Taking a Tour of Intellectual Property at Loyola

Many students interested in intellectual property (IP) get asked a lot of the same questions. In my experience, the common questions have been:

“Why IP? Do you need to know if you’re interested in IP before law school? What about during law school? Do you need to have a science background for IP? What opportunities are there for students interested in IP at Loyola? How do you network in IP?”

I am sure prospective law students are wondering the answers to some of the questions posed above. As a former undergraduate tour guide, I love answering questions like these, so here’s the perspective of a current 1L (first-year law student) at Loyola.

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How 911 Sent Me Code 3 To Law School

Imagine this: It’s 4 am and you’re working as an EMT running 911 calls. Dispatch notifies you that you need to respond to a call… now! You turn on the lights and sirens, also known as Code 3, and make your way to the call. You show up. It’s chaotic and you grab the gurney, nitroglycerin, and oxygen tubing amongst others. You save the patient, and everyone is happy. You clean the ambulance and sit down for a moment to relax. But dispatch rings and you’re off again.

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My Ride to IP at Loyola

My first exposure to intellectual property (IP) unexpectedly started with t-shirts. If you asked me five years ago if it is easy to get approval for a phrase on a t-shirt, I probably would’ve said yes. However, now I know it can sometimes be anything but easy. In college, I was the President of Notre Dame’s (ND) Equestrian Team. To raise funds for the club, my fellow officers and I wanted to stamp “Ride Like a Champion Today” on t-shirts and sell them. We based this slogan off the “Play Like a Champion Today” phrase commonly used for ND Football. Expecting it to be a simple and quick process like our other t-shirt fund-raising campaigns, we sent in our mock-up for approval, but the athletics department answered with a resounding NO. What!?

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Tracks to Trademarks

Better read fast because as Ricky Bobby once said, ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last.’

If you breathed the same air as me this summer, you probably know I became a huge NASCAR fan. After hearing the first car roar on Michigan Avenue (even before walking into the Chicago Street Race), NASCAR earned my allegiance. So lucky you, you get to read about it too, haha! However, this time, with a recently acquired trademark lens.
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Wacky Patents

Although patent law may be perceived as a very serious and sophisticated practice, it can also be fun! Other than practicing at the intersection of technical and legal knowledge, patent law also provides protection for a number of suprising and unexpected inventions. For example, a method of exercising a cat was found to meet the requirements for patentability. It is a common misconception that patented inventions must be groundbreaking or scientifically complex. In fact, inventions are patentable, or capable of achieving patent protection from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), despite their deceptive, bizarre, or menial purposes. In the United States, inventions are patentable if directed to patentable subject matter that is new, useful, nonobvious, and. But, you may be wondering, who evaluates whether these “wacky inventions” meet these requirements and how are the patents obtained?  Let me explain.

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What Could Cookies and Dresses Have in Common…? Trade Dress!

Picture this – you walk into a new bakery. The smells hit you from every direction. You see the different kinds of frosting oozing out of the glass case showing off all the new goodies. Where could you possibly be you might wonder… You’re at Crumbl Cookies! Crumbl is a new-ish national cookie franchise that sells its unique, freshly baked, rotating flavored cookies out of most big cities around the country. Emphasis on the *unique* part.

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