The Case Western Reserve University School of Law IP Venture Clinic ("IPVC") provides students with the opportunity to represent start-up companies as they develop their plans to commercialize their technology. Students will focus on a full range of business and intellectual property issues that start-ups face.
IP Venture Clinic ("IPVC"), builds upon and broadens the Fusion curricular focus by developing a platform for the cultivation of and application of legal skills necessary to support clients engaged in the process of bringing new technologies to market. Special areas of focus include Commercialization, Intellectual Property Transactions, Venture Finance and Design and Innovation.
Students, working under the supervision of CWRU faculty, represent start-up companies and entrepreneurs to develop and cultivate real-world intellectual assets, while also applying skills learned in the fields of corporate and securities law. Here, not only do the students gain hands-on experience in both business law and intellectual property law, but they provide critically important legal resources to pre-investment entrepreneurs and inventors. As a team, IP Venture Clinic students engage graduate students from the business and science disciplines to build the case of investment.
Clinical SkillsIn the IPVC, students will be provided with valuable working opportunities to apply their understanding to the process of identifying, cultivating and protecting intellectual property with an ultimate aim toward structuring a fundable transaction. The key components the clinical program include:
- Technology Protection: Student teams will develop a general IP protection strategy, working with supervising practitioners to design and implement that strategy. Students will be involved in performing prior art searches, drafting claims and participating in the application and prosecution process with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and other patent offices worldwide. Importantly, the UPSTO has selected Case Western Reserve University School of Law to participate in the Patent Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program, which provides law students the opportunity to represent clients before the USPTO. Students will also secure trademark protection and advise on branding strategies.
- Cultivating a Clear Business Strategy: Student teams will work with early term management to create, a fundable business strategy and plan.
- Entity Structure and Filing: Student teams will create a corporate entity and draft fundamental charter documents for the company. To the extent an early governance team is put in place, the student teams will draft agreements necessary to handle stock options and other instruments necessary to compensate management, advisors, etc.
- Preparing for Investor Diligence and Building A Disclosure Model: Students will prepare investment diligence materials necessary to support investor discussions. Such diligence materials will typically include background information regarding the proposed technology, team and any material information necessary to make an investment decision.
- Creating an Offering: For promising deals, students will create private placement memoranda and/or crowd-sourced funding materials, as well as presentation and subscription materials necessary to close an investment transaction.
How to Get Started:
The IPVC works with a limited number of early stage entrepreneurs that do not have the financial resources to cover to cost of obtaining legal counsel. Ideal candidates will intent on commercializing new technology. If you have a promising technology and wish to be evaluated for service by the IPVC, please take the time to complete the US Patent and Trademark Office's Certificate Training Course, then complete the Federal Circuit Bar Association's Pro Bono Service Request Form.