Florida Goes “Flo Bono” to Help Local Inventors

The State of Florida recently adopted a pro bono patent assistance program tag-lined “Flo Bono” to facilitate the placement of qualified, under-resourced inventors with the pro bono legal assistance of a patent agent or attorney.

The Patent Pro Bono program was originally created in 2011 by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and is currently being offered in all 50 states. The program is run at the state level and is one of many initiatives that make the USPTO’s services more available to a broader range of entrepreneurs. Florida applicants can apply with at USPTO. Applicants must have their income threshold, residency, and other required documents readily available when applying for the program.

The objectives of the program are to promote entrepreneurship, job growth and economic development through innovation. If accepted, applicants may expect exposure to intellectual property experts, support in certain aspects of the patent application process, and partnership opportunities to enhance business development. Certain filing fees paid to the US Patent and Trademark Office are the responsibility of the applicant, but applicants may qualify for a reduced fee. The program is open to individual inventors and/or small businesses that meet certain eligibility requirements, including income thresholds, published annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.