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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 
                               following

                              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.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
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

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

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.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 
5108.

                        Committee Consideration

    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 
present.

                            Committee Votes

    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 
H.R. 5108.

                      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 
expenditures.

               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 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               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 
purposes.
    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.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                  Director.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member




  H.R. 5108--A bill to establish the Law School Clinic Certification 
Program of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and for other 
                               purposes.

      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 
not apply.
    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 
authorities.
    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 
governments.
    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.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    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.