Information for Patent Practitioners

The PTAB Bar Association assists financially under-resourced inventors with ex parte patent appeals by matching them with volunteer patent practitioners.  After being matched with an inventor, a volunteer patent practitioner will assist the inventor until either (i) prosecution is reopened; or (ii) the appeal has been decided.  The scope of the representation may include preparing a pre-appeal brief; participating in a pre-appeal conference and/or an appeal conference; monitoring and docketing all deadlines; drafting and filing an appeal brief and a reply brief; and presenting oral argument before the PTAB.  The representation is limited to the specific case referred to the volunteer attorney.  There is no expectation that the volunteer attorney will provide assistance on any other matter. 

Volunteer patent practitioners donate their time and the time of any paralegals/staff who assist the patent practitioner.  The applicant pays for all fees associated with the USPTO and any ancillary fees associated with appeal (e.g. travel).

The PTAB Bar Association does not provide malpractice insurance for volunteer patent practitioners.  All volunteer patent practitioners are required to carry their own malpractice insurance and perform their own conflict checks.  

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to volunteer through the PTAB Pro Bono Program, a patent practitioner must agree to the following:
  1. Be a U.S. licensed registered patent attorney or patent agent experienced in handling ex parte appeal cases before the PTAB.
  2. Be proficient with the technology at issue.
  3. Provide malpractice insurance.
  4. Agree to not charge fees for your time.
  5. Provide a representation agreement.

How to Volunteer

To volunteer, please fill out the application form here.
If you do not have a login, you must first create an account here.

For questions about volunteering pro bono services under the PTAB Pro Bono Program, please contact: