Howard University

Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic (IPTC)

General Information
The USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Pilot program allows law students enrolled in Howard’s IP clinic program to practice Intellectual Property Law before the USPTO under the strict guidance of a Law School Faculty Clinic Supervisor.

The USPTO Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline grants the law students limited recognition to practice before the Office.

Students gain experience drafting and filing trademark applications for clients of the clinic. Further, as they are authorized to practice before the USPTO, they gain experience answering Office Actions and communicating with trademark examining attorneys for the applications they have filed.

Participation in the IP and Trademark Clinic requires that students attend and participate in an orientation class during the first or second week of classes, which will be scheduled by the respective Supervising Attorney/Clinic Managing Administrator. This orientation will cover clinic procedures and policies, as well as ethics. Any student who is unable to attend, or fails to attend the orientation class may be dropped from the clinical course. Please remember that the orientation class is Mandatory.

Other Requirements
Students accepted into and who enroll in the IP/Trademark Clinic will be required to apply separately to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for their temporary practice number. Students must complete their USPTO applications in dark ink and submit the originals to the Clinic Supervisor.

Program Description - Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic

Howard University School of Law participates in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Law School Clinic Certification Program (Trademarks). As a result, this 3-credit semester-long course was created, for which a maximum of ten (10) students will be selected.

The IP & Trademark Clinic course includes a classroom seminar and actual client representation. The one time per week, two-hour classroom seminar includes a review of trademark law & federal registration procedures. The practice includes the representation of individuals and small businesses in their efforts to secure federal trademark registrations with the USPTO.

Student-attorneys are responsible for all aspects of representing clients, under the direct supervision of the IPTC faculty. The practice includes, but is not limited to: adhering to the USPTO’s ethics rules; client interviewing and counseling (e.g., gathering information; reviewing & reporting-out Office Actions & Notices); trademark selection and clearance (e.g., conducting searches; ordering & reviewing search reports; rendering availability opinions) and all aspects of preparing, filing & prosecuting trademark applications before the USPTO (e.g., reviewing Office Actions and drafting responses thereto, and legal research).

Eligibility and Prerequisites:

  1. Successful completion of the Trademark Law course;

  2. Timely completion of an application for enrollment in the IP & Trademark Clinic;

  3. Interview and approval for enrollment by the Supervising Attorney of the IP & Trademark Clinic; and

  4. Timely completion of a separate USPTO application for temporary admission to practice before the USPTO in trademark matters.

For Prospective Clients

The Intellectual Property & Trademark Clinic provides a wide variety of IP-related legal assistance; however, the Clinic does not represent clients in court or before administrative boards, such as the TTAB. Additionally, the Clinic cannot file international applications, such as under the Madrid protocol. Finally, the Trademark Clinic is not able to accommodate walk-in requests at this time.

To find out if you are eligible for our services, please fax or email us the Request for Services form.

Please note that submission of a completed Request for Services form or your communication with the Clinic indicating your interest in representation does not guarantee that we can or will represent you and does not start our representation of you. You will become a client only after we determine your eligibility and you sign a formal engagement letter that we will provide to you.

HUSL Intellectual Property & Trademark Clinic
2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: (202) 806-8082
Fax: (202) 806-8436

updated: September 7, 2015