USPTO Adds Additional Schools to Law School Clinic Certification Program

The Glushko-Samuelson Washington College of Law IP Clinic is proud to have been a key player in establishing the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program years ago.

The USPTO just released a statement detailing how the Law School Clinic Certification Program has grown.  “Over 20 law schools have joined and five currently participating law schools have added a second clinic program, during the 2016-2018 expansion. Eight law schools have joined both the patent and trademark portions of the program, five law schools have joined the patent portion of the program, and 12 law schools have joined the trademark portion of the program. The new law schools join the 43 law schools that were participating in the program, bringing the total number of participating law schools to 63,” according to the USPTO.

The USPTO chose these schools “based on their solid intellectual property curricula, pro bono services to the public, as well as community networking and outreach. The program enables law students to process patent and trademark applications before the USPTO under the guidance of an approved faculty clinic supervisor.”

American University, Washington College of Law continues to be an active participant in the trademark and patent law student program.  The IP clinic this past academic year filed trademark registrations and filed provisional patents and non-provisional patent applications for its clients.

Read more about the creation of the IP clinic and the goals of clinical legal education:


For the full transcript of the USPTO release:

Posted in Clinic News

Clinic Alumni Receive “40 under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” Award by NBA


Congratulations to IP Clinic alum Judge Zuberi Williams ’03 who has been awarded the National Bar Association’s  “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” award.

Also receiving the award this year is Community Economic and Development clinic alum Alex Johnson ‘05.

The NBA award recognizes the nation’s top 40 lawyers under the age 40 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement in the legal field, including in advocacy, innovation, vision, leadership and overall legal and community involvement.

The recipients will be honored at the National Bar Association’s renowned 40 Under 40 Awards Gala on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, during the NBA’s 93rd Annual Convention & Exhibits in New Orleans, LA.




Posted in Clinic News

Surveying the Blossoming IP/ Tech Clinical Landscape


IP Clinic Director Professor Victoria Phillips has co-authored a piece with Cynthia Dahl of Penn surveying the emerging IP/Technology clinical community. The article will be published this Fall in the Clinical Law Review and a draft is available now on SSRN:

Innovation and Tradition: A Survey of Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinics

Posted in Clinic News, clinical education, ip clinic, IP clinics, survey, technology clinics | Tagged , , , , ,

USPTO Hosts Law School IP Clinics


2018-04-13 10.34.24

The Washington College of Law Glushko-Samuelson clinic has a long-standing tradition of working with the USPTO and in fact worked with the USPTO to start the student-attorney Law School Clinic Certification program.

Today, years later, the program has grown and on April 13th, the United States Patent and Trademark Office hosted many law school IP clinics from across the country that participate in its Law School Clinic Certification Program for a day of presentations, round table discussions, and networking.

Throughout the day, IP clinic student attendees from the WCL Glushko-Samuelson clinic and other clinics heard presentations from several USPTO representatives, including remarks from Andrei Iancu, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. IP clinic students also took part in round table discussions on current topics at the patent trial and appeal board, careers at the USPTO, and were able to ask patent and trademark examiners what it’s actually like to work at the USPTO. The day concluded with a simulated Trademark Trial and Appeal Board hearing, followed by a networking event for clinic students and faculty.

Our clinic students and faculty that attended had a wonderful time and are excited about all of the opportunities available at the USPTO. The IP Clinic looks forward to future visits to the USPTO and continuing to be part of this great program that allows our students to gain hands on experience within the intellectual property field.

Posted in Clinic News

Second Annual Startup Tips and Tricks Workshop Run by IP Clinic Students



WCL Glushko-Samuelson IP Clinic Students presented the second annual IP tips and tricks program for startups on April 18, 2018 at the Innovation Incubator: Center for Business and Innovation at American University’s Kogod School of Business.

Young entrepreneurs either at the initial stages of their startup ventures or in the process of building their businesses received key IP “tips and tricks” for technology startups. IP Clinic students Vanessa Michaud, Summer Benson, Melanie Singer, Alissa Logan, Pritika Ramesh, Kayla Matikonis, and Leah Pardais discussed essential trademark, copyright, patent, trade dress, privacy, and other issues important to technology startup businesses. Startup entrepreneurs engaged in a general Q&A and then received individualized assistance that was appreciated by the ventures.

The tips and tricks workshop is run from start to finish completely by the IP clinic students who prepared presentations and leave-behinds and provided hands-on intake assistance to the award-winning young startup entrepreneurs participating in the Innovation Incubator. The students’ success at the workshop is a culmination of the experiential learning IP clinic students received through student-led client work on a variety of key IP and technology issues throughout the academic year.

Posted in Clinic News

Clinic Students Fight for Fair Use for Online Classrooms


Section 1201 of the DMCA, the anti-circumvention provision, prohibits any fair use of copyrighted material if it requires going around a blocking measure. However, there is an exemption proceeding every three years where interested parties can fight for an exception to this rule. Currently, the Copyright Office is in the Seventh Triennial Rulemaking for Exemptions to anti-circumvention.

Glushko-Samuelson IP Clinic Students Melanie Singer and Alissa Logan filed comments and reply comments in the Seventh Triennial Review on behalf of Professor DeCherney and other educators (“Joint Educators”).  Their comments requested an expanded exemption to Section 1201 of the DMCA to enhance the quality, accessibility, and affordability of online education for all students – from traditional students seeking degrees to lifelong learners or professionals continuing their education.

Currently, all online courses are not treated the same. The exemption requested by Singer and Logan on behalf of Joint Educators asks for equality for all online courses to encourage innovation in education and availability of a variety of online educational opportunities.  They urge the Librarian of Congress to recognize that all online courses should use classroom materials the same way that offline courses currently do.

Specifically, in the recent reply comments, Logan and Singer set forth how the status quo of inequality harms professors, students, and educational institutions. The reply comments explain how the expanded exemption is needed to stop these harms and instead promote 21st educational opportunities for the 21st century workplace and community.

The next step in Rulemaking Proceeding will be a roundtable discussion at the Copyright Office on April 11, 2018.  Logan and Singer are working with Professor DeCherney who will testify on behalf of Joint Educators and continue to advocate for a better educational future for all types of learners.


Posted in Clinic News

Students Help Launch Discovery Channel Series “Silicon Valley: The Untold Story”


Intellectual Property Clinic student attorneys Evelyn Kelley and Briana Whinnie at the Washington College of Law helped producers release Silicon Valley: The Untold Story, a series now available on The Science Channel, a subsidiary of The Discovery Channel.  Critically acclaimed producer Kiki Kapany of Kikim Media describes the film:

“The full scope and drama of the Silicon Valley’s evolution will be revealed in Silicon Valley: The Untold Story—a three-hour primetime series that examines how Silicon Valley has managed to stay on the cutting edge of innovation for so long and why its success has been so difficult to duplicate. Together with its website, digital media strategy and outreach effort, it will increase public understanding of a unique region—an enduring source of innovation, entrepreneurship, and world-shaking technologies—that has captured public imagination and changed the modern world.”

Student attorneys Kelley and Whinnie provided an essential and extensive fair use analysis of over 1000 clips, documenting that all third-party material meets recognized fair use legal standards. Additionally, students reviewed and ensured that depictions of prominent figures featured in the film series complied with privacy law. Their work is part of long-standing effort by the clinic with respect to helping documentary filmmakers follow best fair use practices.

The Silicon Valley series will be rebroadcast on the following dates:

Saturday, 3/24 from 9am to 12pm PST on Discovery’s Science Channel

Monday, 3/25 from 12am to 3am PST on Discovery’s Science Channel

Sunday, 4/1 from 6am to 9am PST on the Discovery Channel

Subscribers to most cable services also can stream the series on the Science Channel website or on mobile devices through the free Science Go app.  The series also will be available in the iTunes Store starting 3/20.

The Clinic is currently working on an upcoming project with Kikim Media to be released this fall.

Image | Posted on by

IP Clinics Recognized as an Opportunity to Do Good and Learn About IP

Clinics in the Intellectual Property space are quickly becoming a growing force in providing pro bono representation with a public-interest focus.  Listed among noteworthy  Intellectual Property public interest clinical programs are Stanford, Berkeley, UC Irvine, Colorado, and American University’s Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law clinic.

The article notes that “while there are a number of transactional type intellectual property clinics that will give you great hands-on experience (such as doing prior art searches and filing for patents or counseling tech startups),” these clinics focus on public interest and policy matters.

American University’s nationally acclaimed clinic provides a wealth of practical experience that supplements students’ doctrinal experience and enables students to enter the workforce prepared to take on real clients with actual needs while at the same time promoting the public interest.  This unique experience provides valuable insight and helps prepare students for success both before and after graduation. Don’t take our word for it – just ask any of our alums.



Posted in Clinic News

IP Clinic Information Sessions for Next Year’s Class

Small Group Information Sessions—Come learn about the IP Clinic from faculty and current students.  Clinic applications due Feb. 16th!  Join us!

Feb 8th 3-4 p.m., Room Y236
Feb. 14th 12-1 p.m., Room YT15

Posted in Clinic News | Tagged ,

Copyright Office Grants IP Clinic Petition For Renewal of Section 1201 Exemptions to Circumvention

Washington College of Law’s Glushko-Samuelson IP Clinic successfully filed two petitions for renewal of exemptions for circumvention provisions in Section 1201 of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) on behalf of Joint Educators such as Peter Decherney, Professor of Cinema Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania, Katherine Sender, Michael X. Delli Carpini, Professor and Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, the College Art Association (CAA), the International Communication Association (ICA), and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), and the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA).

By granting the petitions filed by the IP clinic, the Copyright Office recognized the value of exempting fairly used audiovisual works for college and university educational uses. Specifically, today’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making states that with respect to the petition for exempting the use of motion pictures for colleges and professors there was strong evidence to support continuing the useful exemption:

“The petitions demonstrated the continuing need and justification for the exemption, and personal knowledge and experience with regard to this exemption. For example, Joint Educators, AAUP, DCSUM, and LCA stated that courses on video essays (or multimedia or videographer criticism), now taught at many universities, would not be able to exist without relying on this exemption. Without this exemption, Joint Educators, AAUP, DCSUM, and LCA assert that educators would be ‘unable to provide an enriching and accurate description and analysis of cinematic or other audiovisual works when prevented from accessing such works due to Technological Protection Measure[s] ‘—and their declarant, Professor Decherney, has personally relied upon this exemption to teach a course on multimedia criticism … Based on the information provided in the renewal petition … the Register believes that the conditions that led to adoption of this exemption are likely to continue during the next triennial period. Accordingly, the Register intends to recommend renewal of this exemption.”

Additionally, the NPRM recognized the value of continuing the second exemption that the IP Clinic petitioned to renew – the exemption for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs):

“Joint Educators, ICA, DCSUM, SCMS, and LCA petitioned to renew the exemption for motion pictures for educational uses in massive open online courses (“MOOCs”) (codified at 37 CFR 201.40(b)(1)(v))…. The petition demonstrated the continuing need and justification for the exemption, stating that instructors continue to rely on the exemption to develop, provide, and improve MOOCs, as well as increase the number of (and therefore access to) MOOCs in the field of film and media studies. In addition, the declarant, Professor Decherney, demonstrated personal knowledge by describing his reliance on the exemption to teach MOOCs on film and media studies, as well as his past participation in the 1201 triennial rulemaking, along with Professor Carpini, ICA, SCMS, and LCA. Based on the information provided in the renewal petition and the lack of opposition, the Register believes that the conditions that led to adoption of this exemption are likely to continue during the next triennial period. Accordingly, the Register intends to recommend renewal of this exemption.”

Today’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also set forth the deadlines for submitting comments in support of proposed new exemptions to Section 1201 of the DMCA. The IP Clinic, led by student team Melanie Singer and Allisa Logan submitted a petition for a proposed new exemption to 1201 circumvention rules and are currently working with Decherney and Joint Educators to file comments in support of a new exemption that would ensure access to all digital educational opportunities for students in the new digital economy.

Posted in Clinic News