University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will offer a new online certificate program developed specifically to address the increasing demand on individuals and organizations to safeguard their intellectual property (IP) assets, such as inventions, marks, technological innovations and artistic works.

Launching in October 2018 as a part-time, completely online program, Detroit Mercy Law’s Certificate in Law — Intellectual Property will provide critical training for a range of professionals, including inventors, scientists, developers, engineers, designers, artists, writers, investors, and entrepreneurs, as well as those who manage intellectual property or cybersecurity, or work in the legal field.

From 2004 -16, there has been a significant increase in intellectual property filings, with U.S. patent applications up 41 percent, trademark applications up nearly 43 percent, and copyright applications remaining steady. During this same time period, worldwide patent applications rose nearly 50 percent and trademark applications rose by 54 percent. As a result, organizations have expanded their intellectual property staff to include lawyers, non-lawyers and technology experts, who manage and monitor ideas, inventions, brands and more. The Certificate in Law – Intellectual Property aims to provide critical professional training in a flexible online format specifically developed by legal and IP experts for working professionals.

Program Director and Assistant Professor Wissam Aoun said he has witnessed a growing desire of professionals to learn about this important area of the law without having to attend law school and obtain a J.D. degree. “We created and designed this program in response to the growth in the intellectual property field in the past 15 years," Aoun said. "The Certificate in Law will teach participants about intellectual property and cybersecurity laws, the legal protection of ideas and works, and monitoring and managing their intellectual property after legal protection has been obtained.”

The first seven-week course, Introduction to Intellectual Property, begins on Oct.1, with additional courses in the program starting in January (Patent Law), March (Trademark and Marketing Law), and May 2019 (Cybersecurity Law). All courses are taught by Detroit Mercy Law faculty and cover established and emerging patent, trademark, copyright and cybersecurity laws essential to today’s job markets.

“The Certificate in Law will continue the school’s tradition of preparing students for real-world situations by learning the law through innovative types of study,” says Detroit Mercy Law Dean and Professor, Phyllis L. Crocker.

To complete the online certificate, participants take one seven-week course at a time, requiring two to five hours of total commitment per course, per week. Pre-recorded video lectures are available for viewing at the participants’ convenience, and there are also opportunities for real-time interactions with classmates and instructors.

The certificate can be completed part-time in a year (or longer if preferred). Special discounts are available for groups, federal or state employees and active military members. To learn more about the online program, visit

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