IP Co-Lab logo04.16.17 — Students in Northeastern University School of Law’s IP CO-LAB — its intellectual property clinic — will soon have the extraordinary opportunity to file federal trademark registration applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Northeastern is one of a select group of law schools — and the only law school in the Greater Boston area — granted this privilege through the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program.

“This is a tremendous honor and opportunity,” said Professor Mary Landergan, who supervises the IP CO-LAB. “We do a lot of work with student entrepreneurs at Northeastern, but previously they had to seek outside for counsel for trademark registration, which can be expensive. This will also allow us to expand our work beyond the campus to provide pro bono registration assistance to entrepreneurs throughout Massachusetts.”

As a result of the certification, law students will gain experience drafting trademark applications for their clients. With this special authorization to practice before the USPTO — prior to becoming members of the bar —they gain experience answering office actions and communicating with trademark examining attorneys for the applications they have filed.

The IP CO-LAB, led by students at the School of Law and faculty from the law and business schools, provides a range of crucial IP- related legal information and services to inventors and ventures in Northeastern’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It collaborates with the university’s Center for Research Innovation, student- run venture accelerator (IDEA) and the Center for Entrepreneurial Education. Its goal is to enhance the campus innovation environment and provide opportunities for all members of the Northeastern community – with a special focus on law students supporting design, engineering and business students – to better understand and use intellectual property. 

To reach beyond the campus, the IP CO-LAB will partner with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the Conservation Law Foundation's Legal Food Hub for pro bono referrals. It will also serve clients of the law school’s Community Business Clinic.

“This is huge opportunity for our law students, for Northeastern student entrepreneurs and for the public,” said Landergan. “We’ll provide research, analysis and reports to inventors free of cost. With the addition of trademark registration services, the IP CO-LAB will be a full-service operation.”

Addendum: We are pleased to report that our colleagues at Suffolk Law School and Boston College Law School subsequently received certification.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students an unparalleled full year of practical legal work. All students participate in four, full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 900 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.