Need Help with a Trademark? Consult a Law Student!
In the past, we’ve talked about the patent pro Bono program. This program offers assistance to individuals who have inventions that may be patentable, but can’t afford an attorney. It’s sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and administered locally. Generally, you must have a low income. You can learn more about that program on the USPTO’s website here.
There are several other programs that the USPTO is involved in that are available to those looking for help with intellectual property, but I want to talk about something a little different. You may not be able to afford an attorney, but qualify for pro bono assistance. And that’s where the USPTO’s Law School Clinical Certification Program comes in.
The USPTO has partnered with 45 different law schools throughout the US to offer assistance with trademark and patent applications at a reduced cost. I graduated from a law school that was part of the program, and it helped me learn a lot about my craft even before I received my license.
The program allows law students to draft and file patent applications, or trademark applications under the supervision of law school faculty. So far 2,700 law students have participated, filing more than 540 patent applications and 2,000 trademark applications.
Chances are, there may be a law school close to you that offers this service for patents or trademarks, or both. So it’s worth looking into if you do not qualify for the patent pro bono program because your income is not low enough, but you are still unable to afford an attorney.
So, there is help out there. Before you get started, though, I advise you to visit the “inventors and entrepreneurs” page on the USPTO website; you’ll find many valuable resources to help you on your way.
The law school clinics can help you get started with the process. When you’re ready, I’ll be there to help you along the way and finish the job.
Patricia P. Werschulz
Werschulz Patent Law, LLC
23 North Avenue East
Cranford, NJ 07016