Inventor Information

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

In order to be considered for the Florida Patent Pro Bono Program, you must meet the following program criteria:

  1. Florida-based inventor or small business;
  2. Income below a certain threshold;
  3. Complete the USPTO online certificate training module, which may be found HERE
  4. Possession of an actual invention (not just an idea)

Affiliation with technology or entrepreneurial hub, incubator, organization, or association is preferred. 

It is recommended that you review the program guidelines before starting your application. Once you submit your application it will be reviewed and you will be contacted to discuss any outstanding questions, or to connect you to a volunteer patent agent or attorney. Please note that you may be asked to provide verification of income and other program guidelines.

  • ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES: See below for eligibility guidelines.
  • APPLICATION: Click HERE to apply.

*Disclaimer:  We do our best to match accepted applicants to volunteers; however, we cannot guarantee that a volunteer will ultimately agree to take on your matter. Accepted applicants will receive the volunteer patent agent/patent attorney services for free but will be required to pay the COSTS associated with the patent application, such as government filing fees and drafting costs.

 

ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

WHO CAN APPLY

Individual Inventors who:

  • are U.S. citizens or are lawfully residing in the U.S.;
  • are Florida based;
  • have a total household income of less than 300% of the poverty guidelines (see guidelines below);
  • are not currently under an obligation to assign the rights to the invention; and
  • have possession of an actual invention, not just an idea.
  • have completed the USPTO online training module.

Small businesses that:

  • are Florida based businesses;
  • have 4 or fewer inventors, where each inventor has total household income of less than 300% of the poverty guidelines (see guidelines below);
  • had a total gross income of less than $150,000 in the preceding calendar year and expect a total gross income of less than $150,000 in the current calendar year;
  • are not currently under any obligation to assign the rights to the invention to another entity; and
  • have possession of an actual invention, not just an idea.
  • have completed the USPTO online training module.

Disqualification: Pursuant to 37 CFR § 1.29 we will not accept any application where one of the listed inventors has been named on more than 4 previous U.S. Patents or Pending Applications. There is a limited exception for former employees who have assigned all rights to the patent to a former employer.

 

INCOME PARAMETERS

  • Individual Inventors must have a total household income of less than 300% of the poverty guidelines (see guidelines below);
  • Small businesses must have 4 or fewer inventors, where each inventor has total household income of less than 300% of the poverty guidelines (see guidelines below) and must have a total gross income of less than $150,000 in the preceding calendar year and expect a total gross income of less than $150,000 in the current calendar year;

We rely on information provided by the Department of Heath and Human Services, which is published yearly and is available at aspe.hhs.gov. The data provided in the chart below is for informational purposes only and may not be updated as quickly as the statistics available on the official Department of Heath and Human Services. website.

 

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE PATENT SYSTEM

All inventors who will be listed on the patent must have general knowledge of the Patent System. You must show this by completing the USPTO online certificate training module which may be found at  http://www.uspto.gov/video/cbt/certpck/index.htm 

 

INVENTIONS VERSUS IDEAS

Before being matched with a patent agent or attorney, you will need to have an actual invention, not merely an idea. To demonstrate that you have an invention, you must be able to provide a detailed description or graphical representation that depicts use.

CAUTION: Do not publicly disclose your invention prior to filing a patent application or at least a provisional application for a patent. A public disclosure could make it prior art against itself, resulting in an inability to secure a patent.

*The Florida Patent Pro Bono Program, as managed by the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research, and all administrators associated with the Program, treat all information submitted in the Inventor Application as confidential. The Florida Patent Pro Bono Program and its administrators agree not to disclose the confidential information obtained from the inventor to anyone other than legal counsel, patent professionals who participate in the Florida Patent Pro Bono Program and their agents unless required to do so by law.

Disclaimer: The Florida Patent Pro Bono Program is not giving out legal advice, especially with respect to confidentiality, and encourages the Applicant to seek legal counsel if the Applicant has any questions regarding legal ramifications of disclosure of the invention to the Program.

 

COMMON USPTO FEES

Accepted applicants will receive pro bono patent support from licensed patent agents or attorneys, but will be responsible for all costs associated with the patent application filing such as drafting costs and all United States Patent and Trademark Office filing, searching, examination, and issuance fees. Applicants will also be responsible for all maintenance fees once the patent issues.

We rely on information provided by the Official USPTO Publication of Fees, which all applicants should check before relying on any amounts listed below. The data provided in the chart below is for informational purposes only. Your application may necessitate payment of other fees not listed below.

Placement with a volunteer patent agent or attorney remains within the sole discretion of the program administrator. The Florida Patent Pro Bono Program provides referral services only and does not represent any Applicant with regards to patenting an invention.

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