USPTO Expands Trademark Law School Pilot Program

By Gene Quinn
July 31, 2012

Washington – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the selection of nine additional law schools to join the Trademark Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program this fall. The program allows law students to practice trademark law before the USPTO under the guidance of a faculty clinic supervisor.

“Our trademark law school program continues to expand for the very simple reason that we see tangible benefits not only for students, schools, and the USPTO, but for local entrepreneurs and inventors as well,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David J. Kappos. “By expanding education about trademarks and the trademark process, we help ensure that American businesses and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow, create jobs and compete globally.”

The selected schools are Arizona State University School of Law, California Western School of Law, Fordham School of Law, Michigan State University School of Law, University of Notre Dame, University of San Francisco School of Law, South Texas College of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and University of Washington School of Law. The law school pilot program promotes affordable intellectual property (IP) legal services to individuals and small businesses. Law schools participating in the program provide IP legal services to clients on a pro bono basis.

The USPTO accepts law schools into the trademark program that demonstrate strong clinic programs. Overall the schools must possess solid IP curricula supporting a participating student’s hands-on learning in the program; a commitment to networking in the community; comprehensive pro bono services; and excellent case management systems. Students in the trademark program can expect to draft and file trademark applications and respond to Office Actions. Each law school clinic program must meet and maintain the requirements for USPTO certification in order for student practitioners to practice before the USPTO.

For more information, contact William R. Covey, Deputy General Counsel for Enrollment and Discipline and Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline, at (571) 272-4097 or Will.Covey@uspto.gov.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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