Pro Se Assistance Program
The Pro Se Assistance Program provides outreach and education to applicants (also known as "pro se" applicants) who file patent applications without the assistance of a registered patent attorney or agent. USPTO employees cannot give legal advice. However, through increased assistance and resources for independent inventor and small business communities, the program aims to increase the quality of pro se applications and assist pro se applicants with making informed decisions regarding their patent applications.
To learn more visit the Pro Se Assistance Program page.
Customer Ambassador Program
The Customer Ambassador Program provides support services for independent inventors. Independent inventors are assigned to a USPTO employee to take them step-by-step through the patent prosecution process, from the filing to a Notice of Allowance or Abandonment.
- A USPTO customer ambassador will be available to assist stakeholders, on a 1-on-1 basis, at critical junctures in the patent application process and answer any inquiries.
- The goal is to provide the stakeholder with support to avoid critical procedural mistakes that can delay the prosecution process. While helping to ensure the inventor’s application proceeds as smoothly as possible through the system.
- If you participate in the StART training program and are ready to file your patent application, you may be invited to participate in the Customer Ambassador Program.
For additional questions regarding the Customer Ambassador Program, contact the USPTO at CustomerAmbassador@uspto.gov.
Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP)
Are you or your client interested in attending in-person training that focuses on examination practice and procedure? Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) is designed to provide external stakeholders with a better understanding of how, and why, an examiner makes decisions while examining a patent application. The STEPP program provides unique day-in-the-life experiences to those attending training. Two course formats are available: Agent/Attorney and Inventor 3-day courses.
To learn more, visit the Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) page.
Stakeholder Offerings and Resources (SOaR)
The SOaR program offers:
- Interactive online courses
- In-depth topic discussions
- Legal and CLE trainings
- Expanded trainings for non-professional (pro se) applicants
Learn more about the SOaR program.
For more information on the SOaR program, please contact SOaR@uspto.gov.
Examiner training and material
Looking for additional information on examination practice and procedure? Publicly available material used to train USPTO patent examiners is available on our Examiner Training Materials page and the Examination Guidance and Training Materials page.
USPTO events offering CLE credits
The USPTO regularly organizes or participates in continuing legal education (CLE) credit offerings across the country and covering a variety of topics. To learn more, visit the USPTO CLE events page.
Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP)
Are you or your client interested in providing technical training to patent examiners? The Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP) offers technologists, scientists, engineers, and other experts from industry and academia an opportunity to voluntarily provide technical training and expertise to patent examiners, in-person or virtually from their own location.
In-person presentations can be made at our Alexandria, VA, headquarters or at one of our USPTO regional offices in Detroit, MI, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO and San Jose, CA.
To learn more, visit the PETTP page.
Site Experience Education (SEE) Program
Are you or your client interested in hosting patent examiners at your office or facility? The Site Experience Education (SEE) program provides commercial, industrial, and academic institutions within the continental U.S. the opportunity to voluntarily host patent examiner technical site visits. The USPTO funds all SEE travel costs for patent examiner visits to host organizations.
To learn more, visit the SEE Program page.