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Frequently Asked Questions – Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program

If I am a law student at a non-participating law school, can I join the program?

No, you must be a student enrolled in a participating law school and be enrolled in that school’s clinic program.

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If I want help filing a patent application, can I get services from a law school clinic?

The USPTO does not endorse any one law school clinic participating in the law school clinic pilot program.  However, an inventor may contact any of the law schools that participate in the patent law school clinic pilot program to inquire regarding services.  See the email address link from the Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program web-page.

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If I want help filing a trademark application, can I get services from a law school clinic?

The USPTO does not endorse any one law school clinic participating in the law school clinic pilot program.  However, an applicant may contact any of the law schools that participate in the trademark law school clinic pilot program to inquire regarding services.  See the email address link from the Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program web-page. 

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If I need assistance answering an Office Action for my patent application, can I receive assistance from a law school clinic?

Yes, participating schools in the patent law school clinic program may provide assistance with responses to Office Actions in patent applications.  Please contact the school to inquire about becoming a client.

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If I need assistance answering an Office Action for my trademark application, can I receive assistance from a law school clinic?

Yes, participating schools in the trademark law school clinic program may provide assistance with responses to Office Actions in trademark applications.  Please contact the school to inquire about becoming a client.

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Will I be able to get free legal services?

All law schools participating in the law school clinic pilot program provide their services on a pro-bono basis to those that qualify.  Each school has its own criteria for accepting clients.  Please contact the individual school to inquire about becoming a client.

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What if none of the participating law schools are in my state? Can I still receive services from a law clinic?

Each school has its own criteria for accepting clients.  Many of the schools that participate accept clients from out of state.  Please contact each school to determine the availability of services for out-of-state clients.

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If I am a law school that wishes to participate in the program, how can the school join the law school clinic pilot program?

Periodically check the Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program web-page for announcements regarding expansion of the program.  The program was expanded most recently in 2012.  It has not been determined when the next expansion will occur.

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If I own a small business and want patent or trademark legal services, can the USPTO provide the services through the law school clinic pilot program?

No, the USPTO does not provide patent or trademark legal services.  However, you may contact the schools participating in the law school clinic pilot program and inquire as to becoming a client to receive patent or trademark legal services through the law school clinic pilot program.

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If I am an individual with an idea or want to register a mark and need patent or trademark legal services, can the schools that participate in the law school clinic pilot program provide these services to me?

Yes, participating schools in the law school clinic program may provide assistance to individuals in need of patent or trademark legal services.  Please contact the school to inquire about the services that they provide.

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Will the schools that participate in the law school clinic pilot program provide me with advice regarding my idea?

Yes, participating schools in the law school clinic program may be able to provide you with an evaluation of your idea and possibly an analysis of any obstacles to obtaining a patent.  Please contact the school to inquire about the services that they provide.

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United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 10/19/2012 1:33:58 PM