ND Law’s IP Clinic helps epilepsy assistance nonprofit secure trademark

Author: Amanda Gray

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An Indiana nonprofit helping families affected by epilepsy got some much-needed help from Notre Dame Law School’s Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic to protect its brand. 

Briezy’s Bunch, a nonprofit co-founded by CEO and President April Krowel, provides financial assistance to individuals and families affected by epilepsy when insurance does not cover their specific needs. The group also does outreach and advocacy throughout the year. 

“From my first phone call to the Law School, I was so impressed by the professional manner in the way our case was handled,” said Marc Parker, a member of the organization’s board of directors who lives in South Bend. “I felt that our request was truly going to be considered, even though the Law School has a limited ability to take on cases due to the volume of requests for its services. Once our case was accepted the interview was detailed and the process was explained. We were given an open line of communication should any questions or concerns arise.”

Krowel, who is based in Indianapolis, reached out to the IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic to protect the nonprofit’s branding through seeking a trademark.

“This work has helped our nonprofit tremendously by allowing our image and logo to be protected,” Krowel said. “It was our hope that by protecting our brand, we would also be able to protect the general public, our supporters and those we help from providing donations to illegitimate individuals or organizations. By knowing our brand is trademarked, consumers know where their dollars are being donated.”

Jodi Clifford, director of the IP Clinic and clinical professor of law, said the work is great experience for students to be able to assist nonprofits and start-ups with the federal trademark registrations.  

“The students get to work directly with real-world clients, counsel them on what can be a confusing administrative process, file the trademark applications, and hopefully shepherd them through to an issued trademark registration,” Clifford said.

Krowel worked with 3L Whitney Swart, who said assisting the nonprofit meant a lot to her professionally and personally.

“My nephew has epilepsy, and it was really great to give back to an organization whose mission related to my personal life,” Swart said. “Overall, through my time at the clinic, I had a really great experience meeting different clients and working to meet their diverse legal needs. Everyone I worked with was so grateful for the help.”

Swart said the skills she developed in legal interviewing and client relations will help her when she starts in legal practice next year. She will work at Foley and Lardner in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about Notre Dame Law School’s clinics at law.nd.edu/clinics.

Originally published by Amanda Gray at law.nd.edu on January 09, 2020.