Law School Holds First Patent Bootcamp for Women, Minorities in STEM

School of Law

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Patent Bootcamp for Women and Minorities in STEM — a one-day primer on the basics of patent law and the patent application process — will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, in the E.J. Ball Courtroom at the University of Arkansas School of Law. 

"We are bringing in experts from across the country to discuss the patenting gaps in the United States, address the challenges to protecting innovation, and provide training on the steps and strategies to successfully protect one's invention," said Uché Ewelukwa Ofodile, E.J. Ball Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas. "The 2019 Bootcamp faculty will provide training about the U.S. patent system and the patenting process and consider efforts to overcome the gender and race gap in the patent system."

The event is intended to shed light on the acute "innovation gap" and patenting gap in Arkansas, equip women and minorities in STEM with basic knowledge of U.S. patent law, guide participants through the patent application process, encourage participants to proactively protect their rights and empower participants with tools that they need to guard their innovation against theft and exploitation.

The project received a $7,500 grant from University of Arkansas Women's Giving Circle as well as support from the School of Law and Office of Economic Development.

Nearly 20 presenters from varied backgrounds will address a range of subjects through five panel discussions and three addresses. Topics include overview of intellectual property rights; choosing between patents and  trade secrets; how to conduct patent searches; patent application preparations and pre-filing considerations; how to write a patent application; purpose of a patent claim; introduction to patent claim drafting; introduction to the U.S. patent system; the ABC's of patent prosecution; post-grant patent proceedings; strategic patent counseling; the relationship between patents, innovation and entrepreneurship; challenges to patenting for women and minorities; patenting in Arkansas; and diversifying innovation.

Although the target audiences are women and minorities in STEM programs at the University of Arkansas, the bootcamp is open to entrepreneurs and innovators throughout Northwest Arkansas and beyond, including members of indigenous communities in the area with proprietary traditional knowledge.

The event is worth up to 7.25 hours of general continuing legal education credit, and the public is invited to attend. Admission is free and includes lunch for registrants. Register today to reserve your seat and lunch order. See the bootcamp web page for the most recent updates on the schedule, program and presenters.


  • Mary Beth Brooks, director, University of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center; former executive vice president, Arvest Bank; former president and CEO, Bank of Fayetteville
  • Ellen Brune, senior manager II, Walmart; founder and CEO, Boston Mountain Biotech
  • Lisa C. Childs, patent attorney; assistant vice president for technology commercialization, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
  • Jeanne Curtis, patent attorney; consultant; former director, Cardozo/Google Project for Patent Diversity, Cardozo Law School
  • Uché Ewelukwa Ofodile, E.J. Ball Professor, University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Ingrid Fritsch, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arkansas
  • Sarah Goforth, executive director, University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation; adjunct professor, University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business
  • Angela J. Grayson, certified information privacy professional/United States; technology attorney; consultant; member and founder, Precipice IP PLLC
  • Shontavia Jackson, associate vice president for academic partnerships and innovation, Clemson University; former director, Drake Intellectual Property Law Center; founder, LVRG
  • Stacy Leeds, vice chancellor for economic development, University of Arkansas; professor, University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Martha Londagin, executive consultant, Startup Junkie
  • Meredith Lowry, attorney, Wright, Lindsey and Jennings LLP
  • April Seggebruch, co-founder and vice president, Movista
  • Christal Sheppard, assistant professor, University of Nebraska School of Law; former chief counsel on patents and trademarks for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary; former patent attorney, Foley and Lardner LLP
  • Hope Shimabuku, director, Texas Regional, United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Tammy VanHeyningen, partner, Quarles and Brady LLP
  • Kathryn Wade, counsel, Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP
  • Debby Winters, partner, Eldridge Brooks Partners

Darinda Sharp, director of communications
School of Law


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