Northeastern Law Team Takes Second Place at USPTO Patent Drafting Competition Eastern Regionals


3.21.23 — A Northeastern Law team comprised of Jacob Cronin ’23, Grier Conville ’24, Brenda Lim ’24 and Kylie Palmer ’24 placed second out of 12 teams in the Eastern Regionals of the USPTO Patent Drafting Competition on March 4, 2023. The National Patent Drafting Competition introduces law students to issues arising in United States patent law and seeks to develop student teams’ patent application drafting, amending and prosecuting skills. Each team was presented a hypothetical invention statement to research. The Northeastern Law team drafted a patent application to a bicycle carrier and then defended their claims orally to an expert panel of patent lawyers.

“Competition in the Eastern division is always intense and this year’s team did a great job with tough subject matter, as shown by their finish. With three-quarters of the team returning next year, we’re looking forward to building on this great result,” said John Lanza ’95, the team’s coach and a partner with Foley & Lardner.

“Regionals this year, with 12 teams — many of which have well-recognized patent programs — was the most competitive it has ever been. While we did not make it to nationals, it was a highly educational and memorable experience. We intend to learn from our shortcomings and come back next year, not only to qualify for nationals, but to hopefully win the entire competition,” said the team in a joint statement.

“This top finish is an amazing accomplishment, made possible by the dedication of alum John Lanza, who has supported Northeastern student participation in this competition for the last three years, and has helped make it the team to beat,” said Professor Kara Swanson, who also mentored the team, and noted, “Last year’s team also placed in the top two.”


About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country. Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences through its signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. More than 1,000 employers worldwide in a wide range of legal, government, nonprofit and business organizations participate in the program. With a focus on social justice and innovation, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experiences to successfully practice law.

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