What is ProBoPatTM?
As part of the implementation of the America Invents Act, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) established pro bono programs all across the country to help low-income inventors prosecute their patents. As part of this initiative, the Colorado Bar Association Intellectual Property Section and Mi Casa Resource Center, in conjunction with the USPTO, have established the Pro Bono Patent Initiative or ProBoPat. ProBoPat seeks to connect low income Colorado inventors with Colorado patent professionals for patent preparation and prosecution legal services on a pro bono basis. ProBoPat also administers the program in Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
How does ProBoPat work?
ProBoPat connects attorneys willing to prosecute patents with low income inventors. When an inventor applies to ProBoPat, the ProBoPat program administrator at Mi Casa Resource Center determines whether the inventor is eligible for participation in the ProBoPat program based upon the inventor’s annual income or the inventors’ adjusted gross income.
Once an inventor is accepted into the program, ProBoPat endeavors to identify a licensed patent attorney willing to assist the inventor on a pro bono basis. When an inventor is paired with an attorney, ProBoPat’s role is complete and the representation of the inventor occurs in the ordinary course, as determined by agreement between the attorney and the inventor. ProBoPat will track the program outcomes, including the number of inventors assisted, the types of technology involved in the patent prosecution, the number of provisional and non-provisional applications filed, and the number of patents granted. ProBoPat’s volunteers will also provide periodic educational programs about intellectual property rights through Mi Casa Resource Center.
Who may volunteer in the ProBoPat program?
We encourage all patent attorneys and agents who are registered and in good standing to practice before the USPTO to volunteer to represent low-income inventors through ProBoPat. ProBoPat also welcomes participation from interested law students from surrounding law schools. See the ProBoPat FAQs for Lawyers for more information. If you would like to volunteer, please complete the Volunteer Interest form and submit it to ProBoPat at ProBoPat@MiCasaResourceCenter.org.
I’m an inventor interested in the ProBoPat program.
How do I apply?
To become an inventor participant, download and submit the ProBoPat application form.
March 1, 2017 – ProBoPat Application Updated
Applications submitted after March 1, 2017 must use the new application form.
How can I get more information?
Please read the FAQ document (linked at the top of the page), or contact ProBoPat at 303-573-1302 or ProBoPat@MiCasaResourceCenter.org.
How is ProBoPat administered?
ProBoPat is administered by the ProBoPat program administrator at Mi Casa Resource Center, a Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is acting as a fiscal sponsor of the Intellectual Property Section of the Colorado Bar Association (the CBA IP Section). A steering committee formed by the CBA IP Section advises and supports ProBotPat.
Who appoints the steering members?
The Officers of the Colorado IP Section appoint the steering committee members in accordance with the Bylaws of the Colorado IP Section. The current committee members are:
- Ben Fernandez, Chair, WilmerHale
- Kathleen Ott, Merchant & Gould P.C.
- Scott McMillan, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
- Tiffany Parcher, Covidien
- Elena Vasconez, Director of the Women’s Business Center, Mi Casa Resource Center