For WMU-Cooley students Joyce Hill and Christopher DeLucenay, the Midwest Regional International Patent Drafting Competition, hosted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, began back in December 2015. Each team received an invention for which they were to prepare and submit a patent application, along with the related documents relative to the invention. They were then scored by a select panel of judges. Teams had to do an oral presentation explaining their applications before a panel of judges, including a presentation of their search strategies and claims drafted. The three months of work paid off! Team Hill and DeLucenay took second place in the competition — missing first place by a hair!
Chris learned about the competition while attending a Michigan Intellectual Property American Inn of Court meeting with Professor Tschura. “It sounded like a good opportunity to gain some practical experience in patent drafting and also to meet professionals in the industry. But what I really enjoyed was tackling new problems; problems I had never faced before when searching and drafting an application. I truly enjoyed working with Joyce. We worked very hard, in a limited time frame, to put our submission together. The competition presentation was a unique and great experience. I got to visit the Detroit USPTO satellite office and meet examiners, judges, and practitioners who gave us some great advice for our future careers. It was a tremendous opportunity. I am thankful to Professor Tschura for all he did and Joyce for being such a great teammate. I was honored to represent WMU-Cooley respectably.”
Professor and Coach Gerald Tschura could not be more proud of the team and their second place finish in the competition.
“I was delighted with our very talented team of Joyce Hill and Christopher DeLucenay,” stated Tschura. “I found them both to be extremely self-motivated, beyond the fact that they worked so well as a team. Their written submission, as well as their oral presentations, were absolutely outstanding. Both law students exemplify exactly the high caliber and degree of competency needed in patent law. Our team’s talent and efforts paid off as their written submissions and oral presentations were absolutely outstanding. WMU-Cooley continues to educate and graduate highly talented patent attorneys, most of whom are now employed by intellectual property focused law firms in the region and throughout the country including as examiners at the USPTO.”
Joyce also felt what she learned from her internship at Dickinson Wright clearly gave her an edge in the competition. “I am so grateful for all the programs and staff at WMU-Cooley who have been instrumental in putting me on the right track for success, especially Alana Glass and Sheri Lesnick from our Career Services Offices who got me my Intellectual Property internship with Dickinson Wright.”
The competition was the first of its kind, according to Professor Tschura. “The USPTO plans for the competition to become an annual event, and expanding it to regional competitions to be held at each of the USPTO regional satellite offices in Detroit, Dallas, Denver and Palo Alto, as well Alexandria, Virginia.