Elite Business Schools Do Not Require Students Take a Single IP Course, Latest CIPU Report Finds

Most of the prestigious MBA programs have expanded their intellectual property course offerings over the past twenty years, but even with the value of IP rights at historic highs they have yet to make basic IP knowledge a requirement.

Graduate business students at top-20 universities in the United States do not have to take a single course to fulfill the core requirements for an MBA. IP course offerings remain elective at all of the leading business programs.

The report found that IP content varies by school, department offering them and the background of the instructor.

These and other disclosures about IP education at graduate management programs are contained in a report, ‘Intellectual Property at Business Schools: An Evolving Landscape,’ compiled by the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU) that will be announced on Thursday at the 4th Intellectual Property Awareness Summit, April 28th-29th.

IPAS 2021 is open to the public. The registration fee is being waived this pandemic year. Space, however, is limited.

Among key findings of ‘Intellectual Property at Business Schools’:

  • The top 20 business schools offer a total of at least 44 IP courses
  • Almost one-third of business schools offer only one course
  • None have a required or core IP course
  • Course leader Harvard Business School offers six courses; Wharton offers five
  • Lack of data, especially on soft IP assets such as copyrights and trade secrets, make it difficult for many to support the IP education argument
  • Some B-school educators do not believe that IP is best taught by lawyers

Cultural Divide

“There exists a cultural divide among those proficient in one of the pillars of IP: law, science, design, and business,” states the report. “IP transcends legal frameworks and permeates many classic business school descriptions.”

The report looks at the state of IP education a 21 U.S. business programs (there was a tie for first in the rankings), as compiled by U.S. News and World Report, and comes away with several unsettling observations. While some 44 courses are offered by the leading programs, almost one-third offer a single elective course, and none are compulsory.

  • Most IP courses are taught by instructors in one of 10 departments
  • Entrepreneurship/Innovation department leads with 14; Law & Ethics is 10

For the full story about the business school report, and accept to the 18-page report, see the most recent Intangible Investor in IP Watchdog.

Image source: CIPU; understandingip.org


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