The United States Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office announced on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, that it has selected 11 more law schools to join the Patent Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program starting in the Fall of 2012. The program allows law students to practice patent law before the USPTO under the guidance of a faculty clinic supervisor.
The law pilot program began in 2008 with 6 schools selected to allow students to practice before the agency in both patents and trademarks. In 2010, the program expanded to include 10 additional schools practicing in trademarks. Sixteen law schools currently participate in the pilot program.
The newly selected law schools are:
- Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
- Case Western Reserve University School of Law
- University of Colorado Law School
- Fordham University School of Law
- University of Maryland Francis Carey School of Law
- North Carolina Central University School of Law
- University of Notre Dame Law School
- University of Puerto Rico Law School
- Thomas Jefferson School of Law
- University of Washington School of Law
- Wayne State University Law School
Students in the patent program can expect to draft and file a patent application and respond to an office action. Each law school clinical program must meet and maintain the requirements for USPTO certification in order for student practitioners to practice before the USPTO.
“Our selection committee chose these eleven schools because of their exemplary intellectual property curricula, their effective outreach to inventor communities, and their comprehensive client services,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David J. Kappos.
New this year, students participating in the program will benefit from the Petition to Make Special component announced in June. The petition provides more immediate response for applications filed by students, so they will more likely have the opportunity to respond to a substantive office action on a case which they were involved with from the start.
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.