USPTO Recognizes Fenwick’s Contributions to Patent Pro Bono Program

By: Stuart P. Meyer, Michael W. Farn, Dohyun (David) Ahn, Rajendra Panwar, Ph.D., John Kind, Michael Saffron, Fredrick Tsang, Hanchel Cheng

Fenwick received the 2021 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in recognition of the firm’s contributions to the USPTO’s Patent Pro Bono Program. Fenwick was recognized as having committed “significant time and effort to help financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses protect their ideas.”

The Patent Pro Bono Program is a nationwide network that connects volunteer patent practitioners with inventors and small businesses for the purpose of securing patent protection. Fenwick joined a record number of law firms participating in 2021, which saw more than 250 pro bono patents filed with the USPTO.

Through the California Inventors Assistance Program, which is administered by the California Lawyers for the Arts, Fenwick assisted inventors in protecting a range of innovations. Examples of patents successfully filed by Fenwick include:

  • A new method of storing energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, to help decrease reliance on fossil fuels.
  • A device that helps people remove their shoes without having to use their hands, which can be useful for young children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
  • More secure, privacy-driven monitoring systems for healthcare workers to better detect “high-risk patient events,” like falls.
  • A spoon that can store milk, then release it into the bowl of the spoon as needed so the user can enjoy their cereal without it getting soggy.

Fenwick partner Stuart Meyer helped facilitate the project. Participants included partners Mike Farn and David Ahn, counsel Rajendra Panwar, associates John Kind, Michael Saffron and Fredrick Tsang, patent agents Hanchel Cheng and Danielle Michaud, and patent professionals Kimberly Dean and Erin Fisher.

Fenwick’s pro bono program is dedicated to ensuring that disadvantaged people and communities have representation and access to justice. Every year, our lawyers strive to donate three percent of their total billable hours to pro bono legal services to a broad range of clients and causes.

Fenwick’s patent practice comprises more than 60 professionals, many with advanced degrees and business experience. They help innovative technology and life sciences companies and research entities around the world navigate the full lifecycle of patent counseling and prosecution needs and transform their ideas into protected assets.

Read the full USPTO press release here.

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