In December of 2014, GatewayVMS signed an agreement with the US Patent and Trademark Office providing assistance to administer a patent pro bono program for residents of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. Our program formally launched on February 19, 2015, and is based out of St. Louis, Missouri.
Our mission is to support under-resourced and financially-constrained inventors at 300% of the Federal Poverty Line and below, seeking patent protection by providing pro bono legal assistance and access to entrepreneurial support services, including commercialization guidance.
Our ultimate goal is to increase access and connectivity to pro bono patent services and resources for under-resourced and financially-constrained inventors.
To see if you meet the eligibility requirements, please visit this link: Program Eligibility
If you meet the eligibility requirements, please review the steps at this link: Program Process
We offer access to pro bono legal assistance in the form of free attorney and/or patent agent time in helping inventors prepare and file for their patents. Inventors remain responsible for paying an administrative fee for attorney placement, and all applicable fees owed to the United States Patent & Trademark Office during the prosecution process. These fees are greatly reduced (up to 75% off the standard rate) for “micro-entities” such as those qualifying under this program.
GatewayVMS charges a nominal administrative fee, payable as a part of your intake application. The fee does not go to the attorney or patent agent, and is separate from any fees due to the USPTO during the patent prosecution process. This fee helps GatewayVMS defray the costs associated with running its pro bono programs.
Once the fee is paid, inventors will receive a reference number with their emailed receipt. This number can then be entered into the form to complete processing. Without this reference number, the form cannot be processed.
Additionally, placement with a volunteer patent agent/attorney remains within the sole discretion of the program administrator.