Patent Practitoners FAQs
Pro Bono - FAQ – Attorneys - Other
Who should an attorney contact to volunteer legal services for the Patent Pro Bono Program?
An attorney can volunteer their legal services by applying directly to their regional Patent Pro Bono Program. A link to each regional Patent Pro Bono Program can be found by selecting the link for the appropriate state at http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/using-legal-services/pro-b….
Does the Patent Pro Bono Program provide malpractice insurance for volunteer attorneys?
No, the Patent Pro Bono Program does not provide malpractice insurance for volunteer attorneys. However, some regional Patent Pro Bono Programs do provide separate malpractice insurance. For specific information regarding malpractice insurance, contact your regional Patent Pro Bono Program.
How are volunteer attorneys paired with eligible inventors for representation?
Volunteer patent attorneys will be matched with inventors based on the field of the invention and the volunteer attorney's expertise in, or knowledge of, that field, taking into account conflicts issues.
What responsibilities will attorney volunteers have in representing pro bono clients as part of the Patent Pro Bono Program?
The scope of services provided under the regional Patent Pro Bono Program is designed to be flexible, accommodating the needs of both the volunteer attorney and the inventor. An engagement letter between the volunteer attorney and the client is strongly recommended. This engagement letter will generally define the scope of the representation. In general, services are focused on preparation, filing, and prosecution of a patent application before the USPTO.
May examiners volunteer to represent pro bono clients as part of the Patent Pro Bono Program?
No, the examiners may not represent pro bono clients through the Patent Pro Bono Program due to federal ethics restrictions.