Law students at the University of St. Thomas have a new opportunity to gain hands-on experience during law school in the areas of trademark and intellectual property law. The Trademark Clinic will become the school’s 12th legal clinic when it’s offered for the first time in January.
“Every business has a trademark. Protecting and enforcing trademark rights are essential to building a strong brand, and properly clearing a trademark is important to avoiding trademark disputes,” said Brad Walz ’04, shareholder with Winthrop & Weinstine and head of the new clinic. “Being able to identify a trademark issue with a business is important not only to trademark practitioners, but to every business attorney.”
The St. Thomas clinic has been accepted into the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinic Certification Program. This certification allows law students to practice intellectual property law before the USPTO under the guidance of clinical faculty.
Clinical student attorneys working in the Trademark Clinic at St. Thomas will counsel clients about trademark applications, prepare and file trademark applications, prepare responses to Office actions, and may bring or defend opposition or cancellation proceedings and argue before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. They will gain the analytical skills, practical knowledge and legal background to counsel businesses.
Walz graduated from St. Thomas Law in its inaugural class of 2004, and practices in the areas of intellectual property, trademark and brand management, copyright, franchise law, technology and intellectual property transactions, intellectual property litigation, and food and beverage law.
The Trademark Clinic is one of 12 legal clinics housed in the University of St. Thomas Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services, where faculty and students from the disciplines of law, psychology and social work collaborate to help clients in need. Our legal clinics offer hands-on experience to students in the following areas: federal appeals, bankruptcy litigation, international law and Catholic Social Teaching, community and racial justice, consumer bankruptcy, elder law, federal commutations, immigration appeals, immigration law, nonprofit organizations, religious liberty and trademark.