Intellectual Property Clinic
Building on Arizona Law’s strengths in intellectual property law, the Intellectual Property Clinic (IP Clinic) is a legal clinic that counsels startup and ongoing businesses on securing, maintaining, protecting and enforcing their intellectual property (IP) rights, including rights in patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights.
For Our Students
The IP Clinic will give you the opportunity to put legal theory to practice and allow you to gain first-hand experience and become more adept in legal research on real-life issues; client counseling; administrative, transactional and litigation matters; case management; and formulating strategies to advance your client’s goals and objectives. The Clinic will also give you the opportunity to participate in business law practices dealing with startup companies. You will be acting as real lawyers, for real clients, with real IP issues. In doing so, you will help counsel clients and startups on the formation of a corporate entity and agreements needed to start a business; will perform patentability and patent infringement searches; will perform trademark searches; will counsel clients on the patentability of his or her invention, the strength of a trademark and the best trademarks to choose, and how to avoid infringing upon the rights of others; and will draft patent and trademark applications for filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Our clinic is also a participant in the US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Law School Certification Programs for patents and for trademarks. Under these programs, qualified students will be able to practice before the U.S. Patent Office and the U.S. Trademarks Office, in their own name including interviewing patent and trademark examiners. Finally, the IP Clinic, operating as the Arizona Public Patent Program, has been chosen as the hub for the entire State of Arizona under the USPTO’s Pro Bono Program. In this capacity, students of the clinic have additional opportunities to work with and gain experience from attorneys across the state.
The clinic is operated under the supervision of Clinic Director and Professor of Intellectual Property, Allan J. Sternstein; Professor of Practice and business attorney, Lawrence Hecker; Supervising Attorney and Professor of Trademarks, Scott J. Slavick; Supervising Attorney Michael Beckett and Patent Agent Riyon Harding.
For Potential Clients
The Intellectual Property Clinic provides free legal counseling and services on IP matters to individuals, start-ups and small business having limited financial resources. Examples of the services provided by the IP Clinic are general IP counseling; patent searches and patentability advice; trademark searches and advice on choosing a strong trademark; preparing and filing patent, trademark and copyright applications; counseling on patent and trademark infringement issues; and IP-related agreements and licensing. These services are provided by students of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, under the supervision of Clinic Director Allan J. Sternstein and Supervising Attorneys Michael Beckett and Scott J. Slavic.
The clinic does not charge for its services, however, clients are responsible for any and all fees owed to the United States Patent & Trademark Office or Copyright Office for the filing of any patent, trademark or copyright applications and any prosecution process, as well as drafting fees (at cost) that may be necessary in filing certain patent applications.
As a student-based legal clinic we are very selective in the matters we accept and can only handle a limited number of such matters. Acceptance as a client of the clinic is therefore not guaranteed, and is primarily based upon our available resources and capacities, educational value for our students, absence of conflicts of interest, and the financial resources of the client.
Should you wish to become a client of the clinic, please complete and submit the application form in the link below. Note, however, that completing and submitting an application or contacting the IP Clinic does not make you a client of the clinic or establish an attorney-client relationship. The IP Clinic will not begin doing work for an applicant until the clinic accepts the applicant as a client and an engagement letter is signed by the applicant and the clinic. Applicants certainly have the right at all times to continue to look for an attorney or to decline legal services from the clinic should such services be offered.