About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 115-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum, our invaluable experiential learning opportunities, and the breadth and depth of our specialized areas of concentration and certificate offerings.
- Student Life
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
- Alumni and Giving
Alumni and Giving
The global Trojan network of more than 10,000 law alumni and donors include recognized leaders in numerous fields who are deeply committed to supporting student and law school success.
Intellectual Property and Technology Clinic (IPTLC)
- + AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
- ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
- BUSINESS LAW
- MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND TECHNOLOGY LAW
- PUBLIC INTEREST LAW
- + EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
- + NON-DEGREE PROGRAMS
- ACADEMIC CALENDAR
- COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Represent clients in matters at the leading edge of copyright and trademark protection, privacy issues, the First Amendment and other crucial issues of the information age through our Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic (IPTLC).
Ranked by the Hollywood Reporter as among the top entertainment law programs nationally, the clinic represents filmmakers, game developers, artists, entrepreneurs and nonprofits. Students work with real-life clients dealing with the complexities of intellectual property and technology law, mitigating legal risks while helping clients meet their business and creative goals.
Why Choose Intellectual Property and Technology?
Opportunities in the specialty will continue to grow, as we now live in a globalized economy driven by information and technology. The laws protecting copyrights and trademarks are more complex than ever, as the balance between the rights of creators of intellectual property and those who seek to use that content becomes increasingly challenging to maintain.
Students in the clinic represent budding filmmakers, artists, game developers, entrepreneurs and nonprofits who are struggling with the challenges presented at the intersection of creative expression, technology, law and policy. Many of our clients are minority-owned or women-owned businesses.
The clinic also seeks to shape national copyright policy by filing for Digital Millennium Copyright Act exemptions to address the needs of clients from documentary filmmakers to farmers, and by submitting comments to public studies conducted by the U.S. Copyright Office.
Types of Projects
Students work on issues related to copyright and fair use, trademark registrations, licensing and contract law. You may also deal with issues involving trade secrets or a client's need to protect confidential information.
Recent representative projects include:
- fair use analysis of movie and other clips included in several documentary films addressing topics such as the influence of music, the impact of social media on celebrity status and the challenges faced by women in Hollywood
- drafting a license agreement for designers whose work is exhibited and distributed through an online subscription service that allows anyone to experience 3D printing while also providing a promotional platform for 3D designers
- advising a local entrepreneur regarding the selection of a restaurant name for trademark registration
Partnerships with the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Advanced Games Program provide you with the opportunity to support creative teams producing new content innovations across multiple platforms.
The clinic handles approximately 24 clients per year.
First-year JD students are invited to apply in the spring for the following academic year. Because of the hands-on nature of the clinic, enrollment is limited to eight students per year.
The clinic is offered as a course within the JD curriculum and, if selected, you will receive academic credit. Students enroll in the clinical course for one year. You will obtain a thorough grounding in:
- copyright and fair use
- the right of publicity
- unfair competition
- contracts relating to intellectual property ownership
- basic license agreements
Crucial skills developed through firsthand experience aiding clients include:
- registering copyrights and trademarks
- corresponding with administrative agencies
- drafting transactional agreements
- managing intellectual property assets
- counseling and advocating for clients
- research, writing and analytical skills
- collaboration and teamwork
- business evaluation and guidance
- effective communication and problem-solving
Valerie Barreiro is director of the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic. She previously served as vice president of Legal Affairs at NBCUniversal, where she structured, negotiated and drafted key agreements for the development, production and exhibition of such unscripted programs as The Voice. She also provided legal counsel to senior executives at the Universal Television Studio. After beginning her career at the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, Prof. Barreiro joined NBC as media counsel in 2006. She graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she was an editor of the Communications and Entertainment Law Journal.
Student & Alumni Testimonials
"No one should doubt the value of a clinical course in providing students with hands-on legal experiences. The real-life legal problems may be challenging, but you know that there is always a leader in the field at your side ready to help guide you through. Professor Barreiro is genuinely interested in helping the clinic's clients while at the same time ensuring that it is a valuable learning experience for the clinic's students."
Stephen Tang, JD '17
""The Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic was by far the most practical course I took at USC. Not only was I constantly learning important intellectual property theory during lecture every week, but I was also learning how to work with a team in a time-pressured environment to advocate for actual clients."
Ashlee Lin, JD '10, Associate, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
"The Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic has made a number of significant contributions to the documentary filmmaking community. Without the support of the clinic's efforts in public interest advocacy, it would be much tougher for documentary filmmakers to do the critically important work they do throughout the world."
Michael Lumpkin, Executive Director, International Documentary Association
"The work of the IP Law Clinic at USC has been extremely helpful to all filmmakers by clarifying the state of fair use law. Their advice has been essential for us and other filmmakers who want to use fair use and comply with the law."
Amanda Micheli, Oscar-nominated Director
Karen Johnson, Producer
Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic in the News
Game Design Meets Intellectual Property in a Key Collaboration
March 22, 2016
One-of-its-kind pact between artists and budding lawyers is no game - it's the real deal...more
USC Gould Graduates Celebrate Passing the Bar
December 8, 2017
New lawyers take their oath after passing the nation’s most difficult bar exam
Start with “Yes”
November 27, 2017
During “Conversation with the Dean,” alumnus Paul Richardson (JD1990) shares career insights
Saks Institute Holds Discussion on Involuntary Commitment
November 20, 2017
Judge Jim Bianco ’87 discusses mental health court