Patent Practitioners

How to volunteer

Are you a patent practitioner who is interested in providing pro bono services for eligible inventors? If so, you may volunteer by applying directly with the regional Patent Pro Bono Program in the state or region in which you practice (see Patent Pro Bono program and select the appropriate state).

Patent Pro Bono Program Volunteer Recognition

Thank you to all the registered patent practitioners who have dedicated their professional expertise to make the Patent Pro Bono Program a success! Registered patent practitioners who volunteer their services are engaged in very busy practices. Accordingly, their pro bono contributions all the more meaningful. In appreciation, the USPTO is pleased to publicly recognize and offer Achievement Certificates* to:

  • Eligible registered patent practitioners who volunteer with a regional patent pro bono program; and
  • Eligible employers who support their registered patent practitioners’ efforts.

Individual Achievement Certificate and Public Recognition

Pro bono certificate for individuals

Qualifications

Due to its success in 2017, the USPTO is continuing the program by offering Individual Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificates for 2018. All registered patent practitioners who have contributed at least 50 hours of pro bono service through one of the regional patent pro bono programs in calendar year 2018 will be eligible for a Certificate (sample above).  Recipients may also choose to have their names publicly listed on USPTO’s website. Please contact your local regional patent pro bono program for more information.

2017 Individual Achievement Certificate Recipients

The USPTO is pleased to acknowledge the contributions of those registered patent practitioners who volunteered at least 50 hours of pro bono service through a regional patent pro bono program. The list of 2017 recipients is here.

Law Firm/Corporate Achievement Certificate and Public Recognition

Pro bono certificate for law firms

Qualifications

The USPTO is starting a Law Firm/Corporate Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate recognizing law firms, corporations, and employers for their accomplishments in patent pro bono service for 2018. The certificates will be available to employers having registered practitioners who cumulatively contribute a minimum number hours to one or more participating regional patent pro bono programs.  The minimum number of hours will vary by the employer’s size; the size being determined by the number of registered practitioners employed. Review the minimum number of hours here. Recipient law firms and corporations may also choose to have their names publicly listed here.

* Availability of the Certificates and public recognition is subject to the voluntary participation of each regional patent pro bono program. Each regional patent pro bono program is independent of the USPTO.

Law Firm/Corporate Achievement Certificate Minimum Hours

The Law Firm/Corporate Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate and associated public recognition will be provided to law firms, corporations, and other employers having registered patent practitioners who cumulatively contribute a requisite minimum number hours to one or more participating regional patent pro bono programs in 2018. The hours vary by the employer’s size; the size being determined by the number of registered practitioners employed. Below are example qualifications:

No. Reg. Practitioners Employed

Minimum Hours
101+ 500
31-100 250
11-30 100
1-10 50

Best practices handbook

Patent lawyers Amy Salmela and Mark Privratsky authored Patent Law Pro Bono: A Best Practice Guide Video - A Best Practice Guide