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Penn State Law IP Clinic to participate in Penn State Startup Week

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As part of the 2023 Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC, the Penn State Law in University Park Intellectual Property (IP) Clinic will present ‘A New Patent Pro Bono Program for Pennsylvania,’ on March 20, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. EST, in the Eric J. Barron Innovation Hub, room 603. Both in-person and virtual attendance options are available.

In December of 2022, the IP Clinic announced a collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), establishing a new Patent Pro Bono Program for Pennsylvania. The Penn State Law IP Clinic will serve as a clearinghouse for the program to connect volunteer patent practitioners with eligible inventors seeking legal assistance to help prepare, file, and prosecute patent applications. Volunteer practitioners will provide their legal services free of charge to qualified inventors under the program. The Clinic has been accepting applications from independent inventors seeking patent prosecution assistance since January 5, 2023. The eligibility criteria for participation for Pennsylvania independent inventors and small businesses can be found here.

The discussion will center on the program’s features and how to access them, and will be moderated by Bin Yan, director and associate vice president for research in the Office of Technology Management at Penn State. Speakers will include:

  • Derrick Brent, Ph.D., J.D., deputy director, United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Jonathan D’Silva, J.D., director, Penn State Law IP Clinic
  • Joseph F. Murphy, Ph.D., partner, Potomac Law Group, PLLC
  • Will Covey, deputy general counsel, United States Patent and Trademark Office

“One advantage the IP Clinic has in running the Patent Pro Bono Program is our connection to the Invent Penn State LaunchBox network and the Penn State Law Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic,” said D’Silva. “To date, we’ve received about a dozen applications for services through the program and none of them were aware of the resources and services available to them through Penn State. We have made those connections and in doing so have dramatically increased their likelihood of success. In addition, the students at the IP Clinic also provide free legal services such as prior art searches and counseling on other intellectual property such as trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets for which the applicants would otherwise have to pay.”

The Penn State Law IP Clinic provides Penn State Law students with an opportunity to gain practice-ready skills in intellectual property law. Under clinic director D’Silva, students provide legal services to the clinic’s clients in much the same manner as practicing IP lawyers, engaging in client intake and interview, patent and other intellectual property searching and evaluation, client communication, docketing, and filing applications in the USPTO.

Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC will take place from March 20-24. The week will provide students an opportunity to explore Penn State’s vast entrepreneurial ecosystem, learn from successful Penn State alumni, and connect with innovative peers through fun, hands-on activities. Students can register to attend the various speaker sessions, workshops, and pitch competitions either in person or virtually. View the full schedule and register to attend events on the Startup Week website.

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