Rey Llena, Karl C. Clarke, Sarah Glassman, and Shahrokh Falati

NYLS Patent Law Clinic Achieves Win for First-Time Inventor

Rey Llena, Karl C. Clarke, Sarah Glassman, and Shahrokh Falati

Rey Llena24, Karl C. Clarke, Sarah Glassman24, and Professor Shahrokh Falati ’08

The Patent Law Clinic (PLC), a clinic within The Joe Plumeri Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity at New York Law School (NYLS), recently secured a United States patent for their client, Mr. Karl C. Clarke. Mr. Clarke’s invention is a new type of exercise device, tailored for strengthening the upper body. It is portable and easier to use than existing gym equipment.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent approvals process can be challenging and last several years. As a result, a number of PLC teams worked on the patent application over different academic years, including Sarah Glassman ’24, Waresa Islam ’24, Hanjun Liu ’23, Rey Llena ’24, Elizabeth Nesheiwat ’23, and Joseph Principato ’22.

Though the application was initially rejected, the PLC students worked with Professor Shahrokh (Seve) Falati ’08, the clinic’s director, to address the criteria and overcome the examiner’s rejections in order to successfully obtain the patent for their client.

Reflecting on the experience, clinic student Hanjun Liu ’23 said, “There was so much we learned during the prosecution of this patent application. We initially thought we faced a dead end at one stage, but Professor Falati encouraged us and helped us find amendments and arguments the examiner was comfortable with accepting. The Patent Law Clinic was one of my favorite, and most rewarding, experiences in law school and to successfully prosecute this patent application was one of my team’s highlights.”

Mr. Clarke was very pleased with the outcome. “This has been quite the patent journey,” he said. “I contacted the Patent Law Clinic because I knew I should protect my idea. I had a vague idea of what should be done, but as a first-time inventor, I was working in the dark trying to navigate the process on my own. The clinic was exactly what I needed, and they delivered! To work directly with the law students and Professor Falati for the past 2–3 years was a blessing. Thank you to New York Law School, Professor Falati, and your students! Inventors appreciate you keeping the door open for us all.”

He visited the law students last month to collect his issued U.S. patent and discussed his options for commercializing his now patented invention with current PLC students and Professor Falati.

Professor Falati said, “It was a pleasure for our Patent Law Clinic here at NYLS to work with Mr. Clarke on his invention. I am glad both the law students and our client enjoyed the experience and found it to be enriching.”

Experiential Learning at New York Law School’s Plumeri Center
Experiential learning is an integral part of the NYLS education. The Plumeri Center is NYLS’s home for experiential learning, and the Center houses our many clinics. Through our top-tier programs, we offer students the opportunity to turn theory into practice: Starting in their first year, students participate in counseling, interviewing, and negotiating exercises in their foundational Legal Practice course. During their upper-level years, students may select from a wide array of experiential learning courses to hone their lawyering skills. Together with a comprehensive legal education, these experiential offerings prepare our students for careers in advocacy.