Legal Clinics Join Pilot Program with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

August 1, 2014

Saint Louis University School of Law was selected to join the U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program this fall, participating in the Trademark Pilot Project. SLU LAW is the only law school in the region participating in the program, and joins 18 additional schools selected for this fall’s expansion and 28 law schools currently partaking.

“We are elated that the USPTO has invited the SLU LAW Legal Clinics into its Trademark Pilot Project,” said Patricia H. Lee, director of the Legal Clinics and associate professor. “This new clinical offering provides another learning opportunity for students to gain experience in the area of intellectual property. At the same time, students will be better able to assist underserved entrepreneurial clients in St. Louis to protect their logos, brands and creative works used in commerce.”

The details of the project’s implementation at SLU LAW are in development this summer, and Lee, along with Dana Malkus, assistant professor and supervisor of the Community & Economic Development Clinic, plans to work directly with St. Louis’ burgeoning startup and entrepreneur community. Participation in the USPTO project will further enhance programming already in place at the law school for an educational series specifically created for Arch Grants recipients that will also begin this fall.

SLU LAW students will gain experience drafting and filing trademark applications for clients, and as they are authorized to practice before the USPTO, they will gain experience answering Office Actions and communicating with trademark examining attorneys for the applications they have filed.

The program proposal was prepared by Lee, Malkus and Yvette Joy Liebesman, associate professor who teaches intellectual property. The selection committee chooses schools based on their solid intellectual property curricula, pro bono services to the public, and community networking and outreach. More information on the program, including the list other law schools selected, is available in the USPTO’s press release.

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