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USPTO Expands Patent Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program

Monday, April 02, 2012

Program now accepting law school submissions through June 1, 2012

Washington, DC – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that it will open the current Patent Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program to admit 10 additional schools for the upcoming fall 2012 academic year. This pilot program allows law students to practice patent law before the agency under the guidance of a law school faculty clinic supervisor. Submissions from interested law schools will be accepted through Friday, June 1, 2012.

“We look forward to expanding this successful program to additional law schools across the country,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, David J. Kappos. "Providing real-world experience for law students will better prepare them with the necessary tools to tackle the complexities of intellectual property law that are so important in today’s innovation economy."

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.

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. Details on the program expansion and application materials are available here:

For additional information and petition submission guidelines, contact Melinda DeAtley, by telephone at (571) 272‐4097 or

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