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New Undergraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Prepares Undergraduates for the Innovation Ecosystem

Atlanta, GA

The School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech has established a new undergraduate certificate in Intellectual Property (IP). The IP Certificate Program is part of a multipronged effort by Georgia Tech and entities across Metropolitan Atlanta to strengthen the city’s innovation ecosystem. Georgia Tech’s innovation neighborhoods such as Technology Square, Technology Enterprise Park, and the North Avenue Research Area already form a key part of that. The new certificate program further expands the Institute’s strengths by formalizing IP career pathways for students and by providing IP-focused connection points with technology-based sectors including telecommunications, software, the entertainment industry, and government.

According to program director John Walsh, a professor in the School of Public Policy, “Georgia Tech students are eager to be part of these innovative activities.”

The Public Policy IP Certificate is designed to teach students how to protect and capitalize on their ideas. Students will learn about law, business strategies, and public policies affecting or affected by intellectual property and prepare them for careers ranging from patent agents (computing, engineering, or science majors), to intellectual property lawyers, to business executives who need to recognize the value of a company’s intellectual property, to engineers who need to be aware of IP issues in their work, to students working in the policy arena related to intellectual property and innovation.

The School recently expanded its faculty expertise in intellectual property by hiring Alan Marco, the former chief economist for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Marco joins Professor Walsh, Associate Professor Justin Biddle, and Robert Pitkowski, J.D., who directs the Public Policy Pre-Law Program.

Students enrolled in the IP certificate program will complete 12 semester hours of approved course work. In addition to the Public Policy classes and electives, they may also take classes from approved electives in the Ivan Allen College Schools of History and Sociology and Literature, Media, and Communications; the Scheller College of Business; and the College of Engineering.

“The program is designed to bridge across the Colleges at the Institute to highlight the variety of problems and opportunities inherent in a changing policy environment and its impact on an idea ecosystem,” said Walsh. “In addition to exposing students to directly IP-related career options, the certificate is designed to prepare those going into other careers for dealing with IP issues in their work. Georgia Tech and the School of Public Policy are uniquely placed to host such a multi-disciplinary IP Program, because of the depth of research and teaching capabilities in this area, in the Ivan Allen College, and across the campus.”

The IP Certificate Program facilitates Georgia Tech’s goal of ensuring that innovation and entrepreneurship are fundamental characteristics of our graduates.

To learn more about the IP Certificate Program requirements, and courses, visit the certificate website at https://spp.gatech.edu/undergraduate/certificates/intellectual-property. 

Last revised May 15, 2020