The USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic is a clinical program run by faculty and student legal interns at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law School. The Clinic provides free basic intellectual property legal assistance to filmmakers, artists, journalists, musicians, small businesses, non-profit organizations, innovators, independent developers and others who have limited resources for legal services. The Clinic provides a range of intellectual property related services for its clients, including counseling on copyright and fair use, trademarks, unfair competition, and right of publicity legal issues;registering trademarks; drafting basic work-for-hire agreements,contribution agreements, assignments,and other contracts relating to intellectual property ownership; drafting and negotiating basic license agreements; reviewing and updating existing intellectual property policies and Terms of Use and End User License Agreements (EULAs).

To learn more about the Clinic and its work you can browse this website or get in contact with us by phone or e-mail.


Who We Are

The Clinic is directed by Professor Valerie Barreiro and staffed by clinical interns, law students in their second and third-year of law school at USC. Eight students work at the Clinic during the fall and spring semesters and two to three students work at the Clinic during the summer.

Connect With Us

Clinic Wins! Petition for Exemption to Diagnose and Repair Agricultural Machinery Granted

USC’s IP Clinic successfully petitioned the Library of Congress to adopt grant an exemption to allow allowing farmers to fix their tractors without fear of legal repercussions.

Clinic Members Lead Training on Fair Use & the DMCA

On Monday April 22, 2013, the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic gave a presentation to over 100 documentary filmmakers as part of the International Documentary Association‘s Doc U educational series

Clinic hosts screening of landmark surf documentary

On April 25, 2013, the IPTLC hosted a screening of the landmark surf documentary “Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story” at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Clinic Files Amicus Brief in Closely-Watched Cambridge University Press Case

The IPTLC has filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of university professors in a major educational fair use case in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Clinic Submits Comment to U.S. Copyright Office

Clinic submits a comment on behalf of the International Documentary Association regarding how orphan works and mass digitization should be addressed in the U.S.

Clinic Achieves Historic DMCA Exemption

The Clinic in association with Donaldson & Calif obtained an exemption to the DMCA covering documentary filmmakers and multimedia e-book authors.

New Posts

The Batmobile Is A Character Entitled to Copyright Protection

The Batmobile is a character and therefore entitled to copyright protection, at least according to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Sandra Ikuta quoted the famous movie in affirming a ruling against a manufacturer of replica Batmobiles. “As Batman so sagely told Robin,” she recited, “in our well-ordered society,

DMCA Exemption Granted in Wake of Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

News recently broke that Volkswagen released an estimated 11 million diesel-powered vehicles worldwide equipped with software capable of evading emissions testing. Some argued that Volkswagen’s obfuscation would have been more easily detected if the vehicle software was not protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA prohibits those outside of

Can Monkeys Own Copyright? PETA Says Yes

Many are familiar with the “Monkey Selfie,” a widely circulated photo of a monkey named Naruto grinning broadly at the camera. When wildlife photographer David Slater left his camera unattended with a group of crested macaques, Naruto and his fellow simians snapped a series of selfies, including the famous shot.

“Happy Birthday to You” Copyright Invalidated

For 80 years, Warner/Chappell Music Inc. has collected millions in licensing fees based on its claimed right to the lyrics of “Happy Birthday to You.” However, the federal District Court recently ruled that Warner/Chappell never owned a valid copyright for the song. The plaintiffs, a group of filmmakers and artists,

A Decision That’s Making Record Companies “Go Crazy”

A viral video featuring a dancing baby eventually pitted Hollywood and Silicon Valley against each other in a clash over the procedural requirements of federal copyright law. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., after ongoing litigation that began when Stephanie Lenz protested Universal’s

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