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CLC Students Make Their Mark With Trademarks

This article appears in the Fall 2012 CLINIC NEWS.

The 2011-12 academic year marked the successful completion of the Community Law Clinic's (CLC) second year of participation in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) expanded Trademark Law School Clinic Pilot Program.

Rutgers School of Law–Newark was the first law school to be selected for the expanded program, which currently includes 15 other law schools. The program enables clinic students to obtain limited recognition to practice before the USPTO. With this recognition, students, under the supervision of Clinical Professor John R. Kettle, III, may draft and file trademark applications, respond to office actions, and draft and file briefs or reply briefs in appeals to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board from final refusals.

The Intellectual Property Law section of the CLC has filed more than 100 trademark and servicemark applications; approximately one quarter of the applications have been filed by students under the USPTO Pilot Program. Over 50% of applications filed are now registered trademarks or service marks, and about one third of filed applications currently are pending registration.

In January of 2012, USPTO representatives William Covey, Deputy General Counsel and Director for Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED), and Melinda DeAtley, OED Staff Attorney responsible for the Trademark Law School Clinic Pilot Program, visited Rutgers to discuss growth and developments at the USPTO and opportunities for employment. They highlighted the CLC's active participation in the program, notably its high trademark application filing rate, and invited feedback from student participants.