House passes bill to establish patent law training program

The House on Monday passed a bill to authorize a program for law students to practice patent and trademark law before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Under the measure, passed 327-22, students at participating law schools would practice law on a pro bono basis. 

The program was first established in 2008, and the bill would reauthorize it for another ten years.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the bill's sponsor, said it would establish the program on a permanent basis, rather than a pilot program as it currently stands. He argued the program has demonstrated its value to rising intellectual property attorneys.

"This program will provide real-world professional training and expanding it will enable law students throughout the country to obtain invaluable, practical experience that will not only enhance their legal education, but give students that participate in these clinics an opportunity to more meaningfully engage the job market upon their graduation," Jeffries said.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) noted that 45 law schools currently participate in the program.  

"This practical experience is an invaluable and worthwhile investment in our nation's attorneys," Chabot said.