How Michelson IP Elevates Student Success in Community Colleges

CIPU Intellectual Property Awareness Summit


By Rachelle Mulumba, Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (Originally published on

Quotes in the article have been lightly edited and paraphrased for clarity.

“I remember during my first semester teaching, a student came up to me and he had designed this beautiful logo. He asked me, ‘Can you show me the ropes? How do I protect this because somehow I feel like somebody may steal it.’ Yet with an MBA behind me and experience of 25 years working in marketing, I really had no clue.”

Unfortunately, the anecdote that Glendale Community College professor Rafael Cardona expressed at the recent annual CIPU Intellectual Property Awareness Summit at Northeastern University is not uncommon. Industry experience in the realm of business oftentimes does not come with intellectual property knowledge, as that is usually left to General Counsels and other in-house legal experts. Thankfully for Cardona, the opportunity to integrate IP into his curriculum came about when he was asked to take part in a Michelson IP and National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) pilot program.

Applying the Curriculum

“They have a series of videos that break down the subject into clips of 5 minutes by each individual IP area and a book [that expands on the concepts]”, Cardona explained to the audience and his fellow panelists, “[with that knowledge] my students have to write a marketing plan and as part of the process of passing my course must also introduce a new product line and what type of IP protection would they seek to protect this product as well as how they would go about doing so.”

Cardona, while having known little about intellectual property before, now successfully integrating the subject matter into his classroom perfectly encapsulates why Michelson IP’s resources are at the core of its mission to spread IP awareness and ensure equitable knowledge of IP rights. It’s also why partnerships at the community college level such as that with NACCE are important. The aforementioned pilot program and subsequent initiatives with the organization resulted in the adoption of Michelson IP curricula at more than 80 NACCE member schools nationwide as of the end of last year.

Read more here.

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