Comparative IP Law

Application Information – Applications are now closed for 2015

Classes: June 1 – June 26, 2015 (5 units)

Internships: June 29 ~ July 24, 2015 (3 units)

Classes | Internships | Fees & Financial Aid | Housing | Exploring The Area | Travel Information | Testimonials | Contact Us

Already Enrolled? See Information For Enrolled Students

Classes: Comparative Intellectual Property Law (5 units)

MunichThe focus of this program is on European and German intellectual property systems, with some comparative reference to U.S. systems. Patenting systems are explored in some depth. However, no expertise or prior background is needed for the course work. The course is designed as an introduction for the generalist as well as those seeking to specialize eventually in intellectual property law. The academic component of the program consists of three principal areas of concentration. In the Comparative Patent Law portion of the class, students will learn about the basic features of United States and European patent systems, including patentability, determination of prior art, effective priority, inventorship, and scope of protection. The second portion of the class will focus on Law and Policy Development in the European Union. Students will examine the process for harmonizing the legal standards of intellectual property in the member states of the European Union. Case studies include a review of the proposed  computer software directive, database protection, biotechnology patents, copyright, and issues pertaining to the Internet.

Site visits include:
*European Patent Office
*Headquarters of BMW
*A social trip to Herrenchimesee, one of King Ludwig II’s palaces, built on an island in a lake southwest of Munich

Finally, students will learn about European Patent Procurement, Litigation, and Licensing. Students review the procedures for filing and prosecuting patent applications in the European Patent Office and for perfecting a patent grant into national patents. Lectures present topics such as the substance and procedural aspects of oppositions, the relationship between EPO grant procedures and national patenting, the similarities and differences between national courts in patent litigation, licensing strategies, and the rights of employed inventors in Germany and elsewhere. Classes generally are held between 9:00am and 1:00pm, Monday – Friday, with some exceptions. A final examination is given at the conclusion of the academic component. All courses and briefings are in English. Application deadline for classes only is March 23, 2015.  The application deadline for classes with internships is extended to March 23, 2015.

Internships: Munich (3 units)

Internships are available at private intellectual property law firms and some institutions situated in and around Munich. These internship placements require either German language skills or a technical background, but not both. Many students start a part-time internship in Munich concurrently with the course and continue full-time at the conclusion of the course. Students gain valuable practical experience by doing legal work under the supervision of a professional in the host country, while integrating into the legal culture of the country, and make invaluable professional contacts. The expectation of an intern is full-time work from the period of the internship (e.g., 40 hours or more a week of supervised legal work). Santa Clara Law requires a minimum of 50 hours of supervised legal work for each internship unit of credit.  The application deadline for classes with internships is extended to March 23, 2015.

Note: Internship placements are based on a student’s technical and language skills, and may not reflect a student’s preference.

Fees & Financial Aid

Deposit: A non-refundable deposit of $300 for the class and an additional deposit of $700 for an internship (if applicable) is required to secure your spot and it is applied to the tuition charge

Tuition: The tuition charge is $1000/unit for J.D. students. LL.M. students should contact us for tuition information.

Financial Aid: US law students are typically eligible for  financial aid to cover tuition, airfare, housing, food, local travel costs and school supplies (click here for more information)


Students may make their own arrangements for housing. Many students choose to stay at the  DERAG Hotel Max Emmanuel, which has facilities that are both modern and convenient to the Munich city center. Each unit is a fully functional mini-apartment that includes a small kitchenette (with related accessories), private bathroom with shower, a desk, basic linens, weekly housekeeping, small balcony, ample storage space, and easy access to public transportation. There are discount supermarkets and good inexpensive restaurants nearby. Students can contact DERAG directly for pricing.

For students wishing to make their own housing arrangements, there are a number of rental agencies who can assist in securing either a private room or apartment accommodations, like Mr. Lodge or a roommate placement agency. Additional options include: Pandion Boarding House, Sunnyside Apartments, Citadines, AirBnB, and 9Flats. Please note that Santa Clara University does not guarantee or endorse the quality of these agencies; this information is provided solely as a convenience to our students.

Exploring The Area

In addition to the classroom experience, we have been able to offer our students an opportunity to witness an actual oral proceeding at the European Patent Office. Students also visit the international headquarters of Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW), which includes a lecture given by a member of the BMW legal department as well as a tour through the on-site car manufacturing facilities. Finally, we provide our students with an opportunity to gain a perspective on the rich cultural history of Bavaria by visiting one of the beautiful castles located at a nearby lake, including a private tour of the castle and lunch at a restaurant in a building that dates back to the 18th century.

Travel Information

MunichAbout Munich: Munich, situated on the Isar River near the Alps, is home to a major university, the University of Munich. Munich is a focal point of both German and European intellectual property law. The Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Patent, Copyright and Competition Law is located in Munich, as are the European Patent Office, the German Patent Office, and the German Patent Court. A large number of high-technology companies are located in or near Munich.

Besides all the opportunities Munich has to offer for those studying intellectual property law, it is a fascinating city that will charm you. Although as lively as any other metropolitan city, many Germans refer to Munich as a big village; it has a very intimate feel to it when you are there. Das ist sehr Gemütlich!!

Munich is the capital of Bavaria (Bayern), Germany’’s largest federal state. When most people conjure images of Germany, they imagine Bavaria, which is the land of beer halls and lederhosen. Bavarians are proud. Indeed, the residents of the area think of themselves as Bavarians first and Germans second.

Munich is conveniently situated for weekend travel to other cities including Paris, or Prague. Besides its Bier Gartens, Munich offers incredible museums, including the Deutsches Museum, one of the world’’s largest science and technology museums (you literally need a whole day or more to go through it). Munich is a bicycle lover’’s town. Almost every road has a bike lane, and automobile drivers strictly adhere to bicycle rider laws, making it very safe. One can get a used bike for about 50 Euros (about $60). This may be cheaper than using Munich’’s excellent transportation system because there you must pay each and every time you use the system (about two Euros each way).

Dress Code: The standard dress code in the business setting is typically a bit more formal in Germany than in the U.S. Therefore, students who plan on participating in our internship program should bring at least a “business casual” wardrobe. Also, students should bring one set of clothes appropriate for the annual Santa Clara University semi-formal reception, and also for the other more formal outings, including our trip to BMW and the European Patent Office. Semi-formal means that men should bring a jacket and tie; women should bring a suit and/or cocktail dress. Other than for the above occasions, dress is casual for the academic portion of this program.

Cell Phones: If you are interested in having a mobile phone during your stay in Germany, and already own a “tri- band”/GSM phone, you may be able to buy a pre-paid phone card to directly insert into your handset. Otherwise, you can buy a phone preloaded with a prepaid chip and simply reload your phone when the money runs out on the chip. You can go to any T-Mobile or Vodaphone shop located throughout Munich for the phones/chips. See: for current offers from local mobile phone providers. Recently, the Tchibo shops started offering prepaid phones with NO contract for as little as 35€€; you just have to fill out a form with your local address once you arrive in Munich.

Local Maps: A useful online and interactive Munich street map can be found at either or

ACE Insurance/Europ Assistance Information (all students enrolled in the program are covered)
US State Department Tips for Traveling Abroad
US State Department Travel Safety Information
US Department of State Country Specific Information
US Embassies/Consulates
US Department of State: Passport Services
US Department of State Worldwide Caution
Centers for Disease Control Health Information
Disability Information for Germany


Summer 2014 Student EvaluationOverall Experience 4.55 (Scale of 1-5, 1=poor, 5=excellent)

“[The internship] gave me a good idea of what IP lawyers do at a firm, especially non-patent IP lawyers.”  Nick, SCU (2013)

“This has been the best overall abroad experience I’ve ever had, I will definitely be recommending the program to other students.” Nathaniel T, SCU (2012)

“The Munich program provided me with valuable experience that will significantly contribute to my legal career. The internship has given me an advantage in the competitive IP law job market.  It immediately distinguishes me as an individual who is not only knowledgeable about IP law, bit knows what legal path she wants to pursue.”  Kathryn Laipply, SCU (2012)

“The best.  Highly recommended.”  [Anonymous] SCU (2011)

“Overall I enjoyed the study abroad very much. It has a good mix of lots of information and fun.” Britten Sessions, SCU (2009)

“SCU’s Munich program was exactly what I wanted for my summer.” Kara Brotman, SCU (2005)

“I highly recommend this program. It has outstanding instructors, great internship opportunities, and affords an opportunity to study with law students from all over the United States. Also being in Munich gives you a centralized location to explore Europe on your own . . .” Brian Boyle, SCU (2005)

Contact Us

Munich Program Director: Prof. Tyler Ochoa
The Center for Global Law & Policy

Enrollment is limited to a maximum of 30 students