National Patent Application Drafting Competition

The 2021 national patent application drafting competition

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invites your school to participate in the 2021 National Patent Application Drafting Competition. The competition introduces law students to issues arising in U.S. patent law and develops their patent application drafting, amending, and prosecution skills.

Competition process

Student teams will be given hypothetical invention statements for which they will search the prior art, prepare a specification, draft claims, and present their reasoning for patentability before a panel of judges comprised of patent examiners, practitioners, and high-profile guest judges.

The invention statements will be released to the competing teams on November 16, 2020. The regional rounds will be virtual and include up to 15 teams. The winner from each regional round will be invited to compete in the National Final Competition before a panel of senior USPTO officials and other esteemed judges at USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, in April 2021.

Registration open October 1 through November 7, 2020

Teams must register through Eventbrite at:
2021 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office National Patent Drafting Competition
You can also search Eventbrite for event number 118492306679.

Competition rules

Last modified October 22, 2020

Select this link to download the 2021 National Patent Drafting Competition rules. Questions regarding the rules for the competition process should be sent to the organizing committee at

Upcoming Webinars

Saturday, October 17 –  2021 National Patent Application Drafting Competition Informational Session
Saturday, November 7 – Webinar: Prior Art Search Class 
Saturday, November 14 – Webinar: How to Draft a Claim 

Key dates

October 1, 2020 – Team registration opens

November 7, 2020 – Team registration closes

November 13, 2020 – Team invitations sent

November 16, 2020 – Invention statement released to teams

February 8, 2021 – Deadline to submit team patent application

March 6, 2021 – Virtual Regional Rounds – Regional Winners announced

March 21, 2021 – Deadline to submit National Finals team patent application

April 2021 – National Finals competition



Regional hosts

  • Detroit: Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional USPTO
  • Dallas: Texas Regional USPTO
  • San Jose: Silicon Valley Regional USPTO
  • Denver:  Rocky Mountain Regional USPTO
  • Alexandria: Eastern Regional USPTO

Please visit the USPTO website for the 2020 finalists and competition results.

Learn about previous National Patent Drafting Competitions.