Leahy Kicks Off Vermont Launch Of Patent Pro Bono Program

BURLINGTON, Vt. (MONDAY, June 22, 2015) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced a new form of assistance for small businesses and startups at the launch of the Vermont Patent Pro Bono Program.  The event, at the Burlington Generator in downtown Burlington, was held in conjunction with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts.

The Patent Pro Bono program was created as part of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a comprehensive update to U.S. patent law authored by Leahy in 2011.  The program will help qualified Vermont inventors and small businesses procure pro bono patent prosecution services from registered patent agents or attorneys.  The Vermont program will be part of a regional New England effort run by the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts and the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston. 

“Access to one of the fundamental building blocks of our economy should not be reserved only for those who can afford it,” Leahy said.  “Every small business and every entrepreneur should have the opportunity to go before the Patent Office to secure their rights.  The Patent Pro Bono program will make sure that anybody with an innovative invention, regardless of income, has the ability to take advantage of the crucial protection that patents afford.”

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