USPTO Patent Pro Bono Update
Greetings from the Patent Pro Bono Program! The USPTO is excited to introduce a new Achievement Certificate recognizing law firms and corporations that meet cumulative hours of patent pro bono service through their registered patent practitioners. Also, as a result of the great success last year, the USPTO will continue to provide Service Certificates to individual registered patent practitioners who provide at least 50 hours of service in 2018 to their local patent pro bono program. Both certificates will be signed by Commissioner of Patents Andrew Hirshfeld and William Covey, Director for the Office of Enrollment and Discipline. In addition, recipients may choose to be listed on the USPTO website. We hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities!
Patent practitioners are uniquely positioned to help financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses file and prosecute patent applications. Matches are made by local patent pro bono programs. The local programs screen applicants using criteria that include: (1) household income; (2) knowledge of the patent system, and (3) possession of an actual invention (not merely an idea). Your organization’s membership can volunteer through the Tri-State Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Please see www.uspto.gov/probonopatents or http://vlany.org/ for more information.
Please inform your members about these opportunities. We also welcome the opportunity to speak to them about the Program at one of your meetings. Ethics CLE may be available.
Please to contact us with any questions. Together we can make the Patent Pro Bono Program a lasting success!
United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Pro Bono Program
The USPTO’s Patent Pro Bono Program encourages patent lawyers and agents to volunteer their legal services in a pro bono environment. The Patent Pro Bono Program, in collaboration with existing nonprofits, has established regional pro bono hubs across the country that are responsible for recruiting and matching volunteer patent attorneys with financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses to help facilitate access to patent system. The USPTO has been tasked to expand the Patent Pro Bono Program to cover all 50 states. Expansion of the Patent Pro Bono Program will help ensure that no deserving invention is left unprotected due to lack of resources. For more information regarding the Patent Pro Bono Program or information on how to volunteer, visit the USPTO’s patent pro bono website at http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/proseprobono/ or New York’s regional Patent Pro Bono Program at https://vlany.org/patent-pro-bono/.