LAVPA: Information for Inventors

LAVPA grew out of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”). The AIA encouraged the USPTO to “work with and support intellectual property law associations across the country in the establishment of pro bono programs designed to assist financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses.” The nationwide pro bono program, built on individual state and regional projects, has been established as a result of the Obama Administration’s executive action for the USPTO to assist innovators by expanding the pro bono program.

Through LAVPA, volunteer attorneys provide qualified clients with assistance in preparing and filing provisional and non-provisional patent applications at no charge for inventors that could otherwise not afford their services. Clients maintain responsibility for filing, prosecution and maintenance fees. There are 4 requirements for participating. Here is how to get started :

  1. Show us you are a committed inventor by completing the 38 minute USPTO TRAINING VIDEO. Be sure to download the certificate when finished to provide to us. Use the Firefox or Safari browser.

  2. Be able to provide a copy of the most recent year's tax return with the application, showing your Adjusted Gross Income not to be more than 3 times more than the FEDERAL POVERTY GUIDELINES. A local office of the UNITED WAY OF TENNESSEE provides free income tax filing services for qualifIed applicants. 

  3. Be prepared to pay for the costs of any drawings to be submitted with your application along with the filing fees charged as a microentity as listed on the USPTO LIST OF FILING FEES.

  4. You must have an actual invention, not just an idea. To demonstrate an invention, you shoiuld have either (1) a prototype, or (2) a detailed drawing of the invention describing how it works, or (3) be able to describe the invention so that someone esle could actually make and use the invention.

If you meet these requirements then you may proceed to complete the online INVENTOR APPLICATION.



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