WASHINGTON– Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) and Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced H.R. 5108, legislation that would establish in law, the Law School Clinic Certification Program of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This bill would expand the current program by removing its “pilot” status, making it available to all accredited law schools in the country that meet the program’s eligibility requirements.
“An expanded clinical certification program will provide law students throughout the country with invaluable practical experience in the highly technical fields of patent and trademark law,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. “Our bipartisan legislation will help insure that the legal expertise exists for the next generation of inventors, tech entrepreneurs and small businesses in the technology and innovation sectors.”
“Expanding the Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinic Certification Program is a win for all parties involved,” said Rep. Steve Chabot. “Inventors and entrepreneurs get access to quality legal services and protections they might not otherwise be able to afford. Law students get hands-on, real world experience that will prepare them for their future careers. And the clinic will help improve the quality and accuracy of applications submitted to the Patent and Trademark Office, thereby hopefully streamlining the application review process.”
The USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Program has been operating in a pilot capacity since 2008. Under the advisement of a school faculty clinic supervisor, the program allows students at participating law schools to gain experience in patent and trademark law by practicing before the USPTO. Currently, there are only 27 law schools participating in the program. Several accredited law schools are awaiting certification to enter the program, including Brooklyn Law School in New York.
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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) represents the 8th Congressional District, which includes the neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
Click HERE to read the full text of H.R. 5108.