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Submit to the 2016 Patent Quality Initiative writing competition


The Patent Quality Initiative, an education, information and advocacy effort with the goal of improving the use and reliability of patents nationwide, is currently hosting a patent quality writing competition open to any law students in the U.S. Law students have an opportunity to influence the narrative on an issue that has recently seen increased litigation — and is the subject of a recent GAO study that may have far-reaching implications for the future of the legal system.

Here at the Patent Quality Initiative (PQI), we believe that ensuring that the patent examination process results in high quality patents is critical for  supporting the research, development and commercialization of new technologies. We kicked off this writing competition to promote the important issue of patent quality among law students and to bring out the nation’s best writing on the subject.

What’s in it for you?

The author of the first-place entry will be awarded a $3,000 cash prize, and the second-place entry will be awarded $1,500. On top of the substantial prize, both the top two submissions will be published on the Patently-O Law Journal as well as on the PQI website.


Are you a law student? Have you studied intellectual property law? Then participation is easy! Write on any of the topics below and send your submission to with “PQI Writing Competition” in the subject line.

The entry submission deadline is Nov. 7 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced in December 2016.

Submitted entries must focus primarily on one or more aspects of patent quality. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The actual or predicted impact of legislation, proposed legislation, and/or case law developments on patent quality.
  • Potential changes to the patent examination process for improving the quality of issued patents.
  • An analysis of proposed methods of measuring patent quality or a proposal for new methodologies for measuring patent quality.
  • The importance of patent quality for supporting innovation and technological development.
  • Identification of systemic quality issues of a particular type of patent (e.g., software, chemical composition, etc.) and an analysis of the effect of those issues on a particular industry.

Feel free to submit topics other than those listed above — all that is required is that your submission contributes to the subject of patent quality.

For more information and a full list of requirements and eligibility, click here.

We look forward to your submissions!

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Sean Reilly Sean Reilly is General Counsel of Askeladden and Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel of The Clearing House Payments Company. He is a registered patent attorney whose responsibilities include advising on vital cybersecurity, intellectual property and technology law issues. Before joining The Clearing House, he was in private practice and worked at the USPTO as a patent examiner.