How to Apply to the USPTO Patent Pro Bono Program


Part 4 of Patent Pro Bono Program Series

Published on Jun 06, 2018

There are two ways to request free legal help through the program -- by region or directly.
 


Patent Pro Bono Program Series

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In this segment we will learn how to
apply for assistance through a Patent

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Pro Bono Program. Inventors have two ways
to apply for pro bono assistance

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First, they may apply directly to their
regional program -- this is the preferred

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method because it reduces the amount of
time for the regional program to receive

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the inventors request for assistance. The
best way to start is to go to the USPTO

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pro bono website. All available programs
are listed there by state -- simply click

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on the state that you are interested in,
and you will be routed to the website

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for the regional program covering the
selected state. Each regional program may

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have their own requirements when
applying initially to the program.

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In general applicants must fill out an
application and may have to submit an

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administrative fee. Click on "inventor
application form" and follow the

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directions to fill out the form and
submit. Remember, each program has

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slightly different procedures and
requirements. Please read carefully the

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requirements of that regional program
and make sure that you would qualify.

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Alternatively inventors may request
assistance by applying through an online

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portal known as the National
Clearinghouse which is operated by the

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Federal Circuit Bar Association. The
National Clearinghouse connects

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inventors with the regional patent pro
bono programs by forwarding the

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inventor's application for pro bono
assistance to the appropriate regional program.

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The the USPTO's website also
contains a link to the National

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Clearinghouse, or it can be accessed
through the Federal Circuit Bar

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Association's website. Once inside the
portal fill out the inventory

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application form and follow the
directions to submit it.

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If your application is accepted, the appropriate
regional program

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will attempt to refer you to a volunteer
patent professional for help.

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However the programs cannot guarantee
that an attorney referral will be

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available and going through the
application process does not guarantee

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that your legal situation will be
addressed.