Harrity & Harrity has launched the Minority Firm Incubator initiative to support minority-owned IP law firms.
The programme aims to address the concern of a lack of diverse representation throughout the IP litigation industry; statistics reported by the National Association of Law Placement demonstrate that women account for around 12 percent of partners in US law firms, while minorities make up just 8 percent of partnerships.
Starting on 1 January 2020, the Minority Firm Incubator is structured into four stages, the first of which concerns the drafting of patent applications in an effective and efficient manner, particularly in the sectors of software, telecommunications, ecommerce and computer networking.
The second stage will see programme participants undertake training in patent application prosecution, including negotiation, communication, analytics and uniform procedures, while the third year is centred around the development of firm management skills.
The fourth and final stage of the Minority Firm Incubator will see participants launch their own patent law firms, having already formed industry relationships throughout the programme. Firms established under this initiative will continue to receive support from Harrity & Harrity beyond the programme.
In order to be eligible for registration of the initiative, prospective participants must be an attorney or law student graduating in 2019, as well as holding a degree in a relevant technological field, and registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office.
John Harrity, managing partner at Harrity & Harrity, commented: “The Minority Firm Incubator programme is an integral and innovative part of our ongoing diversity initiative to advance attorneys who will contribute to diversity in the patent field.”
Harrity concluded: “The statistics show the legal industry has work to do and that’s why our firm has dedicated time and resources to take meaningful action.”
Applications for the Minority Firm Incubator will be accepted between 1 September and 18 November 2019.