About Patent Pro Bono

About Us:

  • Our program formally launched on February 19, 2015, is based out of St. Louis, Missouri and has the objective of connecting financially-constrained individual inventors and small businesses in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska with pro bono patent resources.
  • Our program launch was initiated by the US Patent and Trademark Office and is administered by Gateway Venture Mentoring Service , a St. Louis based 501(c)(3).

Advisory Board:

Hayley Johnston, our GatewayVMS Program Manager, can be reached at:


USPTO documentation 

Are you an inventor or small business who has limited resources and needs help applying for a patent on an invention? If so, you may be eligible to receive pro bono (“for free”) attorney representation through the Nationwide Pro Bono Program.

Getting Started

So, you’re interested in the pro bono program, but you’re not sure what it is or who can use it. Maybe you already know a little about it but you want more information on how to qualify and take advantage of its services. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s face it: getting a patent is not cheap. Even though the fees the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) charges are relatively modest, the cost of hiring a patent attorney to properly write and prosecute a patent application is the main barrier to getting a patent for many inventors and small businesses. The USPTO knows this, and we want to help.

After the America Invents Act passed in 2011, the USPTO began working with intellectual property law associations across the country to help them establish pro bono inventor assistance programs in their specific regions.

These pro bono programs are intended to provide free legal services to qualified applicants.

Video and transcript courtesy of http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/proseprobono/