degree at a United States Law school will receive a waiver of the required Introduction to United States Law 2 credit course. Therefore, students who have received a JD from a United States Law school must complete 24 credit hours to receive the LLM degree. Students who have not completed a JD at a United States Law school must complete the 2 credit required Introduction to United States Law course, and therefore must complete 26 credit hours to receive the LLM degree.

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. Full time students typically take 12-15 credit hours per semester; part time students typically take 8-12 credit hours. For the purposes of the F-1 and J-1 visas, 9 or more credit hours are required to meet the full time requirement of the visa.

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 each 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.

The 24 - 26 credits making up the LLM in Intellectual Property are not designed to prepare or qualify students who are not graduates of a United States 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.

To develop a personalized plan of courses based on your time-frame for finishing the LLM Degree, please contact the Director of LLM Services, Adriana Vito, at avito@gmu.edu.

For more information about any of the courses listed below, view Course Descriptions.

Standard LLM in Intellectual Property

Students must complete all required courses. Students must complete 10 credit hours comprised of restricted elective courses. Students who have completed the JD degree at a United States Law school will receive a waiver of the Introduction to United States Law 2 credit course requirement.

All LLM students must complete a writing requirement. The writing requirement can be satisfied through the completion of a thesis or through completion of the restricted elective seminar/writing courses.

Required Courses (14 to 16 credit hours)

  • Economic Foundations of Legal Studies (3 credits)
  • Patent I (2 credits)
  • Patent II (2 credits)
  • Trademark Law (3 credits)
  • Copyright Law (3 credits)
  • Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property (2 credits)
  • Introduction to US Law (2 credits) (waived for students who have completed the JD degree a United States law school)

Intellectual Property Restricted Electives (10 credit hours)

  • Advanced IP Seminar: Tech & Entertainment (2 credits)
  • Advanced Trademark Seminar (2 credits)
  • Broadband, Net Neutrality and the Future (2 credits)
  • Chemical and Biotech Patent Practice (2 credits)
  • Communications Law (3 credits)
  • Computer Crimes Seminar (2 credits)
  • Emerging Law of Internet Privacy Seminar (2 credits)
  • Federal Circuit Practice Seminar (2 credits)
  • International Intellectual Property & Policy Seminar (2 credits)
  • Legal Clinic: GMU Patent Applications (2 credits)
  • National Security Law (3 credits)
  • Patent Know How & Licensing (2 credits)
  • Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution Seminar (3 credits)
  • Patent Litigation at the ITC (2 credits)
  • Patent Office Litigation (2 credits)
  • Patent Prosecution (2 credits)
  • Patent Writing Theory and Practice (2 credits)
  • Perspectives on Regulation (2-3 credits)
  • Privacy and Information Security (2 credits)
  • Regulated Industries (2 credits)
  • Regulation of Food and Drug (2 credits)
  • Surveillance Law Seminar (2 credits)
  • Telecom & Internet Seminar (2 credits)
  • Trade Secrets (1-3 credits)
  • Unfair Trade (3 credits)
  • Thesis (1-3)

LLM in Intellectual Property with Technology Focus

Students must complete all required courses. Students must complete 10 credit hours comprised of restricted elective courses. Students who have completed the JD degree at a United States Law school will receive a waiver of the Introduction to United States Law 2 credit course requirement.

All LLM students must complete a writing requirement. The writing requirement can be satisfied through the completion of a thesis or through completion of the restricted elective seminar/writing courses.

Required Courses (14 to 16 credit hours)

  • Economic Foundations of Legal Studies (3 credits)
  • Patent I (2 credits)
  • Patent II (2 credits)
  • Trademark Law (3 credits)
  • Copyright Law (3 credits)
  • Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property (2 credits)
  • Introduction to United States Law (2 credits) (waived for students who have completed the JD degree at a United States law school)

Technology Restricted Electives (10 credit hours)

  • Advanced IP Seminar: Tech & Entertainment (2 credits)
  • Broadband, Net Neutrality and the Future (2 credits)
  • Communications Law (3 credits)
  • Computer Crimes Seminar (2 credits)
  • Emerging Law of Internet Privacy Seminar (2 credits)
  • National Security Law (3 credits)
  • Perspectives on Regulation (2-3 credits)
  • Privacy and Information Security (2 credits)
  • Regulated Industries (2 credits)
  • Regulation of Food and Drug (2 credits)
  • Surveillance Law Seminar (2 credits)
  • Telecom & Internet Seminar (2 credits)
  • Trade Secrets (1-3 credits)
  • Thesis (1-3 credits)

LLM in Intellectual Property with Patent Focus

Students must complete all required courses. Students must complete 10 credit hours comprised of restricted elective courses. Students who have completed the JD degree at a United States Law school will receive a waiver of the Introduction to United States Law 2 credit course requirement.

All LLM students must complete a writing requirement. The writing requirement can be satisfied through the completion of a thesis or through completion of the restricted elective seminar/writing courses.

Required Courses (14 to 16 credit hours)

  • Economic Foundations of Legal Studies (3 credits)
  • Patent I (2 credits)
  • Patent II (2 credits)
  • Trademark Law (3 credits)
  • Copyright Law (3 credits)
  • Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property (2 credits)
  • Introduction to United States Law (2 credits) (waived for students who have completed the JD degree at a United States law school)

Patent Restricted Electives (10 credit hours)

  • Chemical and Biotech Patent Practice (2 credits)
  • Federal Circuit Practice Seminar (2 credits)
  • Legal Clinic: GMU Patent Applications (2 credits)
  • Patent Know How & Licensing (2 credits)
  • Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution Seminar (3 credits)
  • Patent Litigation at the ITC (2 credits)
  • Patent Office Litigation (2 credits)
  • Patent Prosecution (2 credits)
  • Patent Writing Theory and Practice (2 credits)
  • Trade Secrets (1-3 credits)
  • Thesis (1-3 credits)

For more information about the LLM in Intellectual Property program, including instructions on how to apply, please visit the LLM in Intellectual Property Admissions page.