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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Selects USF Clinic for Pilot Program

August 24, 2012

The University of San Francisco School of Law is one of nine law schools nationwide recently selected to participate in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program. The program certifies law students to practice trademark law before the USPTO under the guidance of a faculty member.

Students enrolled in the USF School of Law Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic will consult with clients who are often small business owners; draft and file trademark applications before the USPTO; and then communicate with trademark examining attorneys to handle any challenges, said Professor and Clinic Director Robert Talbot, who submitted the application for the USPTO program.

“This new program provides an invaluable opportunity for USF law students to gain hands-on, practical experience in trademark law while providing much-needed legal assistance to the community free of charge,” Talbot said. “Being chosen to participate in this program is confirmation of the strength of USF’s program in IP law.”

The USPTO is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that issues patents to inventors and businesses and trademark registration for product and intellectual property identification.

The USPTO selected the USF School of Law to participate in the pilot program based on its strong clinical program and intellectual property curriculum; a commitment to networking in the community; comprehensive pro bono services; and excellent case management systems.

USF is the only Bay Area law school now certified to practice before the USPTO. The USF School of Law boasts seven law clinics and a rich program in IP law, including the McCarthy Institute for Intellectual Property and Technology Law.

“Our trademark law school program continues to expand for the very simple reason that we see tangible benefits not only for students, schools, and the USPTO, but for local entrepreneurs and inventors as well,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David J. Kappos. “By expanding education about trademarks and the trademark process, we help ensure that American businesses and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow, create jobs, and compete globally.”