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.
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.
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:
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:
Crucial skills developed through firsthand experience aiding clients include:
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.
"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 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
One-of-its-kind pact between artists and budding lawyers is no game - it's the real deal...more