Students Present CLIP "Need to Know" IP Workshops

March 10, 2014

CLIP students present IP 101Alison Schwartzstein, Braxton Bragg, & Alexandra Horton present "IP 101"

Texas A&M School of Law students 3L Braxton Bragg, 2L Alexandra Horton, and 3L Alison Schwartzstein recently presented two Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) "Need to Know" workshops on intellectual property issues to budding entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and non-profit sector.

The workshop titled "IP 101" gives students in disciplines outside of law a basic understanding of the four main types of intellectual property: patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights. The presentation uses a hypothetical business owner played by Alexandra Horton to better convey this complex, and often misunderstood, part of the law in a practical way that will help future leaders.

Alexandra HortonHorton commented, "It was very important for me, as a former entrepreneurship student, to speak to the students in their language, and to make the information applicable since we weren't able to sit and meet with [the students] individually. There is a communication gap between business people and lawyers, and I think this presentation was a step towards bridging that gap." Horton was an entrepreneurship major in college and is focusing her law studies on intellectual property.

On February 13, the students traveled to College Station to present to an interdisciplinary class on Innovative Product Development at Texas A&M University.  The class was comprised of business, engineering, and architecture students. Also attending were faculty members and administrators from various departments that work with the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at the Mays Business School.

On March 4, the students were invited to speak at the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of North Texas. There, they presented to a class on Social Entrepreneurship. Engagement by students in the class was almost immediate.  While Alison Schwartzstein was presenting on copyrights, students asked about selling their class notes. Although not yet a practicing attorney, Schwartzstein quickly pivoted to explain that they were talking about a potential licensing deal.

Alison Schwartzstein“It is really exciting to see such enthusiasm and interest coming from students at the undergraduate level” said Schwartzstein. “Issues within intellectual property are becoming increasingly important, what with today’s digital dependence, and it’s important for young people to involve themselves in the dialogue. CLIP community outreach programs and the Need to Know series are helping to make that happen.”

Schwartzstein ‘10 serves as Executive Vice President of the Sports & Entertainment Law Society at Texas A&M School of Law and plans to practice law with an emphasis on intellectual property, more specifically, art law.

Braxton BraggThe students plan to continue to volunteer their time through CLIP community outreach programs. Braxton Bragg said that "we have all talked about continuing to give this presentation to other groups, and we are committed to making it better every time." He added, "the innovation of startups and social entrepreneurs will help make the world a better place, and they need to understand the value wrapped in their IP so that they can be successful." Bragg, a former consultant, serves as Technology Editor for the Texas A&M Law Review and works with both Horton and Schwartzstein in the new Entrepreneurship Law Clinic.

 About CLIP
CLIP logoUnder the direction of Professor Megan Carpenter, the Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) at Texas A&M University School of Law is committed to innovation and entrepreneurship. Since 2009, its mission has been excellence in the study and practice of intellectual property law by engaging theory, policy, and practice. CLIP demonstrates a deep understanding that theory is grounded in practical application, and that theory and practice together shape policy. Through programs such as the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, Need To Know workshops, Summer Away, and conferences and symposia like this one, CLIP sits at the forefront of both substantive legal issues and innovative learning opportunities. Click to find out more.

- Article contributed by Braxton Bragg