Clint Newton with his IP AwardOn May 4, 2018, Shook, Hardy & Bacon partner, Clint Newton (J.D. ‘97) received the 2018 Intellectual Property Attorney of the Year Award from the Kansas Bar Association. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in intellectual property law by fellow KBA members.

Newton has been practicing for a little over 20 years and has handled all types of intellectual property matters, from litigation to prosecution and in patent, trademark and copyright matters. He has also handled portfolios and cases of well-known clients and has always been active in state and local bar activities. He received his B.A. from William Jewell College in 1992 and his J.D. from UMKC School of Law in 1997.

He started out wanting to be an orthodontist and through a winding path, returned to his initial interest in patent law that developed in high school.

“When I went to undergrad I quickly changed my major from biology to physics,” says Newton. “As I started to approach graduation, I started looking at jobs available to physics majors. I didn’t want to teach or go on and get a PhD; that’s when I remembered patent law. So, I actually went to law school with the intent to practice IP law from the start.”

Most of Newton’s patent matters go back to his physics roots, having to do with mechanical items.

“The items now have more technology involved in them, so there has been a continual learning curve in that regard,” he says. “I have also handled, over the years, a number of Internet related issues in regards to copyright and trademark matters. It’s fun when a new challenge comes along.”

Newton advises prospective or current law students interested in IP law to take as many related classes as they can find. However, he says, students should only try prosecution if they want to do IP litigation.

“If you are patent bar eligible,” he says, “study for and take the patent bar exam during law school. That will show prospective employers that you are serious about practicing IP law and that you have initiative and are a self-motivator.”

As usual, our UMKC School of Law alumni are outstanding members of the legal community, and we congratulate Newton on his award.