Intellectual Property Initiative

IP Clinic students

The Intellectual Property Initiative’s mission is to train outstanding intellectual property lawyers, create a forum for exploring hot topics in intellectual property law, and to build bridges with the IP community by creating opportunities for students to use their intellectual property skills to serve the public interest.


Paul B. Eaton Distinguished Professor of Law
(919) 962-7219 |

William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of Law
(919) 962-8502 |

Paul B. Eaton Distinguished Professor of Law
(919) 962-4116 |

Student Opportunities

Curriculum and Clinic

Academic opportunities for students interested in intellectual property law include the core courses Copyright Law, Intellectual Property, International Intellectual Property, Patent Law, and Trademark Law, plus IP-related electives on art, music, copyright, biotechnology, media, privacy and sports law.

In the one-semester 3-credit Intellectual Property Clinic, students earn real-world legal skills and represent independent non-profits, educational institutions and small businesses in trademark cases before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Carolina Intellectual Property Law Association

This student-run organization seeks to promote mutually beneficial relationships, awareness, and pro-bono opportunities between the UNC-Chapel Hill and intellectual property communities by inviting speakers, arranging informational meetings, and actively pursuing interaction with attorneys specializing in all aspects of intellectual property law.

Moot Court

During the spring semester of their 1L year, students may try out for the school’s Holderness Moot Court program to earn a spot on the Intellectual Property Law Appellate Advocacy Team. Moot court teams are coached by student and faculty advisors and participate in regional and national competitions. Students on this team will have the opportunity to compete their second and third years. They learn to present their arguments persuasively and answer questions from a panel of judges at competition.

Writing Competitions

Federal Circuit Bar Association’s George Hutchinson Writing Competition

International Patent Drafting Competition

International Trademark Association’s Ladas Memorial Award

National Law Review Writing Competition

New York Intellectual Property Law Association’s Hon. William C. Conner Writing Competition

American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Robert C. Watson Award

Organizations with Student Memberships

American Bar Association – The ABA has a section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL).

American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) – Includes a Law Student Committee, Mentoring Committee, Diversity in IP Law Committee and job fair for members.

Copyright Society of the United States

International Trademark Association (INTA) – Includes a job bank that lists student internships. Student membership is not required to conduct a job search.

North Carolina Bar Association – The NCBA has both a Law Student Division and an Intellectual Property Law Section, both of which include various committees on IP specialties.

Triangle Intellectual Property Law Association (TIPLA)

Licensing Executives Society – The Research Triangle Park has its own chapter.