2014 Archives

SMU Dedman School of Law Adds New Patent and Trademark Clinics

Chosen for USPTO Certification Program Based on Curricula, Public Service

August 1, 2014

copyrightDALLAS (SMU) —SMU Dedman School of Law has been chosen to become part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) law school clinic certification pilot program.

The USPTO selection committee said it chose SMU because of its “intellectual property (IP) curricula, pro bono services to the public, and community networking and outreach.”

“The patent and trademark clinics will add to Dedman Law’s strength in the intellectual property area, along with our rich curricular offerings, outstanding faculty, and student Intellectual Property Organization,” said Jennifer M. Collins, dean of SMU Dedman School of Law.

The USPTO patent and trademark pilot clinics will open this fall. These clinics will provide patent and trademark prosecution services for small start-up companies and individuals, as well as offer essential skills training for law students.

SMU Dedman Law already has a large number of IP-related courses that are offered, taught by five full-time and nine adjunct professors. The law school also publishes SMU Science and Technology Law Review.

The IP-related courses at Dedman Law include:

  • Copyright Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual Property Licensing
  • International Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual Property and Business Organizations
  • Law and Science
  • Patent Law
  • Patent Prosecution
  • Patent Litigation
  • Selected Topics in Intellectual Property
  • Social Media Law
  • Trademark and Business Torts

“Through the patent and trademark clinic, our students will learn substantive skills and have the opportunity to expand their understanding of intellectual property law,” said W. Keith Robinson, Dedman Law assistant professor.  “Further, the clinic will provide the law school with the ability to strengthen its relationship with the growing start-up and entrepreneurial community in Dallas.”

“Our selection to have both a patent clinic and a trademark clinic comes shortly after the Patent and Trademark Office opened a regional office here in Dallas,” said David O. Taylor, assistant professor at SMU Dedman School of Law. “Given these events, it sure is an exciting time to be part of the intellectual property law community in Dallas and at SMU in particular.”


Each year more than 170 Dedman Law students provide low or no-cost legal aid to Dallas residents through clinics that handle more than 360 cases annually. 

Civil Clinic: Represents low-income clients in matters ranging from housing disputes to elder advocacy to civil rights litigation.

Criminal Justice Clinic: Represents Dallas county citizens charged with criminal offenses, works with the Dallas Public Defender’s Office and provides students with jury trial experience.

Federal Taxpayers Clinic: Represents low-income clients needing to resolve tax problems with the Audit, Appeals and Collection divisions of the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Tax Court. This clinic was the first tax clinic in the country with the authority to represent clients before the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court.

Small Business Clinic: This clinic introduces student attorneys to practical applications of business formation and provides needed representation for small start-up companies and individuals developing private nonprofit entities.

W. W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic: Represents children who have been abused and neglected in Dallas County. The clinic is appointed by juvenile district court judges to serve as guardian/attorney ad litem.

Consumer Advocacy Project: Reaches out to the local bilingual Hispanic community and helps resolve consumer complaints. This clinic focuses on formal litigation, informal advocacy, negotiation and mediation strategies, as well as community education.

Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women: Opening early 2015, will provide services for victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking and other crimes against women.

VanSickle Family Law Clinic:  Opening fall, 2015, will provide free legal assistance for low-income North Texas residents in matters such as divorce, annulment, paternity actions, custody and visitation, child and spousal support.

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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

SMU Dedman School of Law was founded in 1925 and named Dedman School of Law in 2001 in honor of Dallas benefactors Nancy and Robert H. Dedman, Sr., and their family.  SMU Dedman Law offers both a full-time, J.D. program, and a part-time evening J.D. program; two joint degree programs, J.D./M.B.A. and J.D/M.A. in economics; four graduate degree programs, LL.M. program for foreign law school graduates, LL.M. in Taxation, general LL.M., and an S.J.D. program. The law school enjoys a national and international reputation of distinction, with graduates that have distinguished themselves as global leaders in law, business and government, and as prominent members of the judiciary.