Howard University

Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic (IPTC)

General Information

The Law School’s clinical courses are offered through the Clinical Law Center (CLC). The Clinical Law Center offers six in-house, actual-client clinical experiences: the Criminal Justice Clinic, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Clinic, the Fair Housing Clinic, the Civil Rights Clinic, the Investor Justice Education Clinic and the new Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic. This new program was approved by the faculty and will operate as a pilot program for Spring 2011 and is flourishing. The new program will be taught by Adjunct Assistant Professor and Supervising Attorney Ray Thomas, Jr.


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 for Fall 2011 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 Professor Thomas (date to be determined).

Program Description - Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic

Howard University School of Law is one of only sixteen (16) law schools selected to participate 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 evening per week, hour and fifteen minute 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-practitioners are responsible for all aspects of representing clients, under the direct supervision of the CJC 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; 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. Be interviewed and approved for enrollment by the faculty 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.