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College of Law Debuts Trademark Services in Small Business Legal Clinic

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Helping Idaho’s entrepreneurs and law students alike, the University of Idaho College of Law is now offering trademark prosecution services through its Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC) in Boise.

The introduction of trademark services into the SBLC complements the College of Law’s curriculum in Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology Law, which focuses on the legal issues surrounding the protection of IP and the management of IP rights.

“I hope this will be the first step toward the SBLC’s offering of a fuller roster of IP services to Idaho’s entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said professor Annemarie Bridy, who leads the IP program.

She added that bringing trademark services into the SBLC will give students a valuable opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge they acquire in their IP courses in a practical, client-centered setting.

The College of Law appointed Boise attorney Steve Nipper to serve as its first adjunct clinical professor in the SBLC. Nipper will supervise students as they work on trademark matters. He will collaborate with associate dean for Boise programs, Lee Dillion, who directs the SBLC. Dillion will continue to supervise clinic students who work on non-IP matters.

According to Nipper, offering trademark services for small businesses through the SBLC “will get small business owners high-quality legal help at a rate they can afford.”

Although the SBLC does not charge its clients for legal services, clients seeking trademark services will pay the standard application fees charged by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Under Nipper’s direction, students will assist clients with trademark applications and guide them through the prosecution process. When issues arise, students will take action on them.

The Moscow Brewing Company, a craft beer brewery owned by Moscow resident Lucas Rate, is the first small business to take advantage of trademark services in the SBLC.

“The prospect of working with the University of Idaho College of Law and participating in the new Intellectual Property trademark services is really an enormous boon for us,” said Rate. “It could not have come at a better time in our development, and it will help secure our brand in so many ways.”

According to Rate, nationally, the brewing industry has seen an unprecedented boom in small, craft breweries just like his.

“Like me, many of these small players have no business background, and the reality is that aside from the formalities of the licensing processes, there exists something of a legal free-for-all within the craft beer segment,” said Rate.

The Moscow Brewing Company has already worked with business classes from both U of I and WSU.

“The outreach is truly remarkable, from the viewpoint of a small business in the university’s backyard,” said Rate. “To have the opportunity to work with the University of Idaho College of Law and take advantage of the IP services will only help ensure that we lay a solid foundation for the future of our business, and the future of beer in Moscow.”

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more:

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