USPTO announces winners of the 2021 National Patent Drafting Competition

Top teams determined during the national competition

In only its second year as a nationwide competition, the number of participating teams in the National Patent Drafting Competition nearly doubled. Patent application drafting is critical to the patent system. With ongoing support, the competition is expected to continue to grow in popularity.   

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), with the support of several collegiate law school programs, hosted five virtual regional rounds of the competition on March 26. Five regional finalists from 51 teams moved on to compete virtually in the national competition on April 9.

Congratulations to all of the student teams who qualified for the national competition; their coaches deserve appreciation for their time and effort.

  • First place: University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Silicon Valley Regional Champion) - Emily Roberts, Rachel Wilson, and Karnik Hajjar. Coached by Michael Schallop and Lee Van Pelt.
  • Second place: University of Minnesota School of Law (Midwest Regional Champion) - Timothy Brennhofer, Jack Graves, Carlton Hemphill, and Jordan Marsh. Coached by Professor Christopher M. Turoski. 
  • Third place: University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Eastern Regional Champion) - Sarah Suereth, Ashley Biernesser, Christian Roberts, and Paul McDonnell. Coached by Ralph Fisher and Lynn Alstadt.
  • Rocky Mountain Regional Champion: Santa Clara University School of Law - Shivam Desai, Sydney Yazzolino, Yuchen Quan, and Matthew Lem. Coached by Michelle McLeod.  
  • Texas Regional Champion: Case Western Reserve University School of Law - Nick Dulaney, Reagan Joy, Geng Hua, and Hunter Louderback. Coached by Chris Hunter.

The National Patent Drafting Competition introduces law students to issues arising in United States patent law and seeks to develop student teams’ patent application drafting, amending, and prosecuting skills. Each team was presented a hypothetical invention statement to research.

During the regional rounds, each student team member took part in describing their strategy and contribution to a patent application. They searched the invention, identified classes, identified relevant references, determined patentable subject matter, constructed claims, created drawings, and described the invention, all according to USPTO regulations.

Watch a recording of the event.

For more information, visit the National Patent Drafting Competition webpage.