Patent Pro Bono Program for independent inventors and small businesses

Inventors and small businesses that meet certain financial thresholds and other criteria may be eligible for free legal assistance in preparing and filing a patent application. The Patent Pro Bono Program is a nationwide network of independently operated regional programs that match volunteer patent professionals with financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses for the purpose of securing patent protection. Each regional program provides services for residents of one or more states. Please watch this short series of videos to learn more.

Requirements

Each of the regional programs may have different requirements for admission. In general, the requirements for admission are:

Income
Your gross household income should be less than three times the federal poverty level guidelines though some regional programs may have different criteria.

Knowledge
You must demonstrate knowledge of the patent system in one of two ways:

Invention
You must be able to describe the particular features of the invention and how it works.

Because the specific requirements of income, knowledge, and invention vary by program, you should contact your regional program for specific information. Learn more by selecting your regional program on the Patent Pro Bono Coverage Map below.

How to Apply for Patent Pro Bono Assistance

Use the map below, to locate your regional program. Most regional programs provide online application forms. Keep in mind that your state may be covered by a regional program that is located in another state. Alternatively, you may complete a National Clearinghouse Applications Submission form provided by the Federal Circuit’s National Clearinghouse.

How to Volunteer

Registered patent practitioners are critical to the success of the Patent Pro Bono Program. If you are a patent practitioner interested in volunteering your legal services, click on your state in the Patent Pro Bono Coverage Map and fill out an online volunteer application form found on the program’s website.

Coverage of Patent Pro Bono Program

United States of America Colorado Texas New Mexico Washington Oregon California Arizona Nevada Utah Idaho Montana Wyoming North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Iowa Arkansas Louisiana Minnesota Missouri Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Tennessee Florida Georgia Alabama Mississippi South Carolina North Carolina Ohio West Virginia Pennsylvania Oklahoma Maryland Delaware Virginia New Jersey New York Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Vermont New Hampshire Maine Alaska Hawaii CIAP ProBoPat LegalCORPS Upper Midwest Program TALA Gateway Venture Mentoring Service PA Patent Delaware Program New York Tri State Program New England Program Georgia PATENTS NC LEAP BBVLP Patent Program Patent FL Chicago-Kent Patent Hub Ohio Invents FCBA PatentConnect for Hoosiers

Patent Pro Bono Informational Videos

Please watch this short series of videos to learn more about the Patent Pro Bono Program.

Contact the Patent Pro Bono Program

Email: probono@uspto.gov