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Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Clinical Practicum

Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Clinical Practicum

Professors Michael Haber and Mark Lesko
Maximum Enrollment:
8 students

Students in the Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Clinical Practicum provide transactional (non-litigation) assistance to small businesses and start-up companies, with a particular focus on intellectual property issues that arise for start-ups in the earliest stages of venture formation.

Client companies or entrepreneurs may be eligible for representation if:

  • (1) they are members of the Hofstra University community who have no practical means of obtaining funds to retain comparable private counsel; or
  • (2) they are individuals, or companies owned by individuals, with no practical means of obtaining funds to retain comparable private counsel and whose business success would
    • (a) contribute to the economic development of one or more low-income communities, or
    • (b) advance an important social mission.

The Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Clinical Practicum will select clients from among our eligible applicants first and foremost with an eye toward the educational value of a client project for the students and the related benefit of a diverse caseload. Secondarily, we will select clients based on a number of other factors, including whether the entrepreneur has developed a basic business plan and taken steps toward executing that plan and whether the entrepreneur is a member of a community or demographic group that has been historically underrepresented among the ranks of entrepreneurs.

Student work will focus on drafting corporate documents such as corporate formation documents, shareholder agreements, founders’ agreements, operating agreements for LLCs, joint venture agreements and non-disclosure agreements.

Students would also be exposed to a limited range of intellectual property issues that may require them to:

  • negotiate licenses,
  • conduct prior art searches,
  • determine patentability and freedom to operate,
  • conduct preliminary clearance trademark searches and prepare and file trademark applications for registration,
  • prepare and file copyright applications for registration, and
  • oversee/participate in clearance analyses and freedom to operate and/or fair use opinion writing.