Patent 7,955,128 is Not Just Any Number to Law School Clinic

First patent issued to client of UConn Law School clinic.

Patent no. 7,955,128 is the first patent issued to a client of UConn Law School’s Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic.

The first patent has been issued to a client of UConn Law School’s Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, which helps Connecticut inventors clear the legal hurdles involved in the business and patent process related to their inventions.

Patent no. 7,955,128 was issued on June 7 to inventors Preston Shultz and Kevin Crowl of Skyko International LLC for a method, system, and assembly of transferring electrical power adapted to provide power to a grounded aircraft.

Since opening its doors in January 2007, the IP Law Clinic has assisted or is assisting more than 165 of Connecticut’s innovators on a wide range of intellectual property and related business law issues. The Clinic’s clients come from all eight counties in Connecticut and represent more than 65 different cities or towns. The IP Law Clinic provides its services through law students under the supervision of experienced intellectual property attorneys. The students possess a wide range of technology expertise and industry experience.

Patent Process Often Lengthy

The process of obtaining a patent can be a very long one. The clinic was established by the Connecticut legislature in 2006 as part of broader legislation designed to strengthen Connecticut’s economy through innovative new programs aimed at supporting emerging companies.

“Skyko’s relationship with the UConn Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic has been extremely valuable” said Preston Shultz, a resident of Woodstock, Conn. “The level of cooperation, the effort, and their following up with our work has been extremely gratifying. Obtaining the patent would not have been possible without the attention to detail that UConn has given to our company.”

Skyko International LLC, a company with offices in several states, provides engineering design and services out of its Putnam, Conn. office to many Connecticut companies.

“Skyko brings real value to products that are critical for airlines to power their planes in all weather conditions and in controlling their cost, and in reducing both pollution and noise,” added Shultz.

Clinic Offers Training/Value

Shultz has worked closely with the Law School’s IP Law Clinic since 2009. During that time, it was the work of the clinic students under the guidance and supervision of Professor Lily Neff that made drafting, filing, and ultimately the issuance of the patent possible.

“The provision of legal services to innovator-entrepreneurs, as exemplified by today’s success with Skyko, illustrates the value of law clinic services to not only the clients but to our students,” said Neff. “UConn School of Law’s IP Law Clinic provides invaluable educational opportunities that are difficult to find elsewhere in the United States. Our students receive one-on-one training in drafting and prosecuting patent applications, a sought after skill that translates into many job opportunities for them after graduation.”

Professor Hillary Greene, director of the IP Law Clinic, praises Professor Neff for her efforts. “Professor Neff joined the IP Law Clinic after a long and highly distinguished career at IBM. Since her first day at UConn, Lily has been able to smoothly translate her vast legal expertise regarding patent prosecution, copyright, and trademark matters, as well as a wide range of intellectual property licensing and transactional work into serving Clinic clientele and educating law students. Her contributions are still further enhanced by her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and her work experience as a hardware and software engineer.”

In July 2008, the IP Law Clinic was honored as one of six law school clinics in the nation selected by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) to participate in a two-year pilot program under which law students are granted limited recognition to practice patent and trademark law under attorney supervision before the PTO. In 2010, the IP Law Clinic’s participation in this program was renewed. And now, in 2011, the IP Law Clinic announces its first issued patent to one of its clients.

Law School Dean Jeremy Paul notes that the IP Law Clinic has come a long way.

“The innovative spirit that drives Connecticut’s innovator-entrepreneurs is matched only by the creativity and work ethic that drives UConn Law’s Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic,” he said.