The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Law School Clinical Certification Pilot program enables students from participating law schools around the country to practice either patent or trademark law before USPTO examiners with limited guidance from faculty advisors. This week, the agency has opened up 15 additional spots in the program for universities to apply for, nearly doubling the current enrollment.
Participating students are given "limited recognition" to practice in front of USPTO examiners, drafting and filing patent or trademark applications for clients of their respective university's law school clinic. The interaction with examining attorneys continues after the applications have been filed as well, providing valuable experience in responding to USPTO actions.
"USPTO is fully engaged in providing real-world experience for law students," USPTO director David Kappos stated. "The expansion of this pilot program will provide more law students with the tools necessary to tackle the complexities of trademark law. Those tools are critical to today's innovation economy."
Officials will be accepting applications from universities interested in participating for the upcoming fall semester through July 2, with additional plans to open 10 spots specifically for the program's patent law track.