Free Legal Help for Writing and Filing Patents

Free patent help is available to low income inventors.


A bad word choice or even a misplaced comma can change the meaning of a patent claim and render it worthless. You can lose your rights entirely if you miss a filing date; failure to properly disclose prior art can result in your patent being declared invalid. There are dozens upon dozens of ways to screw things up. That's why paying a professional makes sense. But what do you do if you can't afford one?

The US Patent and Trademark Office offers two programs for inventors who don't have the resources to pay for professional help in filing patents:

  • The Patent Pro Bono Program is a nationwide network of independently operated regional programs that match volunteer patent professionals with financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses for the purpose of securing patent protection. Each regional program provides services for residents of one or more states. Learn more here: https://www.uspto.gov/patents-...

  • The Law School Clinic Certification program allows law students enrolled in a participating law school's clinic program to practice Intellectual Property Law before the USPTO under the strict guidance of a Law School Faculty Clinic Supervisor. The program currently consists of students practicing in both patent and trademark law before the USPTO. The program is administered by the Office of Enrollment and Discipline. The Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline grants the law students limited recognition to practice before the Office. Students gain experience drafting and filing either patent applications or trademark applications for clients of the law school clinic. Further, as they are authorized to practice before the USPTO, they gain experience answering Office Actions and communicating with either patent examiners or trademark examining attorneys for the applications they have filed. Learn more here: https://www.uspto.gov/learning...

The law schools listed below participate in the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program. Please contact the school at the listed e-mail address if you wish to make general inquiries or request legal services.

**ACCEPTANCE AS A CLIENT ISSUBJECT TO THE LAW SCHOOL’SREQUIREMENTS AND DISCRETION

Participating Law Schools

E-mail Address

IP Practice Area

Geographic Area** (from which the law school may accept clients)
American University, Washington College of Law

ipclinic@wcl.american.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia Only
Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Conner College of Law

patent_clinic@asu.edu(link sends e-mail) (patents)

Trademark_clinic@asu.edu(link sends e-mail)(trademarks)

Patents and Trademarks

All United States
Baylor Law School

iplawclinic@baylor.edu(link sends e-mail)

patents@baylor.edu(link sends e-mail) (patents)

trademarks@baylor.edu(link sends e-mail)(trademarks)

Patents and TrademarksTexas Only
Boston College Law SchoolCommencing participationAugust 1, 2018Trademarks
Brooklyn Law School

BLIP@brooklaw.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents

All United States
California Western School of Law

TrademarkClinic@cwsl.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

All United States
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

lawclinic@case.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents

Northern Ohio Only
Florida International University College of Law(Commencing August 1, 2018)Patents
Fordham University School of Law

IPILClinic@lsls.fordham.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Northeastern United States Only
Howard University School of Law

tmclinic@law.howard.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patent clinic email (TBD)

TrademarksPatents (commencing participation August 1, 2018)

District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia Only
Indiana University Maurer School of Law

ipclinic@indiana.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Indiana Only

Indiana UniversityMcKinney School of Law

iuindip@iupui.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and TrademarksMidwestern States Only
Lewis & Clark Law School

sblc@lclark.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Oregon Only
Liberty University School of Law(Commencing August 1, 2018)Trademarks
Lincoln Law School of San Jose

ipclinic@lincolnlawsj.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

All United States
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

jean.backes@mitchellhamline.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Upper Midwestern United States Only

New York Law School

ptoclinic@nyls.edu(link sends e-mail) (patents)

trademarkclinic@nyls.edu(link sends e-mail) (trademarks)

Patents and Trademarks

All United States
North Carolina Central University School of Law

ipclinic@nccu.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patent and Trademarks

North Carolina and South Carolina Only
Northeastern University School of Lawipcolab@northeastern.edu(link sends e-mail)TrademarksMassachusetts
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

elc@law.northwestern.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

Illinois Only (preference to Chicago, Illinois Area)

Roger Williams University School of Lawbsuc@rwu.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

Rhode Island and surrounding States Only
Rutgers Law School

jkettle@kinoy.rutgers.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

All United States
Saint Louis University School of Law

LegalClinics@slu.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

Missouri and Illinois Only
Seattle University School of LawTMclinic@seattleu.edu(link sends e-mail)TrademarksWashington, Alaska, Montana, Nevada,Utah and Wyoming
South Texas College Of Law

patent@stcl.edu(link sends e-mail) (patents)

trademark@stcl.edu(link sends e-mail) (trademarks)

Patents and Trademarks

Texas and Louisiana Only (Patents) All United States (Trademarks)

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

patentclinic@smu.edu(link sends e-mail) (patents)

trademarkclinic@smu.edu(link sends e-mail)(trademarks)

Patents and Trademarks

Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas and Northern Texas on a limited basis
Southern University Law Centersulctechclinic@gmail.com(link sends e-mail)Patents and TrademarksLouisiana Only
Suffolk University Law Schoolldarden@suffolk.edu(link sends e-mail)Patents and TrademarksConnecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island
Syracuse University College of Lawtrademarks-cdlc@syr.edu(link sends e-mail)TrademarksNew York Only
Texas A&M University School of Law

patc-info@law.tamu.edu(link sends e-mail) (patents)

tmc-info@law.tamu.edu(link sends e-mail)(trademarks)

Patents and Trademarks

Texas Only
>td >sbced_uspto_intake@law.gwu.edu(link sends e-mail)TrademarksDistrict of Columbia Only
>td >

patentclinic@jmls.edu(link sends e-mail) (patents)

trademarkclinic@jmls.edu(link sends e-mail)(trademarks)

Patents and Trademarks

All United States (preference to Illinois and Midwest States) (Patents) All United States (Trademarks)

>td >

PatentClinic@tjsl.edu(link sends e-mail) (patents)

TrademarkClinic@tjsl.edu(link sends e-mail)(trademarks)

Patents and Trademarks

Southern California and Baja, California (Patents) San Diego County, California (Trademarks)
Tulane University Law SchoolTLSIPLab@tulane.edu(link sends e-mail)Patents and TrademarksLouisiana Only
University of Akron School of Law

trademarkclinic@uakron.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

Northeast Ohio
University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law

Law-IPClinic@list.arizona.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and TrademarksArizona Only
University of California, Irvine School of Law(Commencing August 1, 2018)Trademarks
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law

uspto@law.ucla.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

All United States (preference to Southern California)
University of Colorado Law School

elawclin@colorado.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents

Colorado Only
University of Connecticut School of Law

iplawclinic@uconn.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Connecticut Only
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

IPClinic@udmercy.edu(link sends e-mail)

PatentsTrademarks (commencing participation August 1, 2018)

All United States (preference to Michigan and Ohio) and Ontario, Canada
University of Idaho College of Law

trademarks@uidaho.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

Idaho Only
University of Maryland School of Law

miplrc@law.umaryland.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Maryland and District of Columbia Metro Area Only
University of Miami School of Lawdravicher@law.miami.edu(link sends e-mail)Patents and TrademarksAll United States
University of Missouri School of LawCommencing participationAugust 1, 2018Trademarks
University of Nebraska College of Laweclinic@unl.edu(link sends e-mail)TrademarksNebraska Only
University of New Hampshire School of Law

ipclinic@law.unh.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

All United States
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law

whitede@email.unc.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

All United States
University of Notre Dame Law School

ipclinic@nd.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Midwestern United States Only
University of Pennsylvania Law SchoolCommencing participationAugust 1, 2018Trademarks
University of Puerto Rico School of Law

ipclinic@ferraiuoli.com(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Puerto Rico Only
University of Richmond School of Lawipclinic@richmond.edu(link sends e-mail)TrademarksAll United States
University of San Diego School of LawCommencing participationAugust 1, 2018Patents
University of San Francisco School of Law

lawclinic@usfca.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

All United States
University of St. Thomas School of Law

IPCtrademark@stthomas.edu(link sends e-mail)

TrademarksMinnesota Only
University of Tennessee College of Law

bkrumm@utk.edu(link sends e-mail)Clinicdocs@utk.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

All United States
University of Washington School of Law

elcinfo@uw.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents and Trademarks

Washington Only
Vanderbilt Law School

legal.clinic@vanderbilt.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

All United States

Washington University inSt. Louis School of Law

EIPAssistance@wulaw.wustl.edu(link sends e-mail)

PatentsMissouri and Illinois
Wayne State University Law School

patentclinic@wayne.edu(link sends e-mail)

Patents

Michigan Only
Western New England University School of Law

marie.fletcher@law.wne.edu(link sends e-mail)

Trademarks

Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut Only

*The micro entity fee for filing a provisional patent application with the USPTO rose from $65 to $70 in January 2018.

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