Center for Advanced Study and Research on Innovation Policy Washington Pro Bono Patent Network
Information for Attorneys
Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Washington Pro Bono Patent Network, operated by UW Law’s Center for Advanced Study and Research on Innovation Policy (CASRIP) with assistance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The Network assists low-income inventors with the patent process by matching them with volunteer patent attorneys, in accordance with the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). Volunteer attorneys will be matched with inventors based on the field of the invention and the preferred technical fields of expertise of the attorney.
How to Volunteer
To volunteer, please email email@example.com.
The Network is looking for the following help from volunteer attorneys:
- Be matched with an inventor for a consultation and possible prior art search.
- Draft and file a U.S. provisional or non-provisional patent application.
- Prosecute the patent application at the USPTO until either (i) a response is filed to a final office action or (ii) the application issues as a patent.
- Monitor and docket all deadlines.
- Not responsible for requests for continued examination, appeals, challenges to USPTO decisions in a court of law, prosecution after issue or response to a final office action, foreign patent applications, international patent applications, or additional U.S. patent applications.
- Services may be expanded by mutual agreement between the inventor(s) and the attorneys, which should be in writing.
Volunteer attorneys are donating their time and the time of any paralegals/staff who assist the attorney. The inventor pays for all fees associated with the USPTO.
Please note: the Network does not provide malpractice insurance for volunteer attorneys. All volunteer attorneys are required to carry their own malpractice insurance.
The Network is recognized by the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) as a qualified legal service provider (QLSP). Volunteer attorneys can earn Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit by self-reporting pro bono service hours via the WSBA MCLE website. Volunteer attorneys also have free access to certain public service-related CLE online courses produced by the WSBA.
Attorneys reporting 50 or more hours of pro bono service will receive a certificate from the USPTO recognizing their accomplishment, and can choose to have their names listed on the USPTO's website for Individual Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate Recipients.
Law firms and other employers having patent attorneys who cumulatively contribute a requisite minimum number of hours to pro bono service will receive a certificate from the USPTO, and can choose to have their names listed on the USPTO's website for Law Firm/Corporate Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate Recipients.