MSU College of Law News

MSU Law graduate receives patent law writing award

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Trent K. English, ’04, of Howard & Howard’s Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, office has received the Patent and Trademark Office Society’s prestigious Rossman Memorial Award for an article written with colleague Jeffrey Sadowski and appearing in the Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society. The award is conferred annually by the society for the Journal article making the greatest contribution to the fields of patent, trademark and copyright law.

English and Sadowski’s article, "Extending Provisional Rights Beyond 35 U.S.C. 154(d)," made the argument that, under certain conditions, the time period for measuring provisional rights (35 U.S.C. §154(d)) for continuation and divisional patents should begin when a corresponding parent application publishes and not when the later-filed continuation or divisional application publishes. The article appeared in the Journal’s May 2005 issue.

Factors considered for the award include accuracy, depth of research, originality, readability, timeliness of the subject, and potential for impact on the existing system. The award was presented to English and Sadowski at the Annual Meeting of the Patent and Trademark Office Society in Washington, D.C., during late February 2006.

English concentrates his practice in patent, trademark and copyright law, with a particular emphasis in mechanical and medical device technologies. He has substantial experience in patent preparation and prosecution, and in conducting product clearance investigations including rendering associated legal opinions. He is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

English earned a B.S. degree in civil engineering and an M.S. degree in environmental engineering, both from Michigan State University. He was a consulting engineer at Lawson-Fisher Associates where he conducted detailed analyses of combined sewer, sanitary sewer and separate storm sewer systems, and assisted clients with regulatory compliance issues associated with the Clean Water Act. He also worked as a project engineer at Triad Engineering, designing and analyzing sewer systems and assisting clients in the bidding process for municipal construction projects.

For four years prior to completing his JD degree, he was an intern in Howard & Howard's intellectual property law internship program.

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