This fall, students with South Texas College of Law in Houston will be able to represent inventors and small businesses before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), says Phillip Page, a professor of intellectual property law with the law school.
The USPTO this week announced it had added South Texas Law to the list of law schools nationwide that are participating in the Trademark Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program.
“It gives students hands-on experience dealing with clients with real-world situations,” Page says. “This is real representation of real people with real needs before real agencies.”
As of July 31, the USPTO had expanded the trademark program to a total of 24 schools. Law schools applying to the program have to demonstrate “strong clinic programs and have a solid IP curricula,” according to an announcement from the agency. South Texas Law is the first of Texas’ nine American Bar Association-accredited law schools to join the program.
“It’s a new kind of clinic for us to be offering,” Page says. For years the school has offered pro bono clinics for distressed or low income people with issues such as family law or Social Security matters, he says.
“This is sort of a new opportunity for us to have our students representing entrepreneurs and business people and folks who are trying to get something done in the market place,” Page says.
In July, the USPTO also announced plans to open one of its first satellite offices in Dallas.
— Jeanne Graham