Supporting Entrepreneurship And Innovation Through Tech-enabled Lawyers of the Future

Something remarkable has been going on at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic for the past few years (DIPTC).


The DIPTC is helping budding lawyers future-proof their careers by exposing them to advanced tech tools that are becoming increasingly important in IP work. By bringing together commercial and legal innovation, the DIPTC is enabling entrepreneurial enterprises to maximize value from their IP and helping budding lawyers future-proof their careers by exposing them to advanced tech tools that are becoming increasingly important in IP work.


Cynthia Dahl, DIPTC Director and expert in commercial uses of IP and technology is the driving force behind this ground-breaking program. She is in charge to form and run a “teaching law practice” that allows students to assist real-world customers in developing and implementing their IP strategy.


The DIPTC utilizes Innography in a variety of methods with 16 students and between 25 and 30 clients every year. Profits are dispersed throughout the year while operating as a partnership, and there are frequently significant fixed costs such as real estate, business services employees, and larger legal administration teams.


When things are going well, scale can be effectively leveraged, and cash flow is less of a concern. When there is a larger downturn and a drop in customer demand, however, that leverage flips, creating an anchor that can bring the company down.


Training Students For Efficiency And Effectiveness

In today’s rapidly evolving legal profession, having prior expertise in technology is essential. Law students are taught how to use technology to become “smarter” in their jobs, utilizing IP intelligence to boost efficiency and effectiveness.


Lawyers will increasingly rely on third-party technologies to connect to and plug into the IP ecosystem, and those that learn how to use this technology early will provide greater service to their clients as well as a competitive edge in the job market and career advancement.


In acknowledgment of the legal profession’s fast transformation, the Law School recently established a new initiative called the Future of the Profession Initiative (FPI). FPI’s fundamental objective of teaching young attorneys for the future of legal practice is shown by projects like the DIPTC’s collaboration with Innography.


FPI’s Executive Director Jennifer Leonard notes that “spending time in law school using advanced technology tools in practice settings teaches developing lawyers how to blend technology and legal training.”


When the Law School and Dean Ted Ruger founded FPI, they envisioned using technology to make legal counseling more efficient and accurate while freeing up lawyers’ time to participate in advanced legal problem-solving and client counseling.


Educating Entrepreneurs

The DIPTC’s client work focuses on establishing and safeguarding IP rights rather than claiming them. The DIPTC is mostly about setting up protection and creating IP value because of the semester-long schedule and expense restrictions.


The DIPTC takes on customers that have ripe and intriguing legal issues that present a challenge to students. A customer, for example, may need to focus a large portfolio of patents on inventions that will support an open market.


Alternatively, their requirements might be in an unknown or developing area of law, such as data ownership and privacy problems, or the protection of virtual reality scenes or artificial intelligence-generated material. Businesses and their legal counsel will have to keep one step ahead of the game.


The fact that work is done free of charge is a significant feature of the DIPTC. The students may assist businesses that might not otherwise be able to afford such guidance and practical input, especially at this stage, but whose ideas and products are attractive and have the potential to produce long-term value.


The DIPTC’s hands-on, practical approach is being supplemented with Innography solutions. Innography is helping to propel innovations as well as new IP professionals into the future by allowing DIPTC students to gain real-world experience and sharpen their technical skills alongside their legal acumen, while also giving idea-rich, cash-strapped businesses the opportunity to maximize the potential of their innovations.



PatentsKart is a patent support services provider that helps clients manage their patent portfolios from beginning to end.


We integrate cutting-edge technology to assist businesses in navigating IP for commercial success and to prepare law students for future jobs.

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