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Detkin IP and Technology Legal Clinic joins USPTO’s Certification Program to officially represent trademark clients before Examiners

June 25, 2018

Penn Law’s Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic has newly been invited to join the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinic Certification Program, as part of the trademark portion of the program.

“Starting this September, our students will be able to advocate directly for trademark clients before the USPTO,” said Cynthia Dahl, Director of the Detkin Clinic and a Practice Professor of Law. “While the Detkin Clinic has been offering trademark counseling services to clients since its inception, this extra step will grant our students  the authority to communicate with USPTO trademark examiners on behalf of clients. This will promote their ability to process trademark applications independently as first chair counselors.”

Dahl added: “Our joining the USPTO Certification Program has an added benefit for clients in that participating clinics can accelerate the examination of some applications on their clients’ behalf, which will yield quicker results.”

The Detkin Clinic is among 20 U.S. law schools to newly join the USPTO’s Clinic Certification Program under a recent expansion, and the USPTO selection committees chose participating law schools “based on their solid intellectual property curricula, pro bono services to the public, as well as community networking and outreach,” according to the USPTO. Sixty-three law schools nationwide now participate in the USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Program.

The Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic provides pro bono transactional patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret counseling to individuals and non-profit and for-profit entities in the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia communities. The Clinic is groundbreaking in its efforts to support the commercialization efforts of The Penn Center for Innovation, and its ability to leverage close relationships with the Schools of Engineering, Medicine, Arts and Sciences, Wharton, and other Penn departments and programs to both train its future lawyers and provide legal counsel to clients.   

“The expansion of our Law School Clinic Certification Program is a key step toward ensuring independent inventors and small businesses receive the help they need to flourish and ensure their intellectual property is protected,” said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in a press release. “I’m excited for the schools who will be joining our program and help us continue strengthening our IP system.”