IP Co-LabThe IP CO-LAB: A Unique Campus Collaboration

As Intellectual Property (IP) gains increasing significance in the world of commerce, innovators and entrepreneurs – and their legal advisors and investors – must keep pace with understanding IP law and strategies to collaborate effectively, from ideation through development and launch, to preserve rights, pursue social and commercial initiatives and craft business plans and transactions informed by IP assets and strategies.

The IP CO-LAB, led by students at the School of Law and faculty from the law and business schools, provides a range of crucial IP-​​related legal information and services to inventors and ventures in Northeastern’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It collaborates with the university’s Center for Research Innovation, student-​​run venture accelerator (IDEA) and the Center for Entrepreneurial Education. Its goal is to enhance the campus innovation environment and provide opportunities for all members of the Northeastern community – with a special focus on law students supporting design, engineering and business students – to better understand and use intellectual property. 

Northeastern's intellectual property program was given an "A+" in the spring 2018 issue of preLaw magazine. The magazine takes into account a law school's breadth of curricular offerings when compiling the rankings. NUSL is among 18 schools nationwide receiving an A+ in IP law. 

Partnering Law Students and University Entrepreneurs: Educate, Incubate, Launch

The IP CO-LAB is pioneering a new and unique approach that, along with other student-led activities, builds on the university’s signature cooperative education model, integrates the study of law with authentic lawyering practice, and incubates actual entrepreneurial ventures. IP CO-LAB participants:

  • Identify, connect and engage with inventors and ventures, negotiating the terms and scope of client engagements and addressing professional and ethical responsibilities
  • Provide a minimum of 20 hours/week in legal services on matters ranging from explaining complex laws, navigating trade secret and patent decisions, and conducting trademark clearances, to developing contracts and procedures
  • Collaborate with faculty to design and deliver learning modules and presentations that disseminate and make IP knowledge accessible to students in entrepreneurship, product design and capstone courses
  • Engage with the community beyond campus, including IP law firms, legal practice technology vendors, the Boston Patent Law Association and the US Patent & Trademark Office
  • Work with others to develop policies for Northeastern’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Support the launch of successful ventures such as New Grounds Food (www.newgroundsfood.com) and Scout, Northeastern’s student-led design studio (http://www.northeastern.edu/scout/). 

Opportunities for Investment

Financial support for the IP CO-LAB will help sustain the program, which serves as a laboratory for “new normal” law practice innovation, including integrated teams and collaborative models of practice. For further information, please contact Professor Susan Montgomery.



Recent Events

USTPOApril 13, 2018 | IP CO-LAB Visits the US Patent and Trademark Office
Students in the IP CO-LAB spent the day on April 13 with Professor Mary Landergan at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which has certified the IP CO-LAB to participate in its trademark and patent program. The group viewed a Trademark Trial and Appeals Board hearing, talked with USPTO leaders and met with faculty and students from other law schools.

April 9, 2018 | The Patent System: Transformative Times
On Monday, April 9, the Federal Circuit Bar Association held a regional meeting at Northeastern University School of Law. Topics discussed included the evolution of the patent system and the biggest issues facing patent policy and litigation today.

February 8, 2018 | IP Meets T/E: Advising Artists, Authors and Musicians on Legacy, Inheritance and Tax
Willa Cather famously told her literary trustee to prevent publication of her draft manuscripts and letters. Tennessee Williams forbade his plays from being changed in any manner after his death. And Beastie Boys Adam Yanuch directed in his will that his image or music never be used for advertising purposes. Are these restrictions enforceable? Should they be? Copyright descends to heirs, who become the owner of the intellectual property with all the rights and responsibilities IP provides. As we have seen in headline lawsuits, such as by the family of Marvin Gaye (about the song Blurred Lines), heirs can also be litigious. How can artists and authors provide for their heirs without the burden that caring for the art provides? These are complex and somewhat unsettled issues in intellectual property law. Come hear three experts speak about these issues from a variety of perspectives at IP meets T/E.

Co-sponsored by the Copyright Society of the USA (CSUSA) and the Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity (CLIC) at Northeastern University School of Law. 

January 22, 2018 | IP CO-LAB Visits Fish & Richardson
A panel of attorneys at Fish & Richardson treated members of the IP CO-LAB to lunch and an informative panel discussion on IP Law at the firm's head office at One Marina Park Drive, Boston. (read more)

November 14 - 18, 2016 | Global Entrepreneurship Week
Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW2016) kicked off on Monday, November 14, at Northeastern University. The School of Law was proud to partner in a number of interactive events as part of the worldwide annual celebration: 

Wednesday, November 16th | 6:00 PM
Professor Susan Montgomery was among the panel of lawyers speaking on “Start-up Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make.”
Thursday, November 17th | 6:30 PM
IP CO-LAB Heads to NEXPO, Northeastern’s premier entrepreneurship exposition. (View photos)

For full details, please visit northeastern.edu/eweek



IP CO-LAB In the News

Contact Us

For more information, contact IP CO-LAB

Mary Landergan
Associate Teaching Professor and Director, IP CO-LAB

Susan Montgomery
Executive Professor of Law and Business
Faculty Advisor, IP CO-LAB