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.
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.
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 PatentDraftingCompetition@uspto.gov.
Saturday, October 17 – 2021 National Patent Application Drafting Competition Informational Session
Saturday, November 7 – Webinar: Prior Art Search Class
Saturday, November 14 – Slides: How to Draft a Claim
Saturday, December 12 – Patent Prosecution Boot Camp, Module One
Saturday, January 23 – Patent Prosecution Boot Camp, Module Two
Saturday, February 6 – Patent Prosecution Boot Camp, Module Three
Saturday, February 20 – Patent Prosecution Boot Camp, Module Four
Last modified November 16, 2020
October 1, 2020 – Team registration opens
November 7, 2020 – Team registration closes
November 23, 2020 – Team invitations and invention statement sent
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 9, 2021 – National Finals competition
Are we limited to drawings in the invention statement or are we expected to create our own formal drawings?
No. Teams have the option of creating their own drawings, but cannot add anything not present in the original drawings.
Is the application's abstract expected to be on its own page, as is the case in a normal patent application?
A specification typically includes abstract, detailed description, drawings, claims, etc., and they are all required.
The rules do state the application must meet the requirements of the MPEP, which requires a detailed description of the invention (MPEP 608.01(g)). The abstract is expected to be on its own page and will count towards the eight page maximum.
What is the means of object detection?
It is envisioned that the object detection can be activated using a proximity sensor (like radar) and somewhat like a smart doorbell when an object enters a zone that is being monitored by the proximity sensor, it will activate the recording of the camera.
Will restrictions be enforced?
The judges aren’t “examining” the application. You should submit claims that they decide are appropriate for the invention.
Are we allowed to amend, improve, add to, or omit drawings, flowcharts, and other illustrations?
You can submit any drawings you deem appropriate. Additional drawings (or improvements to the present drawings) are acceptable, as long as they are based on the written disclosure. New matter cannot be added.
Are Figure 1 and Figure 4 the same embodiment, as Figure 1 does not seem to have the recess for the camera, as shown in Figures 4 and 6?
Figure 1 is an embodiment of the whole invention but as one unit. This is a helmet for only one type of sport and a user would have to buy a different one of these units for each type of sport. So if you play more than one type of sport that requires a helmet, it is an expensive option. In the other figures the invention does come off and can be replaced with different types of helmets for the different uses (bicycle, hiking, skiing, mountain climbing, scooters, etc.).
In Figure 7, there appears to be an outer shell, with the cameras, and an inner liner, with the VELCRO. Is that a separate embodiment from Figures 1-6? Or is there an additional “cover” that goes over the outer shell?
There is a shell underneath the different types of helmet tops (used for different activities/sports). The VELCRO is an attachment device to secure the tops to the same bottom. So you will have the base unit common for each top that is interchangeable based on the sport.
In the description of Figure 7, it indicates that there are “covers for the cameras.” Are there actually covers for each camera? What are the covers for?
Depending on the sport, we thought the cameras should be covered to help protect the lens against damage from water or collision. The covers provide see-through protection for each camera.
- 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.