Volpe Koenig Attorneys and Clients Work Together to Engage High School Students on the Intersection of Law and Technology

Brandon Theiss, an intellectual property attorney affiliated with Volpe Koenig, has spent the past three summers teaching high school students in The Governor’s School of New Jersey Program in Engineering & Technology (GSET) about patent law. While the program has historically been limited to technical research projects with titles such as "Fabrication and Characterization of Polymeric Nerve Conduits" and "Random Forest Regression of Markov Chains for Accessible Music Generation,” students in Theiss’s class take on the complex task of assessing a patent for validity, creating claim charts and preparing a research paper based on their findings. 

Theiss, a former industrial engineer, saw an opportunity to expose future engineers to patent law early in their careers and pitched a course entitled “Patent Engineering” to GSET several years ago.  GSET agreed to offer the course as one of a dozen research projects students can complete over four weeks in July.

“Most patent lawyers take the path of becoming engineers and only find out about patent law when working as engineers,” says Theiss. “Hopefully this course will allow students to choose the path to patent law early on so that they can target their undergraduate and post graduate studies accordingly.” Theiss adds that the reason he spends his summers teaching is for the students. “When I was in high school, I could have benefited from an education in the different types of jobs available to students who have an interest in, or aptitude for, technology.  I enjoy teaching, and take every opportunity I get to do so.”

Last year’s team attempted to prove invalid the Twitter patent entitled "Device independent message distribution platform," which was granted as US 10686748. In their paper, the students effectively argued that the claims of the patent were invalid based on new references that the Examiner failed to consider.

This year's team was charged with invalidating a Square patent US 10643200B2 entitled "Point of sale system," which was issued to Jack Dorsey et al. Helping the students write their paper this year were Volpe Koenig Shareholders Dawn Kerner and Dan Golub, and Intellectual Venture's Russ Rigby, in addition to other patent professionals.

What do you think? Did the 2022 student’s paper raise a “substantial new question of patentability”?

About The Governor's School of New Jersey Program in Engineering & Technology  
The Governor's School of New Jersey Program in Engineering & Technology is a highly selective summer program for high school students between their junior and senior years. Each high school in the state of New Jersey can nominate up to one student per 325 enrolled juniors, and only the top approximately 80 students are selected each year.  The selected students reside at Rutgers for four weeks in July. While on campus, they attend classes and seminars all day. In addition, the students are required to work in small groups to complete one of a dozen research projects that are led by industry professionals and Rutgers' researchers.  Visit Rutgers School of Engineering.

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