News Releases

Minnesota Pro Bono Patent Program Recognized at White House Event

02.21.14

Patterson Thuente and Lindquist & Vennum are pleased to jointly announce that the Inventor Assistance Program (IAP)—a Minnesota grown pro bono project serving low-income inventors needing legal assistance to patent their inventions—was recognized as part of a new Executive Action announced at a special event held at the White House on Thursday afternoon. The event highlighted President Barack Obama’s proposals for patent reform, including the appointment of a full-time Pro Bono Coordinator at the USPTO, dedicated educational and practical resources for pro se applicants, and the expansion of IAPs to cover all 50 states.

Launched in 2011, the Minnesota LegalCORPS IAP was the first successful patent pro bono program in the country. The Minnesota IAP, along with the ‘Best Practices Handbook’ written by Mark Privratsky, Lindquist’s IP Practice Group Chair, and Amy Salmela, a partner at Patterson, have served as the blueprint for how to create such programs. Since its introduction, a national AIA Pro Bono Advisory Council has been chartered and at least five additional patent pro bono programs have been developed in other regions. Attorneys and staff from Patterson Thuente and Lindquist & Vennum, as well as other Minnesota companies and law firms, including, but not limited to Meyer & Njus, have committed countless hours to ensuring the success of the pro bono effort.

“We greatly appreciate the Administration’s recognition of the IAP and the future support being put in place for its continued expansion nationwide,” stated Lindquist’s Privratsky. “The access to justice provided by the IAP allows qualifying inventors a better chance to start a business, employ others, and make a greater contribution to society than may have otherwise been possible. The President’s Executive Action means more people who lack representation will obtain the professional legal services they seek.”

In attendance at the White House event were Jim Patterson of Patterson Thuente IP, Candee Goodman, former Pro Bono Coordinator of Lindquist & Vennum, and Jay Erstling of William Mitchell College of Law.

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