Application FormsInventor Information Form Application for Free Legal Assistance
To be eligible for free assistance from the Upper Midwest Patent Assistance Program, inventor applicants must have already filed a provisional application with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The role of the Upper Midwest Patent Assistance Program is to help inventor applicants turn their provisional applications into non-provisional patent applications and/or respond to “office actions” or other communications from the Patent Office. Inventor applicants—in addition to meeting income guidelines—must be residents of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin, or operate a business in those states.
To determine eligibility for assistance in the Upper Midwest Patent Assistance, Mitchell Hamline will apply pre-determined income guidelines. It will therefore be necessary for inventor applicants to provide basic income information as part of the application process.
Inventor applicants who are residents of Minnesota or who operate a business in Minnesota and who wish to receive free legal representation should contact our partner program, the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program:
Wisconsin based inventors seeking to commercially exploit their inventions may seek support from the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Application is made via an online form available via the website to which the above link points. Applicants are screened as the available resources are limited. However, support includes investigations into patentability and the preparation of a Provisional Patent Application, as well as general business law advice on creating and operating a business entity with which to exploit the their inventions.
What If I Have Not Filed a Provisional Application?
A provisional application is the “entry level” application. Inventor applicants who have not filed provisional applications should review USPTO Guidance on this topic.
The USPTO also provides assistance for unrepresented applicants (called pro se applicants).
In addition, The USPTO provides general assistance to the public through their Inventor Assistance Center (IAC).
Furthermore, inventors may request assistance from the Mitchell Hamline Intellectual Property Law Clinic, which can be reached at 651-290-6351. Please note, however, there is often a long waiting list for the Clinic service. In the alternative, the LegalCORPS Inventors Assistance Program provides regularly scheduled workshops to instruct inventors about how to prepare and file a provisional application. Each workshop includes a one-hour presentation about the provisional patent application process