Texas A&M Law Participates in Patent and Trademark Clinic Pilot Program

August 11, 2014

USPTO sealFORT WORTH, Texas - Texas A&M University School of Law was chosen to participate in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program beginning this fall. The program is part of the law school’s Center for Law and Intellectual Property, known as CLIP.

Texas A&M School of Law Professor Megan Carpenter“This is a unique opportunity for our students because it allows them to practice as student attorneys before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,” said Megan Carpenter, director of CLIP and professor of law.

Students will be able to provide legal counsel to individuals and small businesses regarding their patent and trademark needs, including trademark clearance, patentability searches, filing of applications, response to office actions, and representation before the USPTO, she said. Clinic students will also be able to engage personally with patent and trademark examiners regarding particular legal issues, which will provide the students with valuable practice experience.

Texas A&M Law School was one of five schools selected for the patent program as well as the trademark program based on its solid intellectual property (IP) curriculum, pro bono services to the public and community network and outreach. A total of 19 schools were selected this year for both programs: four were patent-only, 10 were trademark-only, and five were selected for both.

“When employers hire our students, they are not simply hiring students who have studied intellectual property law; they are hiring students who have already practiced in the area of intellectual property law,” Carpenter said.

Texas A&M School of Law's Center for Law and Intellectual Property logoCLIP also offers an Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, which provides legal assistance to start-ups regarding entity formation and organization. The IP and Technology Law Clinic in combination with the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic enable students to provide a spectrum of legal services to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the community.

CLIP is founded on the principle that the best learning takes place at the intersection of theory and practice.

“These clinics complement Texas A&M's strong IP curriculum by enabling students to apply what they are learning in a real-world setting,” Carpenter said.

“From the IP Certificate offered at Texas A&M to the USPTO clinics, students can get a top-notch education in intellectual property and hit the ground running after graduation,” she said.

“The acceptance of Texas A&M into the USPTO program is a testament to the strength of our program and the commitment of the law school to excellence in the study of intellectual property.”

Learn more about the USPTO clinic program, or read the USPTO press release for more.