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113th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 113-588
USPTO LAW SCHOOL CLINIC CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
September 15, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on
the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 5108]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the
bill (H.R. 5108) to establish the Law School Clinic
Certification Program of the United States Patent and Trademark
Office, and for other purposes, having considered the same,
reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that
the bill as amended do pass.
The Amendment.................................................... 1
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 2
Background and Need for the Legislation.......................... 2
Committee Consideration.......................................... 3
Committee Votes.................................................. 3
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................ 3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................ 3
Duplication of Federal Programs.................................. 4
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings.............................. 5
Performance Goals and Objectives................................. 5
Advisory on Earmarks............................................. 5
Section-by-Section Analysis...................................... 5
The amendment is as follows:
Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the
SECTION 1. USPTO LAW SCHOOL CLINIC CERTIFICATION PROGRAM.
(a) Establishment.--The Law School Clinic Certification Program of
the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as implemented by the
Office, is established as a program entitled the ``Law School Clinic
Certification Program''. The Program shall allow students enrolled in a
participating law school's clinic to practice patent and trademark law
before the Office by drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent or
trademark applications, or both, on a pro-bono basis for clients that
qualify for assistance from the law school's clinic. The Director shall
establish regulations and procedures for application to and
participation in the Program. All law schools accredited by the
American Bar Association are eligible for participation in the Program,
and shall be examined for acceptance using identical criteria
established by the Director. The Program shall be in effect for the 10-
year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(b) Report on the Program.--The Director shall, not later than the
last day of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of
this Act, submit to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of
Representatives and the Senate a report on the Program, describing the
number of law schools and law students participating in the Program,
the work done through the Program, the benefits of the Program, and any
recommendations of the Director for modifications to the Program.
(c) Definitions.--In this section:
(1) Office.--The term ``Office'' means the United States
Patent and Trademark Office.
(2) Program.--The term ``Program'' means the Law School
Clinic Certification Program established in subsection (a).
(3) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the Under
Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Purpose and Summary
The bill establishes the law school clinic certification
program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'').
The program will be open to all law schools that qualify and
meet the rigorous standards set by the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office. The USPTO will issue regulations specifying
procedures for application and participation in the program. It
is expected that the USPTO will set forth rigorous criteria to
ensure that the intellectual property clinic programs selected
meet the highest standards and that the students participating,
under the supervision of a faculty supervisor, meet the
standard educational and professional criteria for practice
before the office.
Background and Need for the Legislation
Currently the USPTO has a pilot law school clinic
certification program. This bill would remove the ``pilot''
status and make it available to all accredited law schools that
provide a benefit to students, law schools, pro bono clients
and the inventor community at large.
The bill authorizes the USPTO Director to issue regulations
specifying procedures for application to and participation in
the program. In addition, within 2 years, the USPTO Director
would be required to submit a report on the program to the
House and Senate Judiciary Committees detailing the number of
law schools and students participating in the program, the work
accomplished and recommendations for its modification.
The IP Law School Clinic Certification Program provides law
students enrolled in a participating clinic the opportunity to
practice patent and trademark law before the USPTO under the
guidance of a faculty supervisor. In this way, these student
practitioners gain valuable experience drafting and filing
patent and trademark applications that would otherwise be
unavailable. Patents and trademarks are highly specialized
areas of law. Expanding the pilot program will enable
additional law schools across the nation to prepare a greater
number of practitioners to enter this increasingly important
field. The program also provides services to small and
independent trademark and patent filers that lack the financial
resources necessary for traditional legal representation.
The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R.
On September 10, 2014, the Committee on the Judiciary met
in open session and ordered the bill H.R. 5108 favorably
reported, with an amendment, by voice vote, a quorum being
In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that there
were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of
Committee Oversight Findings
In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the
descriptive portions of this report.
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures
Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with
respect to the bill, H.R. 5108, the following estimate and
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, September 12, 2014.
Hon. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5108, a bill to
establish the Law School Clinic Certification Program of the
United States Patent and Trademark Office, and for other
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susan Willie,
who can be reached at 226-2860.
Douglas W. Elmendorf,
Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
H.R. 5108--A bill to establish the Law School Clinic Certification
Program of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and for other
As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary
on September 10, 2014.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5108 would have a
negligible effect on net discretionary spending over the 2015-
2019 period. Enacting H.R. 5108 would not affect direct
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do
H.R. 5108 would authorize the Law School Clinic
Certification Program at the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)
for 10 years after enactment of the bill. In 2008, PTO
established the Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program,
which allows students at participating law schools to practice
patent or trademark law before the agency under the guidance of
a faculty supervisor in the school's law clinic. Currently, 45
schools participate in the program, which costs about $200,000
each year to operate.
Based on information from PTO, CBO expects that any
additional actions the agency would take to implement H.R. 5108
would not have a significant effect on the agency's workload,
and thus, its spending. In addition, PTO is authorized to
collect fees sufficient to offset its operating expenses;
therefore, CBO estimates that the net budgetary effect of
implementing H.R. 5108 would be negligible, assuming
appropriations actions consistent with the agency's
H.R. 5108 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susan Willie.
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Duplication of Federal Programs
No provision of H.R. 5108 establishes or reauthorizes a
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of
another Federal program, a program that was included in any
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of
Federal Domestic Assistance.
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings
The Committee estimates that H.R. 5108 specifically directs
to be completed no specific rule makings within the meaning of
5 U.S.C. 551. The Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office may, by regulation, develop additional procedures for
implementing the program.
Performance Goals and Objectives
The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R.
5108, establishes the law school clinic certification program
of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Advisory on Earmarks
In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, H.R. 5108 does not contain any
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI.
The following discussion describes the bill as reported by
Sec. 1. USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program.
Section 1 establishes the ``Law School Clinic Certification
Program'' at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Program
allows students enrolled in a qualified law school clinic to
practice patent and trademark law before the office for pro-
bono clients that qualify for assistance from the law school's
clinic. The USPTO shall submit a report to Congress on the
program within 2 years of the enactment of the Act.