Free Pro-bono Patent Help In Minnesota
Free Pro Bono Patent Help in Minnesota
The Patent and Trademark Office has created a pilot program for free patent help in Minnesota for low-income inventors and small businesses. This program, in partnership with a committee of Minnesota attorneys and the nonprofit legal organization LegalCORPS, aims to provide intellectual property legal services to people in need. The goal of the program is to ensure that no qualifying idea will go unprotected.
The Patent and Trademark Office recently announced that it will support a new pilot program to provide free patent help in Minnesota for inventors and small businesses. The program will help low-income individuals and businesses secure intellectual property protection for their ideas. The goal is to provide enough free patent help in Minnesota so that no qualifying idea goes unprotected.
LegalCORPS is an organization that matches volunteer lawyers with low-income entrepreneurs and innovators. The organization has two mission areas: to fight “patent trolls” and to provide pro bono patent help. The program coordinator oversees all activities of the organization and manages its funding.
To apply for free patent help, individuals must register with LegalCORPS and provide identifying information. Volunteer attorneys are selected from a volunteer roster with relevant experience and knowledge. Once accepted, the attorney will contact the client and complete a written agreement that describes the scope of the services provided. The client may request another attorney if needed.
LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program
LegalCORPS, a nonprofit organization, offers free patent help to low-income Minnesotans who want to create new businesses. The legal assistance is provided by volunteers who are matched with entrepreneurs who need legal assistance. After completing the Volunteer Form, LegalCORPS will confirm that the volunteer is licensed to provide legal assistance in Minnesota.
As a part of its mission, the Patent and Trademark Office is working with not-for-profit LegalCORPS to provide free patent and trademark services to Minnesota’s economically disadvantaged individuals and small businesses. The program is designed to help low-income individuals and small businesses obtain intellectual property protection at no charge. According to the director of the Patent and Trademark Office, “the goal of this program is to ensure that no qualifying idea will go unprotected.”
The program is a partnership between William Mitchell College of Law’s IP Law Clinic and LegalCORPS, a nonprofit that provides free Pro-Bono patent help to low-income inventors in Minnesota. Since its inception, the program has assisted more than 60 Minnesotan inventors and granted 15 patents.
Currently, LegalCORPS’ Inventor Assistance Program requires inventors to submit a provisional patent application to qualify for the program. However, the program has introduced a new version of its service where applicants can submit a Record of Invention, which is a document that includes high-quality disclosure and prior-art research. Once a screening panel approves the Record of Invention, a volunteer patent attorney will file a provisional patent application.
Upper Midwest Inventor Assistance Program
The William Mitchell College of Law IP Law Clinic has partnered with the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program to provide free patent help to low-income inventors. Since its inception, the program has paired more than 60 low-income inventors with pro bono patent attorneys throughout Minnesota. In that time, 15 patents have been granted to these inventors.
The LegalCORPS program allows anyone in Minnesota to apply for free patent assistance. The program’s application forms can be filled out online. It also offers educational resources for applicants who do not have an attorney. Volunteer attorneys can also apply for the program by visiting the How to Apply page.
Since Minnesota was the first state to establish a program, more states have joined. Currently, the USPTO is working with IP law associations to expand its pro-bono efforts. The goal is to provide free patent help to financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses. The USPTO’s patent pro bono programs are proving successful and expanding throughout the country. Over the last decade, the number of states with patent pro bono programs has doubled.
In Minnesota, the Patent and Trademark Office has partnered with LegalCORPS and a committee of attorneys to create the Patent Pro Bono program. Through this program, Minnesota attorneys are providing free legal services to under-resourced inventors.
Patent Pro Bono Advisory Council
If you live in Minnesota and have an idea for a patent, you can get free patent help by using the Patent Pro Bono program. This program matches volunteer patent attorneys with low-income inventors and small businesses. You can apply to participate by visiting the How to Apply page. To qualify for the program, you must have a low-income household, or gross household income, less than three times the federal poverty level.
The Patent and Trademark Office launched the Minnesota Pilot Pro Bono Patent Help Program in September 2015. Working with LegalCORPS, the patent office and the Minnesotan legal community have created a program geared toward assisting financially needy inventors and small businesses. The goal of the program is to ensure that no qualifying idea goes to waste because it cannot afford to hire a patent attorney.
AIA Pro-Bono Advisory Council
Free patent help in Minnesota is now possible, thanks to the AIA’s Pro-Bono Advisory Council. The organization is a network of regional programs that match volunteer patent professionals with financially-disadvantaged inventors and small businesses. The goal is to foster vibrant small business communities nationwide.
The AIA was signed into law on September 16, 2011. The act has changed the patent system in the US, removing the first-to-file priority system and establishing a ‘fast track’ system. The AIA also includes new mechanisms for third parties to challenge patents.
The America Invents Act has revised ex parte reexamination rules. Third parties seeking an ex parte reexamination must certify that statutory estoppel provisions do not bar them from making a request. The act also changes the statute of limitations for disciplinary actions against patent practitioners.
United States Patent & Trademark Office
The Patent and Trademark Office recently announced that it will support a new program to provide free patent help in Minnesota to indigent inventors. The program is a joint effort between the Office and the not-for-profit LegalCORPS to provide intellectual property legal services to individuals and businesses. The goal of the program is to ensure that no qualifying idea goes unprotected.
The Patent Pro Bono Program matches volunteer patent professionals with under-resourced inventors and small businesses. Eligibility requirements vary by state. Generally, a person must have a household income that is no more than three times the federal poverty guidelines. Some regional programs may have additional eligibility requirements.
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