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students stand on sidewalk outside busWindsor Law students toured the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s satellite operation in downtown Detroit.

Law students open channel to US patent office

Collaboration between Windsor Law and the United States Patent and Trademark Office could prove to be huge for the school, says the director of the Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship Clinic.

“We have been developing this relationship in keeping with the law school’s commitment to cross-border connections and activities,” says Wissam Aoun. “Our first project is a workshop series intended to raise awareness and education regarding intellectual property and innovation across campus and in the local community.”

Last month, 50 law students toured the patent agency’s Detroit satellite office, observing day-to-day operations of personnel in what Aoun describes as “the world’s foremost innovation institution.”

“It is no exaggeration to say that every significant invention will at some point make its way through the US patent office,” he says.

Today, the relationship enters a second stage, with the “American Patent Talent” competition, which will see students conduct a search and analysis and present before a panel of USPTO patent examiners. The competition will be webcast live around the world, and a recording of the proceedings wil be available in the next few weeks.

“This is a first not just for legal clinics in Canada, but quite possibly for any legal clinic in North America,” says Aoun. “The patent office has indicated that this is the first time they’ve ever done anything like this, and they are equally excited.”

The clinic is working with the patent office to develop additional programming, and plan to roll out a series of workshops and training sessions targeting science, technology, engineering and mathematics students in the local community. These workshops will train participants in invention analysis and technology commercialization.

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