The IP for the People (IP4P) Open Academy for Grassroots Intellectual Property Awareness

IP for the People is a FREE digital, open access academy for creators, inventors, and entrepreneurs from communities of color who have historically and continually been locked out of receiving key knowledge and resources related to protecting and profiting from their ideas.

Program News & Updates

10/13/2023 – Registration for Fall 2023, Session #4 is now open. Sign up for free and check out session info below. Also, get info on the previous sessions below.

Fall 2023 Syllabus Info

Next Session Date: December 5, 2023
Guest Instructor(s): Wifredo Fernandez, Lata Setty, Michael Ladipo, Chitrajit Chandrashekar (moderator)

Time: 7-8PM EST | Location: Virtual via zoom
Topic: Funding Your Business

About the Academy

The IP for the People (IP4P) Open Academy for Grassroots Intellectual Property Awareness is a mostly virtual educational hub presenting short topical course sessions on a yearlong, semester-by-semester basis. This free, online masterclass series offers easy to digest and engaging talks on IP rights and navigating the IP system, highlighting tips and resources via live webinars and an on-demand video series. Each online webinar features guest instructor(s) sharing their subject matter expertise with a presentation, professional & educational resources, as well as a segment for Q&A from the audience.


Tuesday, December 5

Time 7 pm ET

Session 4: Funding Your Business 
Session Co-hosted by Allen & Overy

Now that you have a company, how do you raise the capital to run it? During this 1 hour webinar, participants will learn about:

  • Sources of Funding: We are going to be a wild success. Where do I get capital to take us there?
  • Funding Instruments: People want to invest! What does that look like?
  • Development Programs: How can I get thoughtful support and meaningful capital?
  • Investment Terms: We’ve decided on the appropriate form of funding. What are the key terms that investors will want in exchange?
  • Due Diligence: I want to be prepared once we have a signed term sheet. What can I do now to facilitate a smooth and efficient due diligence process?

Moderator: Chitrajit Chandrashekar


Wifredo Fernandez 

Lata Setty 

Michael Ladipo

Day, Date TBA

Time TBA

Session 5: TBA


Moderator: TBA, TBA



Latest Sessions

Fall 2023, Session No. 1 | USPTO Provides Trademark Basics for Entrepreneurs

October 12, 2023 | 7PM EST

Guest Instructors:

  • USPTO Deputy Director Derrick Brent
  • Jason Lott, Managing Attorney for Trademarks Customer Outreach

Session Description:

Join us for a discussion about what all entrepreneurs, small businesses, and start-ups should know about trademarks. We’ll discuss what trademarks are, the benefits of federal trademark registration, and the basics of the registration process. We’ll also talk about why it’s so important for any new business to select a trademark that is both federally registrable and legally protectable. We’ll close out the discussion with a question-and-answer session and direct you to free resources from the USPTO.

>> View the full session video on YouTube

Fall 2023, Session No. 2 | Starting Your Business 

October 18, 2023 | 7PM EST

Session Co-hosted by Allen & Overy

Moderator: Quinn Hendricks, Student, University of Miami School of Law


Jennifer Cheng, CEO and Founder, PTM Therapeutics
David Flechner, Partner, Allen & Overy
Keith Spence, Partner, Johnson & Oshan Law

Session Description:

Starting Your Business. Got an idea? Want to turn that idea into a company? During this 1 hour webinar, participants will learn about:

  • Types of Business Entities: Sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation – what’s the difference and why does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction/Where to register your entity: Does it really have to be Delaware?
  • Funding/Capitalization: I have a co-founder and some other folks are helping us grow. How should we split up the pie?
  • Entity Rules and Requirements/Corporate Governance: I formed an entity. What else do I need to know?

>> View the full session video on YouTube

Fall 2023, Session No. 3 | Business Agreements/Contracts

Monday, November 13, 2023 | 7PM EST

Co-hosted by: Allen & Overy

Guest Instructors:

  • Katie Mladinich, Grail
  • Shayne O’Reilly, Meta
  • Diana Santos, IBM

Session Description:

Running Your Business: You’ve heard that contracts are important. What are the issues you should be aware of?

During this 1 hour webinar, participants will learn about:

  • Employment agreements
  • Joint venture agreements with universities
  • Third party agreements
  • Open source agreements

Fall 2022/Spring 2023 Schedule

Co-sponsored by:

Thursday, September 29 at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT

During this 1 hour webinar, we provided:

  • an explanation of what intellectual property rights are;
  • real-world examples of how they come up in your business ideas and creative processes;
  • an interview with an author that will share how she learned more about IP law and how that has helped her;
  • resources for more information, including how to get free or low cost legal help; and
  • time for questions.

If you missed this webinar, watch the replay on our Youtube channel.

Tuesday, October 25 at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT

Webinar Presenters:
Victor Wang, Director, Cardozo / Google Patent Diversity Project; Interim Director, Tech Start Up Clinic; Visiting Clinic Professor of Law – Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

During this 1 hour webinar, we provided:

  • patent law basics; and;
  • patent strategy for entrepreneurs.

If you missed this webinar, watch the replay on our Youtube channel.

November 17, 2022 at 7:00 pm ET

During this 1 hour webinar, participants heard from individuals with engineering backgrounds that have built careers in patent law. In addition, participants learned of resources to help them pursue opportunities in patent law.

Webinar Panelists:

Devon Grant – Senior Patent Counsel at Visa

L. Scott Burwell – Partner at Finnegan Henderson

Ayana Marshall – Patent Data Analyst at Harrity LLP 

David Pointer – Partner at Thomas Horstemeyer 

If you missed this webinar, watch the replay on our Youtube channel.

February 8, 2023 AT 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT

Tune in to hear students from Howard University Law School provide information for student athletes about intellectual property. In particular, presenters will discuss publicity rights, which include name, image, and likeness followed by a Q&A session.

For more information on this topic, check out our webpage: Student Athlete Name Image Likeness

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 7 pm ET

During this 1 hour webinar, participants:

  • Learned about intellectual property in creative work, especially in the field of arts and entertainment, and including digital content;
  • Gained a deeper understanding of copyright issues surrounding creative work and publicity rights relating to their image; and
  • Received real-world insight from a panel of experts and creators.

Webinar Presenters:
Shreyanka Mirchandani Changaroth, Wikimedia Race and Knowledge Equity Fellow – IIPSJ

Kim Tignor, Executive Director – IIPSJ

Lita Rosario-Richardson, Income Shareholder – Shulman Rogers

Crystal Waters – House Music Icon

If you missed this webinar, watch the replay on our Youtube channel.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at 7 pm ET

During this 1 hour session, participants learned:

  • IP must-haves when you are building your business
  • Strategies to protect the core of your business with limited capital
  • Turning your IP into a product
  • Protecting your IP when you are pitching to investors

Webinar Speakers:

Micheal Binns, Associate General Counsel and Head of Patent Portfolio Strategy (Family of Apps) and IP Trade Secret Protection – Meta

Danielle Coleman, Senior Director and Associate General Counsel, Global Litigation – VMware

Jessica Thomson, Patent Counsel – The Walt Disney Company

Webinar Moderators:

Lisa Nguyen, Partner – Allen & Overy

Leeandria Williams, Legal Intern – IIPSJ

If you missed this webinar, watch the replay on our Youtube channel.

Thank you to our Academy Guest Instructors!

Guest Instructors

IIPSJ Institutional Partners