Legal Industry News
August 2, 2012
USPTO Expands Trademark Law School Pilot Program
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has 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.
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