Patent Pro Bono Program Overview


In this segment, we will examine how the Patent
Pro Bono program is structured throughout the United States. At this time, the pro bono program is available
throughout the fifty states through a network of Pro Bono regional hubs. A Pro Bono regional program covers a single
state or multiple states. An inventor residing in a state would apply
to the regional program covering that state. The USPTO has worked with a different non-profit
organization to establish and administer the program. For example, the Arts and Business Council
administer the regional program that covers inventors residing in Maine, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The needs of the local community are taken
into account when setting the criteria for admittance into the Pro Bono Program. Each region decides the requirement standards
for inventor participation in the program, performs the intake function, screens potential
clients, screens potential volunteer patent attorneys, and attempts to match the qualified
applicant with an appropriate volunteer attorney. When an attorney is matched, the attorney
will consult with the inventor and agree to a set of services, such as filing a new application
or filing a response to the office in connection with an application already on file with the
USPTO. Please note that although the attorney does
not charge a fee, the inventor is still responsible for all of USPTO filing and processing fees. There also may be associated administrative
fees for applying to the Pro Bono program. In addition, many regional programs offer
educational outreach to inventors relating to the patent process, as well as training
volunteer attorneys.

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