"A Day at the USPTO" for IP & Technology Clinic Students

April 29, 2016

Day at the USPTO April 2016Texas A&M Law IP ​& Technology Clinic students Mary Garner, Jennifer Rackley, Kaylene Garcia, Professor Megan Carpenter, John Hickman, Kirsten King, Nikki Mershams, Yasmine Salem Hamdan, Tave Doty, Alexia Quintero at the USPTO.

Students from the law school’s Intellectual Property & Technology Law Clinic visited the United States Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on April 6, 2016, for "A Day at the USPTO." The nine ​Texas A&M University School of Law students, one of the largest student groups participating, were accompanied byIP&T.clinic Professor Megan Carpenter, Co-Director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) and Faculty Director of the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic and the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic. The mix of second-year and third-year Aggie Law students represented both of the school’s USPTO certified clinics in Patents and Trademarks.

Students spent the day at the USPTO’s main campus listening to presentations about the workings of the USPTO. Presentations included talks from the Deputy General Counsel for Enrollment and Discipline, the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO, the Chief Administrative Trademark Judge, the Commissioner for Patents, administrative judges for both patents and trademarks, and the Acting Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor.

The program included an opportunity for the students to attend several roundtable discussions with employees from diverse areas within the USPTO: the Patent Quality Initiative, Human Resources, the Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Examiners, and Trademark Examiners. During these roundtables, students from all attending schools were able to ask questions about what it was like to work at the USPTO, planned future initiatives, practicing in front of the USPTO as a trademark or patent attorney, and how to get a job with the USPTO.

In the afternoon the students attended a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board hearing, listening ​to a trademark examiner and the attorney for a potential trademark debate if the trademark should be allowed registration. Afterward the Aggie Law students discussed their thoughts on the hearing and what they had learned from the oral arguments with Professor Carpenter. The day’s program ended with networking opportunities to meet students from other law schools as well as speak further with USPTO attorneys and staff.

USPTO-White-House-Apr2016While in town, the group was able to meet up with current Aggie Law students working in the nation’s capital as part of the Texas A&M School of Law Residency Externship Program in Public Policy. The students also found some time to visit various monuments across the river in Washington D.C. proper, including a late-night trip to the White House and an afternoon stop at the U.S. Supreme Court.

- Article and photos contributed by Texas A&M University School of Law third-year student Mary Garner.