Dilworth IP Invests in the Future: Internship Program Offers IP Experience to Next Generation of Local Scientists

Posted on 08/28/2018 by Thomas Pia, in Announcements, News and Events, Recent News & Articles

Dilworth IP’s Technology Specialist Internship Program has recently received attention from two of Connecticut’s leading academic institutions, Yale University and the University of Connecticut.  These pieces can be found HERE and HERE, respectively.

Beginning in 2014, the firm’s Technology Specialist Internship Program has been designed to provide Ph.D. level scientists interested in a career in intellectual property law hands-on industry experience.  Since then, nine individuals have participated in the program, gaining a solid foundation in intellectual property law while fortifying Dilworth IP’s technological expertise.  “IP Law is unique in its intimate relationship with the sciences” said Dilworth IP Founder & Managing Partner, Michael Dilworth. “In creating the Technology Specialist position, we wanted to be able to offer young scientists experience in a field they may not have immediately considered. In exchange, the firm benefits from their incredible expertise in a variety of new and exciting cutting-edge technologies.”

Candidates are selected from top Ph.D. programs in the surrounding area such as Yale University, the University of Connecticut, or New York University and work under the guidance of Dilworth IP Partner, Dr. Anthony Sabatelli who has overseen the program since its inception.

“In structuring the program, we realized for it to be mutually beneficial for both the individual and Dilworth IP, it would have to be more than just a mere shadowing opportunity,” Dr. Sabatelli said. “We would have to provide the students with actual projects and provide them with opportunities to interact with other colleagues in the firm and even, as appropriate, with clients.”  The interns have the opportunity to work on client matters, research and write about patent and trademark law with respect to particular technologies for the firm’s blog, and participate in firm meetings and activities, as well as attend networking events and even present informative webinars alongside Dr. Sabatelli or another Dilworth IP practitioner.

The participants in the program bring with them a wealth of current scientific knowledge having either recently completed or are currently finishing up their Ph.D. work at some of the nation’s leading universities.  This is best demonstrated by their active presence on the firm’s IP blog where they have contributed dozens of articles specific to patent and trademark law as it relates to burgeoning technologies such as the microbiome, nanomedicine, CAR-T cells, biologics, antibody drug conjugates, and artificial intelligence.  The firm’s clients benefit from this too.  Having someone on the team that understands their technology at a very high level means stronger patents and broader protection of their innovations.

“At Dilworth IP, we say ‘We Patent the Future.’ Our Technology Specialist program is an example of that vision in action,” said Dilworth.  “By engaging young, high-achieving, scientific minds in this way, we not only leverage their strong technological credentials to help our clients bring their ideas to the world, we are helping to inspire the next generation of IP attorneys to look at patents as a way to protect the innovations of tomorrow that will make the world a better place for all of humanity.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s a win-win-win situation that I am grateful the firm can be a part of.”

Of the nine participants in the program to date, three are currently active.  David Puleo is finishing up his Ph.D. work through Yale’s Pharmacology department, Shin Hee Lee is also a Ph.D. candidate at Yale in the Chemistry Department, and Steve Kennedy is working on his Ph.D. at New York University in biophysical chemistry.   All of them are currently thinking about their next step into various patent-related careers.

While many of the program participants move on to law school, some opt to take the patent agent bar exam to become a registered Patent Agent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, while others have moved back to careers specific to their scientific backgrounds.  Dr. Jing Zhou, who herself advanced from Technology Specialist to Patent Agent while at Dilworth IP, has since gone on to found her own company in Nanjing, China focused on cutting-edge gene sequencing technology.

Michael Dilworth concluded, “these individuals are the future of IP law and I am grateful for all the contributions each of them have made to the firm. It is no surprise to see that they are already finding success, and I look forward to continuing to see how they make an impact on the future.”

To learn more about Dilworth IP’s Technology Specialist Internship Program, please write to info@dilworthip.com.


Dilworth IP is an intellectual property and business law firm providing legal services in the areas of patent and trademark prosecution, opinions and agreements in the chemical, biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, material science, consumer products, electronics, software, and semiconductor industries. We’ve been in the lab. Whether your invention is a controlled-release pharmaceutical, a fuel cell, or a new circuit schematic, our attorneys will speak your language and listen well. We’ll quickly grasp nuances of your complex technology and capture the IP protection you deserve. To learn more about the firm, please visit www.dilworthip.com.