This page is designed for those inventors that are either filing on their own behalf (pro se) or are seeking free or greatly reduced services from patent professionals. This page is meant to be actively dynamic so that as rules change or practices before the United States Patent and Trademark Office change the page will be updated with current information. The pro se portion of the page will eventually contain training on the patent process, training on search techniques, sample provisional applications and direct links to forms and fees needed for filing a patent application. The pro bono portion of the page will eventually contain vital information about the pro bono program as it increases in size to eventually cover the entire United States. Initially the page will include a training package with a certification certificate for successfully completing the training. This certification is one of many requirements to be considered for pro bono assistance. There will also be a link to a national screening program for admittance into any regional pro bono program. This process will be further explained on the pro bono page.
>> Click here to view the video.
The America Invents Act encourages the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to “work with and support intellectual property law associations across the country in the establishment of pro bono programs designed to assist financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses.” The USPTO has been interacting with IP law associations to assist in the establishment of such programs and the first program was launched in June 2011 with the Minnesota pilot program. An additional 5 programs are slated to begin operation during 2012. The USPTO is now reaching out to many additional areas for further programs with the goal of opening their doors during 2013. Additionally, a national pro bono Task Force has been formed that includes the major IP law Association, members from the USPTO, the Federal Circuit Judiciary and others. The Task Force assists new programs and encourages additional programs in forming. The overall goal of the USPTO and the Task Force is to have the entire country covered by pro bono assistance for financially under-resourced inventors so that no worthy invention is left undiscovered.
>> Click here to view the video.
Nationwide pro bono assistance program entry - National Clearinghouse
Over the past year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has assisted local intellectual property law associations and non-profit organizations in creating multiple pro bono patent assistance programs across the United States. An online portal for placing inventors into regional pro bono patent programs has been developed and is accessible through the link below. This portal serves as a “clearinghouse” and is operated by the Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA).
Acceptance into a regional program requires each potential pro bono client to be screened for certain criteria. The clearinghouse portal will require you to provide contact information and answer FCBA a few questions to determine your potential eligibility for the program. It also will require you to provide basic invention information to assist in proper referral, including a FCBA brief description of your invention.
The portal provides a certification training course, in the form of a video, found on this page under pro bono in order to gain a better understanding of the patent process and what rights an inventor obtains if granted a patent. Acceptance into any pro bono program is not guaranteed.
When you click on the link below, you will see a page indicating that you are leaving the USPTO website. Please understand that this is necessary for the security of our website and for the security of other websites to which you are referred because neither the clearinghouse portal nor any of the pro bono programs associated with the portal are controlled, operated, or sponsored by the USPTO. Please also note that the USPTO does not conduct or sponsor any collection of information conducted through the portal, and does not receive any information you may provide through it.
To enter the National Clearinghouse for pro bono assistance, please select the link below.