Intellectual Property Venture Clinic (IPVC)

About the Clinic

Our Intellectual Property Venture Clinic (IPVC) provides students with the opportunity to represent start-up companies as they develop and cultivate real-world intellectual assets, while also applying skills learned in the fields of corporate and securities law. Students focus on a full range of business and intellectual property issues that start-ups face. 
In the IPVC, students are provided with valuable working opportunities to apply their understanding to the process of identifying, cultivating, and protecting intellectual property with an ultimate goal of structuring a fundable transaction.  The key areas of representation are technology protection, cultivating a clear business strategy, entity structure and filing, investor diligence and disclosure and creating an offer for promising deals. Student teams develop a general IP protection strategy; perform prior art searches, draft claims and participate in the application and prosecution process with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Students create a corporate entity, draft fundamental charter documents, prepare investment diligence materials and other materials necessary to close an investment transaction.
In addition, the USPTO has selected Case Western Reserve University School of Law to participate in the Patent Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program. The Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program provides law students the opportunity to practice patent law before the USPTO. Under this program, Clinic students render assistance in securing patent rights, which may include drafting patent applications; patent and know-how licensing; developmental agreements and a full range of related transactional work; securing trademark rights; and general counseling related to building a strategic position in a given competitive space.

Our School of Law also participates in the newest component, the Patent Pilot Petition to Make Special Program, which allows the law school to designate a set number of patent applications per academic semester to be advanced out of turn, in order to provide the students with more immediate feedback. Each school must certify that they provide all patent clinic clients with patentability searches and opinions prior to qualifying for advancement out of turn.

Who We Are

The Intellectual Property Venture Clinic is one of several clinics under the umbrella of the Milton and Charlotte Kramer Law Clinic and is primarily staffed by a faculty supervisor, third-year law students certified as Legal Interns by the Supreme Court of Ohio, and Master in Patent Practice students.  The IPVC also maintains a Help Desk at Think[box] in the engineering school on the sixth floor of the Richey-Mixon building.

What Types of Technologies has the IP Venture Clinic Worked With?

In addition to the very broad technological experience of our clinical faculty, the IPVC engages content experts from the legal and scientific communities wherever necessary, helping us maintain the ability to handle an extremely broad and diverse portfolio of potential technologies. The following is a small sampling of representative technologies we have worked with to date:

  • Life Sciences—including diagnostic technologies, medical devices and "big data" healthcare analytics. Where necessary, we have engaged experts from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University Hospitals and the Case Western Reserve University Medical School to provide insight and efficacy input.
  • Software and IT—including intelligent social media, advanced analytics and cloud-based data transformation.
  • Advanced Energy—including renewable power generation, consumer and energy efficiency applications and "smart web" technologies.
  • Aerospace—Including advanced propulsion and fuel efficiency technology.

In addition to scientific and technical content expertise, we routinely draw on a large network of community intellectual property professionals and corporate/government stakeholders to "deepen our bench" wherever needed.

Does the IP Venture Clinic work with University Technology Transfer?

The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is a close collaborator and partner of the IPVC, but we do not act as counsel to the university in the commercialization of new technologies. Instead, we work as counsel to inventors (including student inventors) who believe they can commercialize technologies owned by the university. This approach allows us to quickly identify commercial and scientific potential while navigating the structures and legal requirements of the University to produce an investable deal. To the extent the university would invest in this kind of collaborative deal, we would represent that company in its negotiations to collaboratively structure and close the transactions, including licensing and equity participation agreements.

Does the IP Venture Clinic partner with regional economic development institutions?

Our intent is to partner wherever possible with community development organizations (Jumpstart Entrepreneurial Network, Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio and others), early stage investors (e.g., local angel groups and early stage funds), and service providers (e.g., local IP/venture law firms) so that the deals evaluated and created in the IPVC are well connected with and advanced by our network of potential partners and facilitators. The functional focus of the IPVC fills a void in the early-stage company landscape in Northeast Ohio, and we intend to partner with other members of this ecosystem to ensure successful company launches into the local economy wherever possible.

We also believe our local economy benefits from an ability to cultivate and retain high-value professionals in this field. Students of the program have opportunities to build valuable relationships in our business, investment and technology communities, entering into the local professional workforce with skills and experience that will greatly add to their marketability.

Potential Client Inquiries

We are only able to handle legal matters in Ohio. Because our clinic is primarily staffed by law students, there are many factors we have to take into account when we receive an inquiry, including capacity, timing, and the particular facts and circumstances presented.

If you think that your First Amendment rights are being infringed upon, please call 216.368.2766 or email with your contact information and we will get back to you. While we will keep all communications confidential to the extent disclosure isn’t required by law or our ethical duties, please do not send sensitive information, including long narratives or supporting documentation.


Law School’s Intellectual Property Venture Clinic launches student careers and startups

Former Intellectual Property Venture Clinic client awarded $3.2 million from U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy

Resources for Early Stage Entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio

JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network

The JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network is a connected group of entrepreneurial support organizations delivering the resources tech-based entrepreneurs need most: capital, space, advice and connections. Supported in part by Ohio Third Frontier, Network partners collaborate to help entrepreneurs grow early stage companies here in Northeast Ohio.

Great Lakes Innovation & Development Enterprise (GLIDE)

Founded in 2001, GLIDE is a comprehensive regional innovation center, resource hub, and business incubator that supports all facets of the start-up, development, and growth of enterprises. Created by a partnership between the Lorain County Commissioners, Lorain County Community College, and the Ohio Department of Development, GLIDE's objective is to grow jobs and spearhead economic growth in both Lorain County and the Northern Ohio region.


FlashStarts, Inc. operates a startup accelerator and provides services to startup CEOs, venture capital firms, and accelerator/incubator programs.


Located in Shaker Heights, LaunchHouse is a lean business accelerator that fosters entrepreneurial success and job creation through investing cash, hard work and collaboration with interesting, like-minded people. Our mission is to create a hub of entrepreneurial innovation for promising startups and to help transform ideas into successful companies.


The mission of MAGNET, the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, is to support, educate and champion manufacturing in Ohio with the goal of transforming the region's economy into a powerful, global player.