Prof. Turoski’s Proposal to Expand Patent Practice Opportunities for non-J.D. Students Gets Key Endorsement

Professor Christopher Turoski, director of Patent Law Programs and lecturer in law, has received a key endorsement for comments that he submitted to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) advocating for greater student participation and diversity in the patent practice bar by opening up more opportunities to those not in traditional J.D. program.

In a letter to the Commissioner of Patents, National Association of Patent Practitioners (NAPP) President Daniel Krueger wrote: “NAPP endorses the suggestion that the USPTO support increased visibility and availability of patent agent career paths that avoid the burdensome time and financial commitments of a traditional Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree program. NAPP further endorses the suggestions to open up the Patent Drafting Competition and the Law School Clinic Certification program to all those persons eligible to pursue a patent agent registration, not just students seeking J.D. degrees.”

NAPP is a non-profit organization of patent attorneys and patent agents and those working in the patent field. Its objective is "to foster professionalism in the patent practitioner community and to aid patent agents and patent attorneys in staying current in matters relating to practice before the USPTO.”

In his comments, Turoski points out the benefits of broadening access to the the patent field. “The cost to become a traditional patent attorney is abysmally high. The diversity of the patent bar is abysmally low,” he says. “We can increase the diversity of patent practitioners by (i) expanding the pipeline of students who aspire to become patent practitioners, and (ii) removing systemic barriers these students face at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”

The Law School’s innovative Master in Science in Patent Law Program allows students with science and technology backgrounds to gain the knowledge and training they need to put their technical skills to work in the field of patent law. Past graduates have jobs at law firms, major corporations, and government, as well as other areas of the patent sector.

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Christopher M. Turoski '98
Director of Patent Law Programs & Lecturer in Law