The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has launched a two-year law school clinical certification program that will give students from six selected U.S. law schools experience in practicing intellectual property law before the agency.
The six schools selected to participate in the pilot program that will begin this fall are American University, William Mitchell College of Law, Washington College of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law, the John Marshall Law School, the University of Maine School of Law and Vanderbilt Law School, the office said in a press release. Law school clinical faculty will serve as supervisors.
"We look forward to providing a real-world experience for the students so they will be well prepared to tackle the complexities of intellectual property law that are so important in today's economy," said Jon Dudas, the U.S. Commerce Department undersecretary for intellectual property.
The students will have the choice of practicing either trademark or patent law.
Students taking the patent route are likely to draft and file a patent application, respond to an office action and/or draft and file briefs in the appeals process.
The trademark path will give students a similar experience with respect to trademark applications.
Students must meet certain technical and scientific qualifications to participate in the program.