Have questions about joining IPLS? Contact our President, Wes Margeson!

Download the Constitution here.



The Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS) at Michigan State University is a student organization in accordance with the regulations of MSU College of Law. The IPLS honors, respects, and abides by the Constitution of the United States of America.


Section I - Purpose

The purpose of the Intellectual Property Law Society is to acquire knowledge of the legal principles of intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and unfair competition law, to build relationships with practicing attorneys within the field of intellectual property, and to explore various aspects of intellectual property careers.

Section II - Membership

Membership to the IPLS is open to all students, faculty and staff at MSU College of Law. Any MSU student not enrolled as a Michigan State College of Law student may be an associate member, but shall not be eligible for Executive Board positions. A student who has attended at least two events sponsored by the Intellectual Property Law Society is considered an active member and is eligible to vote in IPLS elections and serve on the Executive Board.

Section III - Faculty Advisor

The Faculty Advisor of IPLS shall be a faculty member of MSU College of Law.


Section I - Officers

The IPLS shall have the following officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Webmaster. Other positions may be created with the agreement of the Executive Board. Terms for all officers will be held for one year. An officer may complete more than one term in the same position or another as long as he remains an active member of IPLS.

Section II - Duties

The IPLS shall have duties described below and any other duties that the President shall from time to time decide is expedient for the IPLS.

The President shall be the chief executive of the IPLS, supervise over IPLS activities and meetings and have veto power concerning IPLS expenditures, which can be overturned by two-thirds of all active IPLS members.

The Vice-President shall assist the President, shall preside in case of the President's absence or disability, and oversee the administration of the IPLS.

The Treasurer shall be responsible for the finances of the IPLS and shall oversee any fund raisin activities, or donations.

The Secretary shall take minutes of all IPLS meetings, notify IPLS member of upcoming meetings, and maintain all documents.

The Webmaster shall administer the IPLS website and the IPLS listserv.

Section III - Vacancies in Office

If an officer is unable to fulfill his term of service, an election for that office will be held during the next regularly scheduled IPLS meeting. However, this does not apply to the summer semester. In the case of summer semester, the duties of the vacant officer(s) may be attributed to the other officers or the Executive Board members may appoint an assistant officer for summer only.

Section IV - Academic Probation

An officer will retain his office while on academic probation unless it affects his duties as an officer (see Article II, Section V).

Section V - Removal of an Officer or Chairman

An Officer or Chairman who does not fulfill his duties may be removed by a majority vote (2/3 vote) of the active members present at a meeting with the removal of the Officer or Chairman on the agenda.


Section I - Committees

Committees shall be organized to administer various phases of IPLS activity. The Executive Board shall, as the need arises, establish committees consisting of the IPLS members at large. Any active member may run for Committee Chairperson.

Section II - Responsibility

All committee chairpersons shall be immediately responsible to the Executive Board who shall coordinate the committees and shall assign to the committees any responsibilities delegated by the Executive Board.


Section I - Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting shall be held in March of each year. Officers for the next year shall be elected at this meeting. The newly elected officers shall assume their responsibilities June 1 (thus they have office in summer and fall of that year, and spring of the following year). The Treasurer shall have a budget report at that time.

Section II - Elections

The Procedure of all elections shall be as follows:

A. An interested candidate must be an active member, in good standing with MSU-Law, have an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher at the time of election, and may run for multiple positions.

B. The President may make ballots with the candidates' names, organized by the office they seek. The President shall verify each candidate's qualifications.

C. Each candidate shall have up to four minutes to make a campaign speech. The President shall time each speech submit a Statement of Interestto the Secretary of the organization no less than 24 hours prior to the beginning of the election period. A candidate's Statement of Interest shall not exceed 500 words. If running for multiple positions, the candidate shall also submit a list ranking the candidate's preference of position to be used in the event that the candidate is the winning candidate for more than one position.

D. All voting shall be done by secret ballot. No election of officers shall occur through e-mail. Proxy voting shall not be allowed. Voting may be done through TWEN.

E. The President may excuse the candidate before each vote to allow the members to discuss the candidate's merits.

F. The President and two active members, selected by those attending the meeting, shall tabulate the ballots. No write-in candidates shall be allowed. For any office for which there are two or fewer candidates, the race is shall be decided by a majority. If there are more than two candidates for an office, a simple majority (one candidate representing 50% of the votes) must be achieved. Should no candidate achieve a majority, a run off election shall be conducted between the top two vote recipients a simple plurality shall win. In the event of a tie, the current-year President shall cast the deciding votes a run-off poll shall be conducted to determine the winner. In event of a tie after the run-off poll, the current-year President shall cast the deciding vote in all races. However, in event of a tie after a run-off election in which the incumbent President is a candidate in the race, the winner of the race shall be decided by a coin toss.

G. In the event that a candidate is the winning candidate for more than one position, the candidate shall be awarded the highest preferred position as rankied in the candidate's list of preferences submitted to the Secretary of the organization.

H. The President shall not be permitted to vote in the election of Officers. However, the President can vote in elections as provided in Article IV, Section II(G), and in cases where the President is running for re-election. Where the President is running for re-election, he or she may vote only for the office of President except as provided in Article IV, Section II(G).


Amendments and By-Laws

Only active MSU College of Law members of the Society may propose amendments or by-laws to this Constitution. Amendments shall take effect upon ratification by two-thirds of the active MSU-Law members. By-laws shall take effect upon approval of a majority of the active members.


Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the IPLS in all cases to the extent that such do not conflict with any express provisions, policies, or procedures of this Constitution.


The Intellectual Property Law Society will not discriminate on the basis or age [sic], color, gender, disability status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight.


Ratification and Effective Date

This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon ratification by two-thirds of the active members present at a meeting called for this purpose. Each active member of the IPLS may receive a copy of the Constitution as well as any amendment or by-laws subsequently adopted in accordance with Article VIII.