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Maine Law Students Visit U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

On October 28, 2011, seven University of Maine School of Law students toured the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office along with faculty and staff of the Law School’s Center for Law & Innovation. The tour fulfilled one of many plans made when USPTO Director and Undersecretary of Commerce David Kappos visited Maine Law in 2010 and again in 2011. During that visit, Dean Peter Pitegoff and Director Kappos discussed ways in which Maine Law students could take advantage of summer externships and long-term employment opportunities with the Patent Office, which is currently seeking as many as 250 law students for its summer program and hiring hundreds of full time patent examiners.

Because Maine Law has one of the leading intellectual property law clinics in the country, certified for both patent and trademark practice through the USPTO’s Pilot Clinical Certification program, many Maine Law students are well qualified for employment with the agency during and after law school. Indeed, three of the students on this year’s tour had participated in the agency’s summer externship program in 2010 and plan to apply for full time jobs with the agency upon graduation. Summer externships with the USPTO are open to students following their first or second year of law school, or both. Maine Law is currently working on a Memorandum of Understanding with the agency that will help its students to have priority in summer hiring opportunities. The school hopes to repeat the tour annually to lovely Alexandria, Virginia, where the USPTO is headquartered.

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