10 March 2023

Michael Nye Judges 2023 National Patent Application Drafting Competition – Midwest Regional Competition

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invited students studying patent law to participate in the 2023 National Patent Application Drafting Competition. The competition is a practical introduction to U.S. patent law and develops real-world skills in patentability searching, claim drafting strategy, and patent application preparation.

Each team of students wrote a full patent application on a new bike rack invention over the course of three months. Then, on March 4, each team presented their strategy for writing the application and what features they focused on to a panel of three judges. Michael Nye, a member in Miller Johnson’s IP group, was asked to be a judge for the Midwest at the regional round.

The team from the University of Detroit Mercy won the Midwest regional round of the competition. In a field where men are overrepresented, U-D Mercy competed with an all-female team and now advance to the National Finals in Washington, D.C. in April. (Read more about the U-D Mercy win here)

“This was a good event – I was able to work with some excellent in-house and private practice lawyers and see the promise of bright law students in the IP space.” said Michael. “I am honored to have been asked to be a judge and to represent Miller Johnson’s IP group.”

In case you’re curious, every team received drawings of the bike rack invention, including the following (from left to right):

  • An example of the invention in use (pretend it is attached to the hitch receiver of a car)
  • An illustration of how the support tracks can tilt toward the ground to allow for easier roll-on loading
  • An illustration of how the entire rack can fold up when not in use


Click here to learn more about the National Patent Drafting Competition