Ahmad Felo (JD 21) Discusses U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Internship
Name and Year: Ahmad Felo (JD 21)
Undergraduate Institution: B.S. in Biomedical Science, University of Central Florida
Last summer, the Levin College of Law awarded me a public interest fellowship which allowed me to intern with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO serves to fulfill the U.S. constitution’s mandate of “promot[ing] the progress of science and the useful arts.”
During my internship, I got to examine patent applications at the USPTO and learn about some of the procedural and substantive barriers that an inventor must overcome to obtain a patent on their invention. A U.S. patent is essentially a limited 20-year monopoly for an invention granted by the government to an inventor in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. This exchange, usually brokered by patent examiners and patent attorneys, is designed to promote innovation while not completely shutting out the public from the opportunity to benefit from useful inventions. This trade-off reconciles the competing economic principles that shape our mixed economy.
No less exciting was exploring Washington, D.C., and the networking opportunities it offers. There is so much culture, energy, and diversity tucked in 69 square miles that drive the world. In this intimate environment, it is hard not to rub shoulders with some very interesting people and expand your professional network.