Wayne State University

Patent Procurement Clinic

For clients

As part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Clinic Certification Pilot Program, Wayne Law’s Patent Procurement Clinic continues the Law School’s traditional leadership in intellectual property law. The clinic is one of less than two dozen participating clinics in the country – and the only such clinic in Michigan.

The clinic offers important patent services, including: 

  • Patentability searches
  • Patent application drafting
  • Responses to patent office rejections

The clinic’s legal services are provided free of charge; however, clients are responsible for any and all filing fees.

Criteria for selection:

  • Matching the invention with the backgrounds of clinic law students and supervising professors
  • Potential of the technology
  • Ability of the startup to create jobs in southeast Michigan
  • Financial need of the startup

All patent services are provided by upper-level Law School students with degrees in engineering or science (e.g. mechanical engineering or chemistry) supervised by Thomas Helmholdt, a registered patent attorney since 1988 who has personally drafted and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications.

To contact the clinic, email patentclinic@wayne.edu

Online client application

For students

Patent law students who want to improve their skills in drafting patent applications, interacting with clients and prosecuting patents will be interested in this clinic.

Each student will perform a patentability search, draft a patent application for a real client under the guidance of an experienced patent attorney and perform patent prosecution tasks, such as responding to "office actions."

First-time clinic participants must take the clinic as a four-credit course; those who have taken the clinic for credit can continue on either a credit or volunteer non-credit basis. Students in their second semester will develop special projects with the professor; those working on a volunteer non-credit basis can have their hours counted for the Student Voluntary Pro Bono Program.

Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan