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Getting Help

If you are a qualifying inventor in the state of Indiana, then PatentConnect might be able to connect you with a patent attorney who can help you conduct a prior art search, file a patent application, or provide related services. These services are provided at no cost, but you are responsible for any USPTO or third party fees, such as the filing fees for a patent application.

How it Works

Invent
Invent
Invent
Invent

Since the pro bono services provided by attorneys associated with PatentConnect usually revolve around helping inventors acquire patents, the lifeblood of the entire program rests on your capacity to innovate. Without creative new ideas and concrete ways of applying them, there is little need for the rest of PatentConnect's infrastructure. So, get out there and invent!

Register
Register
Register
Register

To make an inquiry for pro bono representation, all you need to do is create an account and provide some non-confidential information about your invention so that we can match you with a suitable attorney. While we hope to be able to serve all interested inventors, if you do not satisfy our Matching program's requirements you may still be eligible to place your inquiry into the PatentConnect Marketplace, where it can be viewed by patent lawyers who may be able to discuss reduced fee or other billing arrangements with you.

Connect
Connect
Connect
Connect

Once your inquiry has been submitted, you can immediately check its status by logging-in to PatentConnect. If you are eligible for the Matching program, we will seek to connect you with a local attorney in our network. While you are waiting, PatentConnect will also automatically place your inquiry into its secure Marketplace where patent attorneys may proactively reach out to you to provide assistance.

Connect!

At PatenConnect, we have two principal mechanisms for connecting inventors with attorneys: a Matching program and a Marketplace. Under the Matching program, the Center for Intellectual Property Research at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law (Bloomington) reviews each inquiry and attempts to connect the inventor with an available attorney whose background matches their invention.

While this process is being carried out, the invention is also immediately placed into PatentConnect's Marketplace. Once inside the Marketplace, only attorneys that are registered with PatentConnect can view the invention. Instead of waiting for the matching process to run its course, this allows attorneys in the program to proactively find an inventor to assist. Because the matching program can be slow, utilizing this framework helps ensure that we find a match for you as quickly as possible.

Matching

Matching

Generally speaking, both programs are directed at low income inventors or small businesses in the state of Indiana. In order to ensure that we are serving those most in need, however, the Matching program's requirements for eligibility are a little more onerous.

Marketplace

Marketplace

Inventors who do not meet the criteria for the Matching Program will be invited to place their inquiries into the PatentConnect Marketplace. Click the 'More Details' button below to learn more about the requirements for each program.


Inventor Eligibility

Income Threshold
Training
Income Threshold
Training

Required: Matching & Marketplace

Income Threshold
Patenting
Income Threshold
Patenting

Not named as an inventor on more than four patents (as a solo or joint inventor)

Required: Matching Only

Income Threshold
Income
Income Threshold
Income

Below USPTO's income threshold set for a micro-entities

Required: Matching Only

Hoosier
Hoosier
Hoosier
Hoosier

Resides in the state of Indiana

Required: Matching Only

Invention Eligibility

Timing
Timing
Timing
Timing

Both invention-based requirements relate to the timing of your application with PatentConnect. You cannot: (1) have an office action response due within two months, or (2) be within two months of needing to file a non-provisional application.

Required: Matching Only

Register Now

Update
Update
Update
Update

To make things easy, once you have registered, PatentConnect will walk you through each of the requirements. For example, if you need to complete the USPTO's training module, PatentConnect will provide you with links to the video and information for updating your account. As a result, we recommend that you register now even though you may not meet all of the requirements. You can update your account in seconds!


Expectations

Please be aware that while PatentConnect may be able to help connect you to a patent lawyer who may recommend that you file a patent application, you should not assume that obtaining patent protection is a guarantee of commercial success. In fact, while patents can be important to many types of businesses, most patented inventions do not succeed. It is important to have realistic expectations about what patent protection can, and cannot, do for your business.