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SLU joins pilot program for trademark law clinics

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced Wednesday that Saint Louis University School of Law is among 19 law schools that will be part of a clinic certification pilot program starting in the fall.

SLU Law, along with nine other schools, will participate in the trademark portion of the program. A committee chose schools based on criteria including intellectual property curricula, pro bono services and community networking outreach, according to a news release from the patent office.

The program will begin in the fall semester, which starts Aug. 18, and Professor Patricia Lee said SLU will be ready. Lee said she has been involved in similar programs for years — she started one at the University of Chicago and directed another at West Virginia University’s School of Law — and it “won’t take a lot of time … to pull that together so that several students might be able to start right away.”

Lee said students who have signed up for the school’s Community and Economic Development Project will be able to participate in the clinic.

“They basically now have an additional opportunity to be able to participate in (intellectual property) related matters,” she said.

SLU has a wealth of offerings in the area of intellectual property and trade law, Lee said, and this will add to that.

“In addition to learning doctrine in the classroom setting, here they actually get to have a live client experience,” she said.

Lee said the program also benefits clients who may have “been underserved and not been able to get some advice on trademarks.”

The pilot is ongoing, Lee said, and she expects it will continue for years at SLU. In addition to the 10 schools in the trade law portion of the program, four schools will join the patent portion and five schools will join both the patent and trademark portions.

Twenty-eight law schools are already participating in the clinic certification program.