IP Clinic Students Provide Vital IP Counseling to Cutting Edge AU Start-Up Ventures

From the start of the academic year, the IP clinic set out to develop a useful contribution to the ever growing industry of tech start-ups. In addition to client matters—which ranged from trademark oppositions and registrations to documentary fair use analyses to discrete copyright duration and registration issues—the IP clinic students worked as a team to launch a toolkit on IP-related issues for start-up companies, with a focus on the tech industry. They customized and built an online questionnaire that future IP clinic students will use to capture essential information that will be used to structure the forthcoming tool kit.

And in true clinic fashion, the IP clinic students then put the knowledge and experience they harnessed throughout the year into action in WCL’s first ever “IP Tips and Tricks for Startups” presentation, which took place on the law school’s state-of-the-art Tenleytown campus. For this event, the clinic hosted five start-up companies from American University’s on-campus incubator and provided them with tailored, high-level lessons on four areas of IP law: trademark, copyright, patent, and trade secrets. The start-up entrepreneurs were energized and engaged in the presentations and Q&A sessions, and afterwards the IP clinic students were able to mingle with the individual business owners and set up follow-up meetings to discuss their IP issues in further detail. Overall, this event was a huge success that resulted in peace of mind for the business owners and unparalleled hands-on learning for the IP clinic students.

Posted in Clinic News

With Help from IP Clinic Students, “Yasuni Man” Premiering at DC Environmental Film Festival March 19

For seven years, United States biologist Ryan Killackey researched and filmed the 1,500 kilometer Yasuni biosphere reserve in Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.  The resulting documentary explores “the impact of oil development on the biodiversity of the forest and its people,” and effectively “tells the story of the conflict in Yasuni that has pitted biodiversity and human rights against extractive industries and human consumption.”

This 90-minute film has already won 3 awards and several official selections so far on the film festival circuit. The Glushko-Samuelson Clinic, along with its student attorneys Aaron Wicker, Aurelie Mathieu, David Najera, and Joanna Scleidorovich, are credited at the end of the film.

Tickets are now on sale for the Yasuni Man DC Premiere at the D.C. Environmental Film Festival on Sunday, March 19th from 7-9pm at the Landmark E Street Cinema.

Please follow this link to purchase tickets:


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IP Clinic Students David Najera and Joanna Scleidorovich Win Best Brief at INTA Regional Competition

David Najera (17′) and Joanna Scleidorovich (17′), student-attorneys in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, competed in the regional round of the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition in New York City. The tournament was organized by the International Trademark Association (“INTA”) and was held on February 11, 2017 at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The team, coached by Professor Christine Farley, won the award for best brief, and placed 3rd in overall competition making this the first year that WCL wins the best brief award in the competition.

The Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court competition is one of the most prestigious Intellectual Property events for students and focuses on issues related to U.S. trademark and unfair competition law. Students are required to write a brief and argue the case before a panel of volunteer attorneys, jurists from  the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit and Trademark Trail & Appeal Board of the USPTO, as well as judges from various districts and other courts.

This year’s competition brought teams from various states including: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Posted in Clinic News

Clinic Recruitment Information


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IP Clinic Information sessions will follow on Feb. 1 and Feb. 9th at noon in Y115 and Feb 16th at 1PM in YT14.

See WCL clinic website for more details and application. information.

Posted in Clinic News

For 4th Year in a Row, IP Clinic to Co-Host “Pop-Up” Legal Clinic for Local Artists and Entrepreneurs

On February 21st, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA) will again partner with the WCL Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and GW Small Business Clinic for their fourth annual “Pop-Up” Legal Clinic. This amazing opportunity for Washington’s creative community provides artists and entrepreneurs to receive free legal consultation in intellectual property and business development.

Assisted by WCL and GW professors, the IP Law Clinic students will assist in copyright, patent, trademark and related intellectual property fields, while Small Business Clinic students will provide corporate assistance for start-ups. This collaboration creates a valuable learning opportunity for both students and artists.


The Clinic will be held from 5-7 PM at the offices of the GW Law School’s Small Business & Community Economic Development Clinic at 2000 G Street NW, Washington, DC.

For more information:    http://waladc.org

Posted in Clinic News

After IP Clinic Spearheads Law School Clinic Certification Program, the USPTO Releases First Report to Congress

Through the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program, more than 2,700 law school clinic students have been able to practice patent and/or trademark law before the USPTO under the guidance of a Faculty Clinic Supervisor. Not only has this provided superior legal training and invaluable experience to these students, but by providing their IP services to the public pro bono, this has also increased access to legal representation for the public.

The program came about as a result of a 2006 request for student practice in the agency by faculty of the American University Glushko-Samuelson IP Law Clinic.  The AU faculty suggested the creation of a student practice rule in the agency modeled on the many student practice rules in state and federal courts across the country. The clinic’s students were appearing in federal court under such rules in IP matters, but were unable to participate in IP rights acquisition at the USPTO on their own.

By expanding education about patents, trademarks, and the patents and trademarks system at the law school level, independent inventors and entrepreneurs that have otherwise not been able to obtain quality legal services, have been afforded access to the competent legal representation necessary to succeed and compete in today’s economy.

This first annual report fulfills the requirements of the Law School Clinic Certification Program Act (P.L. 113-227) by describing the number of law schools and law students participating in the Law School Clinic Certification Program, the work done through the Program, the benefits of the Program, and any recommendations for modifications to the Program. A copy of the Report to Congress is available here.


Posted in Clinic News

IP Clinic Alums Return to Toast Professor Jaszi!!!

On November 17th over 50 IP Clinic alums (representing the classes of 2002-2016) and all the former clinic faculty returned to campus to hear clinic founder Professor Peter Jaszi deliver the annual Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property.  Peter’s lecture was “Cultural practice and copyright justice: Confessions of a semi-reconstructed auteurist”   

At the celebratory reception clinic alums, faculty and current clinic students had the chance to mingle and toast the man who started it all!

Posted in Clinic News

Does Your Vote Actually Count?

This Wednesday, November 16th, at 6 PM, the National Press Club will host an exclusive D.C. screening of I Voted?, a non-partisan documentary examining the United States voting system.

Director Jason Grant Smith and television personality Katie Couric teamed up to investigate threats posed by the rise of internet voting.  During the six years of research and production, IP Clinic student attorneys provided counseling on pertinent intellectual property matters.

Viewers interested in catching this 2016 Tribeca Film Festival favorite are asked to please RSVP to the screening here.

I Voted? from I Voted? on Vimeo.

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Clinic Students Secure Fair Use Rights for Ground Breaking Documentary

The ground breaking documentary film, Black Ballerina, tells the story of several generations of women of color who overcame racism, exclusion  and unequal opportunity to become pursue careers as ballerinas.

Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic student attorneys Margaret Mrzyk, Jung Kim, Nick Crovo, and Yenu Wodajo, provided legal assistance necessary to release the film Black Ballerina.

The film tells the story of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet, and explores the struggles they face entering the “white world of classical ballet.”

The Director Frances McElroy commended the students “thoroughness, patience, and knowledge” of what she considers “a highly complicated matter.” McElroy expressed her admiration with the student attorneys’ dedication to addressing issues of social concern.

Black Ballerina is a feature length documentary produced by Shirley Road Productions and is being distributed nationally by American Public Television in the hopes of “stimulating discussion about diversity, inclusion, and opportunity.”

Black Ballerina was selected by the XXXI Black International Cinema in Berlin for “Best Film/Video Documentary Production.”

PBS will begin scheduling public broadcasts this month, and the DVD is available for purchase on the Black Ballerina Documentary website

Thus far, BLACK BALLERINA has been screened at:

  • Dance on Camera Film Festival (rough cut) – Lincoln Center – February 2015
  • Corps de Ballet International Annual Conference (rough cut) – June 2015
  • Scribe Video Center (rough cut) – Philadelphia – November 2015
  • Let’s Dance International Frontiers, UK – May 2016
  • Black International Cinema Festival – Berlin, Germany – May 2016
  • American Dance Festival – Movies by Movers – Durham, NC – July 2016
  • African Diaspora International Film Festival – New York City – November/December 2016
  • San Francisco Dance Film Festival – San Francisco – October 23, 2016


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Holy Recognition Batman! Clinic Alum Alethia Mariotta Secures Long-Overdue Credit for Co-Creator of Batman


After seventy-five years of anonymity, Bill Finger, co-creator of Batman, will posthumously receive the recognition he deserves. In July 2015, Finger Family Attorney and Washington College of Law IP clinic alumna Alethia Mariotta (’02) conducted closed door negotiations with Warner Brothers and has secured official credit for Bill Finger as co-creator of Batman and other golden age comic book characters. DC Comics and DC Entertainment have already added Finger’s name to the “created by” credit on all Batman stories, including the most recent Batman movies and the television show Gotham.

Though Bill Kane has been credited for years, Finger is the one who “came up with many of the key concepts behind the character: his origin as a child who saw his parents murdered in front of him and vowed to fight crime, the final version of his costume, his secret identity of Bruce Wayne, the moniker of the ‘Dark Knight,’ the name ‘Gotham City,’ Commissioner Gordon, villains like the Penguin and Catwoman, and more,” the Wall Street Journal reports. On October 14th, Hulu will debut its Limelight Documentary “Batman & Bill,” which explores the “true origin of the iconic super hero through an eye-opening account of Bill Finger,” the long unknown co-creator of Batman. The documentary delves into Bill’s fight for “the recognition he deserved.

Mariotta credits her experience with the first WCL Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic as providing her with “the foundation to have the confidence and skills to take on such a formidable case and be successful.” She thanks Clinic faculty Peter Jaszi and Victoria Phillips for their “passionate and intelligent” guidance.


Read More:

Wall Street Journal

New York Comic-Con

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