Lincoln Law School of San Jose

Intellectual Property Studies

Lincoln Law School of San Jose is distinguished in its offering and focus of intellectual property (I.P.) curriculum coupled with an opportunity to interact directly with the USPTO.

The Lincoln IP Clinic is one of only a limited number of patent and trademark clinics nationally, and in fact, is the first in Silicon Valley. Located in the heart of San Jose, the Clinic offers students direct hands-on experience with the local USPTO satellite office in completing pro-bono client work for both patent and trademarks. Students work directly with professors, inventors, businesses, and other professionals under the direction and supervision of an attorney or licensed patent agent.

Lincoln’s IP programs are designed to meet a wide variety of career needs, from deep specialization for practicing attorneys and paralegals, strategic education for inventors and entrepreneurs, and a la carte Master Class series designed for career enhancement. Professors for the school’s IP curriculum are active experts in their field, infusing their courses with practical experience and interpretations of current trends and developments.

The IP department offerings include:

  • MLS in IP

  • LLM in IP

  • Patent Agent Certificate Program

  • Patent Bar Review – a preparatory series for the Patent Bar Exam.

  • IP Master Class series

  • Standalone electives for Lincoln’s JD program

  • Introductive IP Series on Udemy

All courses are designed for the modern student:

  • Weekly self-paced curriculum to be completed on a flexible schedule.

  • Weekly live meetings with professors to delve deeper into the material and discuss latest industry developments.

  • Practical, not theoretical, approach to intellectual property.

  • Courses broken into 5 week single units, and degree programs that take only 1-2 years.

Patent vs. Trademark

Making the Distinction

Intellectual Property Law is centered around the protection of ideas.


Patents protect people’s ideas relating to physical things - innovations and emergent technologies. The attorneys who practice patent law are required to have science and engineering degrees in order to give them the background they need to able to represent the products. Being able accurately and specifically describe the new technology is critical in the success of a patent attorney. The more detailed and technical the description of the innovation, the better it will protect against other inventors copying the technology.


Trademarks protect names. Everyone is familiar with the little “TM” in a circle near well-known names like McDonald's or Sprite. Companies who have created a brand do not want other companies to use their name and confusing consumers. If someone tries to use a brand name without permission, Trademark Attorneys send “Cease and Desist” letters requiring them to stop. Trademark attorneys are not required to have a science or engineering background to practice intellectual property law as it relates to trademarks.