An inside look at life at the USPTO for Mitchell students, alumni, and prospective students

Category: IP Institute News Tags: July 31, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

What’s it like to be the top legal boss of a major U.S. agency? General Counsel Bernie Knight of the United States Patent and Trade Office will discuss many aspects of the UPSTO’s work, as well as employment opportunities for law school graduates, at an event for Mitchell graduates, prospective students, and alumni Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Recently, the USPTO was tasked with implementing the America Invents Act, an important piece of legislation that significantly changes the U.S. patent system. Knight will present highlights of that new legislation, along with an overview of the federal rulemaking process.

The general counsel also works with the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office on Supreme Court cases involving intellectual property issues. Knight will discuss the process for determining the government’s position in cases and a few of the recent decisions.

With intellectual property frequently described as the currency of innovation, and innovation seen as a key vehicle to economic growth and prosperity, Knight will also discuss how intellectual property and the work of the USPTO contributes to the United States economy.

Knight’s appearance at Mitchell is made possible thanks to the law school’s top intellectual property program, which has strong ties to the USPTO. Mitchell is home to:

the Intellectual Property Institute, an international leader in fostering and protecting innovation
the Intellectual Property Clinic, which, under the direction of Professor Jay Erstling, helps students develop legal skills by working with small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals on legal issues. Mitchell is one of only six law schools in the nation to be chosen to participate in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program, which allows students to practice patent and trademark law before the USPTO under the supervision of faculty
one of the most developed intellectual property law curricula in the country.
The event is open to Mitchell students, alumni, and prospective students. Seating is limited. Reserve your seat by emailing

Learn more about William Mitchell’s top intellectual property progam

Learn more about USPTO General Counsel Bernie Knight