The Detkin Clinic promotes justice with innovation

At Penn Law School’s Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic, students assist creative thinkers with patents, trademarks, and copyright-related ventures.

For University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School Practice Professor of Law Cynthia Dahl, intellectual property law is an instrument of equality.

Blank form on a table beside a pen that reads “U.S. Provisional Patent Application Request.”

“I strongly believe in the power of IP to incentivize innovation, and disparities in economic opportunity lurk behind so many issues of injustice,” Dahl says. “By supporting fledgling companies, which then create jobs and build economic value in communities, IP attorneys can have a powerful impact.”

This is why Dahl came to Penn Law as the inaugural director of the Law School’s Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic, where students have the opportunity to assist a range of creative thinkers with all of their patent, trademark, and copyright-related needs. Clients include individual inventors, early-stage startup companies, artists, nonprofits, and even Penn itself, as it commercializes pioneering Penn-invented technologies through spinoff entities.

Over the years, clinic students have helped clients launch groundbreaking inventions, such as the flushable pregnancy test, which was named one of the best inventions of 2018 by Time magazine. The test was developed by an inventor concerned with creating a test that could be truly private, as well as environmentally sustainable. Another client developing novel applications of ionization technology has recently been tapped by the Defense Logistics Agency to develop a product for hospitals and other healthcare facilities treating COVID-19 patients.

Read more at Penn Law News.