UT Law launches trademark legal clinic through US Department of Commerce program

Students of the University of Tennessee College of Law will soon be able to practice trademark law before the US Department of Commerce’s US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

UT is one of only forty-seven law schools chosen to participate in the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program. As part of the program, UT’s Business Law Clinic will provide trademark legal services to independent inventors and small businesses on a pro bono basis. Students will represent clients before the USPTO under the guidance of a UT faculty clinic supervisor.

“Branding has become an increasingly important element of promoting a successful product or business,” said Brian Krumm, director of the UT Law Business Clinic and supervisor of the pilot program. “Providing our students the opportunity for hands-on experience with the trademark process will make them more effective counselors to businesses when they become practicing attorneys.”

The USPTO chose UT and other schools based on their solid intellectual property (IP) curricula, pro bono services to the public, and community networking and outreach.

“We are extremely proud that the USPTO has recognized our Business Clinic as a leader in providing pro bono IP legal services to Tennessee’s entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Valorie Vojdik, director of clinical programs for UT Law.

Clinic clients can expect to receive searches and opinions, advice from students regarding their IP needs under faculty supervision, drafting and filing of applications, and representation before the USPTO.

The UT College of Law boasts the nation’s longest-running legal clinical program, ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report. The college is regularly ranked in the Social Science Research Network as the top US law school, based on new downloads per paper by our faculty, and U.S. News consistently ranks the college among the nation’s top fifty public law schools and its legal writing program in the top ten among public US universities. UT Law also has five Fulbright Scholars among its faculty and has hosted three US Supreme Court justices in the past four years.

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