LAIPLA is pleased to provide the following information from the USPTO about its “Patent Pro Bono Program”:
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). Patent lawyers can volunteer through the California Inventors Assistance Program- California Lawyers for the Arts. Please see https://www.uspto.gov/probonopatents or https://www.calawyersforthearts.org/california-inventors-assistance-program-ciap1.html for more information.
Also, 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.