Intellectual Property Clinic

Students

Student Services

The IP Clinic provides the following services free of charge: client counseling, patentability and/or registerability searches, patent and/ or trademark application drafting, responses to USPTO correspondence, and Examiner Interviews, among other services.

The IP Clinic at Lincoln provides two different tracks to participate: the first track for law students and a second track for non-law students.

If you are interested in participating in the IP Clinic as a student, please contact the school at inquiries@lincolnipclinic.com. Please note that the following pre-requisites must be taken in advance of spring semester IP Clinic participation:

Patent Clinic Pre-requisites:
Introduction to Intellectual Property (1 unit)
Introduction to Patent Clinic (1 unit)
Patent Application Drafting Part 1 (1 unit)
Patent Claim Drafting (1 unit)

Trademark Clinic Pre-requisites:
Introduction to Intellectual Property (1 unit)
Introduction to Trademark Clinic (1 unit)
Trademark Prosecution (2 units)

Once a student has completed the spring IP Clinic, they have the option of enrolling in the year-round IP Clinic Mentoring program, a 1-unit per semester course, that allows students to work on their own projects under continued mentorship.

Student Experience

The IP Clinic allows students to have a “hands-on” experience in working with professors, inventors, businesses, and other professionals. Under the direction of a supervising attorney, students work with clients in areas of trademarks and patents.

Interact directly with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office.

File and prosecute patent and trademark applications.

Law students and non-law students are welcomed!

Student Testimonials

Intellectual Property Law Students

Patent Attorney (JD + IP Studies)

The difference between a Patent Agent and a Patent Attorney is that Patent Attorney may also appear in State or Federal Court to defend those patents against infringement (third parties using the invention without permission). Patent Attorneys must pass both the Patent Bar Exam (to obtain their Patent License) and a State Bar Exam (to become licensed as an attorney). Lincoln students pursuing a Juris Doctor in preparation for the California Bar Exam may take IP Studies courses and participate in the IP Clinic as electives. These students may become Patent Agents on their way to becoming Patent Attorneys.

Non-Law Intellectual Property Students

Patent Agent (IP Studies)

 A Patent Agent must pass the Patent Bar Exam. Lincoln’s one-year Patent Agent Program is designed to teach students how to draft and present patents. It is the only program in Northern California that provides a Clinic in which students may practice these skills on behalf of actual inventors prior to being licensed. The Patent Agent Program also prepares students to take the Patent Bar Exam.

Which path is right for you?

If you are interested in participating with the IP Clinic or have any questions about participating, please contact us inquiries@lincolnipclinic.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

The IP Clinic has two primary goals:

1) provide a real environment for students to gain practical skills

2) provide a viable IP resource to the community, focusing especially on those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to receive legal services.

In addition, once a student has completed the spring IP Clinic, they have the option of enrolling in the year-round IP Clinic Mentoring program, a 1-unit per semester course, that allows students to work on their own projects under continued mentorship.

Students of the clinic will perform intake interviews, provide counseling in IP matters, evaluate invention or mark disclosures, determine patentability or registerability, counsel on intellectual property strategy, conduct prior art searches, draft patent or trademark applications, review Examiner Office Actions, and provide related counsel to clients on U.S. patent or trademark applications and prosecution. Students will likely also participate in providing free lectures to the public on intellectual property topics.

The IP Clinic is limited in enrollment (the number of students is capped) and is a  graded commitment, with students earning three credits for the spring semester course. Students are expected to work approximately 10 hours each week in the clinic, with includes a three-hour weekly seminar class and a one-hour live mentoring session (for the patent side). Students are expected to complete at least 120 hours of Clinic work during the semester (15 weeks).

Please note that the following pre-requisites must be taken in advance of spring semester IP Clinic participation:

Patent Clinic Pre-requisites:
Introduction to Intellectual Property (1 unit)
Introduction to Patent Clinic (1 unit)
Patent Application Drafting Part 1 (1 unit)
Patent Claim Drafting (1 unit)

Trademark Clinic Pre-requisites:
Introduction to Intellectual Property (1 unit)
Introduction to Trademark Clinic (1 unit)
Trademark Prosecution (2 units)

The Clinic is not designed to teach you everything. However, a goal of the IP Clinic is teach a little bit very thoroughly. This is intentional. The clinic focuses on the fundamentals – client counseling, application drafting, and office action responses. The hope is that by mastering such fundamentals, students can be in a position to learn and master any additional IP concept or skill thereafter.

Clients of the Clinic include garage inventors, small-business owners, engineers, etc. In short, we’ve provided services to those who are very knowledgeable in inventing, as well as those who have no experience. Most of the clients have not pursued IP protection before, nor have many interacted with an attorney (or received legal advice) in any manner.

At a minimum, if you do not qualify for the patent bar, you can still qualify to participate with our trademark clinic, which does not have any technical prerequisites. Additionally, keep in mind that patent litigation attorneys and patent brokers, among other positions, do not require the patent bar. The patent bar is required in order to write patent applications and participate with securing the rights to an invention for your client. However, the effects of the patent (e.g. litigation, selling, asserting rights, etc.) do not require the patent bar. That being said, if you do not qualify for the patent bar but still want to receive such training via our patent clinic, we encourage you to still reach out to us to discuss how you potentially could get involved.

The Patent Agent Certificate Program is a one year program consisting of 11 units and includes participation in the Patent Clinic OR completion of a Master’s Thesis. For more information, please contact inquiries@lincolnipclinic.com.

Yes. You’ll receive a certificate from the school for successfully completing the year-long patent agent program.