USPTO Expands Trademark Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program

Washington -- The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will open the current Trademark Law School Clinic Certification Program to admit 20 additional schools into the pilot for the upcoming academic year beginning in fall 2010 through summer 2011. The pilot program allows law students to practice trademark law before the agency under the strict guidance of a law school clinical faculty supervisor. Applications from law schools will be accepted now through Friday, August 6, 2010. Only the first 20 law school clinics demonstrating through their petitions and applications that they meet the qualifications will be accepted into the trademark pilot program.

Students in the trademark program can expect to draft and file a trademark application, respond to an office action, or draft and file a brief or reply brief in an appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board from final refusals. Each law school clinical program must meet and maintain the requirements for USPTO certification in order for student practitioners to practice before the USPTO.

Information and petition applications are available on the USPTO Web site,

When the USPTO launched the Law School Clinical Certification Pilot Program in 2008, it was conceived that the pilot program would be a two-year program for both the trademark and patent clinics. However, after an initial review of both programs in June 2009, the USPTO has determined that the trademark pilot program is ready for expansion, while the patent pilot program will remain a five-school pilot.