Inventor Requirements for the Patent Pro Bono Program


Part 3 of Patent Pro Bono Program Series

Published on Jun 06, 2018

Learn the 3 requirements for inventors to participate in a program offering free legal help in applying for a patent to protect an invention.
 


Patent Pro Bono Program Series

Download a Printable Transcript

Other ways to view this video
Watch it on YouTube

Downloadable Versions:
Standard Version



1
00:00:02,510 --> 00:00:07,730
In this chapter, we will discuss how an inventor
qualifies for the program.

2
00:00:07,730 --> 00:00:12,720
An inventor must meet three requirements to
be accepted in the program.

3
00:00:12,720 --> 00:00:14,630
These requirements are:

4
00:00:14,630 --> 00:00:19,270
Maximum household income;
Knowledge of the patent system; and

5
00:00:19,270 --> 00:00:23,539
Possession of an invention, not just an idea.

6
00:00:23,539 --> 00:00:29,369
We will discuss each requirement in greater
detail and how to meet them.

7
00:00:29,369 --> 00:00:31,940
For the Maximum Household Income,

8
00:00:31,940 --> 00:00:37,679
an inventor cannot earn more than the regional
program's income limitation.

9
00:00:37,679 --> 00:00:44,859
This limit is region dependent, but in general,
it equates to about 300% of the federal poverty level

10
00:00:46,400 --> 00:00:52,880
You can learn more about the federal poverty
level from this website:

11
00:00:52,880 --> 00:00:58,500
To flesh the income limit out a bit more,
let’s consider

12
00:00:58,500 --> 00:01:05,199
a single person could have an
income of up to $34,470 (3 times the current

13
00:01:05,199 --> 00:01:07,171
single person poverty level of $11,490

14
00:01:07,171 --> 00:01:08,171
Example 2 - a family of 4 could have a gross
income of up to $70,650 (3 times the current

15
00:01:08,171 --> 00:01:10,100
family of 4 poverty level of $23,550

16
00:01:10,100 --> 00:01:13,970
The income limitation can vary from program
to program.

17
00:01:13,970 --> 00:01:20,250
Please check your regional program's website
to determine your income limitation.

18
00:01:20,250 --> 00:01:25,490
The second requirement is demonstrating knowledge
of the patent system

19
00:01:25,490 --> 00:01:29,700
There are two ways to demonstrate your knowledge
of the patent system:

20
00:01:29,700 --> 00:01:36,380
You could have a provisional or non-provisional
patent application on file with the USPTO

21
00:01:36,740 --> 00:01:44,820
A provision application is a quick and inexpensive way for inventors to establish a U.S. filing date

22
00:01:44,820 --> 00:01:50,240
for their invention, which can be claimed in a later filed non-provisional application.

23
00:01:50,880 --> 00:01:58,780
A provisional application is automatically abandoned 12 months after it’s filing date, and is not examined.

24
00:01:58,780 --> 00:02:07,140
An applicant who decides to initially file a provisional application must file a corresponding non-provisional application

25
00:02:07,560 --> 00:02:16,240
during the 12 months pendency period of the provisional application, in order to benefit from the earlier provisional application filing.

26
00:02:17,060 --> 00:02:26,760
A non-provisional patent is examined by a patent examiner, and may be issued as a patent if all the requirements for patentability are met.

27
00:02:27,580 --> 00:02:42,220
Each year, the USPTO receives more than 500,000 patent applications. Most of the application filed with the USPTO are non-provisional applications for utility patents.

28
00:02:42,780 --> 00:02:51,780
Some regional programs may even require that a provisional patent even be filed as a condition of requesting assistance.

29
00:02:51,780 --> 00:03:02,260
Please note that if an inventor has already file a provisional or non-provisional patent application, they are still responsible for meeting

30
00:03:02,260 --> 00:03:06,680
any statutory filing deadlines, regardless if the apply to the Pro Bono Program.

31
00:03:07,760 --> 00:03:16,440
Alternatively, applicants may successfully complete the online certificate training course available on the USPTO website.

32
00:03:17,380 --> 00:03:25,760
Many regional programs require successful completion of the certificate training to be considered for the program.

33
00:03:26,560 --> 00:03:37,160
Finally, you must have invented something! Before you can obtain a Pro Bono attorney, you must have an actual invention not merely an idea.

34
00:03:38,120 --> 00:03:46,640
To demonstrate an actual invention, you must be able to describe the invention so that someone else could make and use the invention.

35
00:03:46,640 --> 00:03:57,040
This requirement may be demonstrated in the application process and/or in the interview with the administrator attorney.

36
00:03:57,500 --> 00:04:03,160
As a word of caution, be very careful who you disclose your invention to.

37
00:04:03,160 --> 00:04:11,160
Moreover, do not publicly disclose you invention before filing at least a provisional application for a patent.

38
00:04:11,160 --> 00:04:20,400
Such disclosure may be considered prior art against yourself, and could result in a bar to a patent.

39
00:04:20,960 --> 00:04:28,080
Qualifying for assistance through a Patent Pro Bono Program does not guarantee you a referral to a volunteer attorney.

40
00:04:28,380 --> 00:04:32,040
An appropriate attorney must be available for matching.

41
00:04:32,500 --> 00:04:39,740
However, if you think you can meet these requirements, the next step is for you to apply for the program.