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'Garage Inventors' in California to Get Pro Bono Boost

October 08, 2012

Stuart Meyer, a partner in Fenwick’s Intellectual Property Group, is quoted in The National Law Journal article, “’Garage Inventors’ in California to get pro bono boost.”

The article announces the upcoming launch of a United States Patent and Trademark Office-backed pro bono patent program, which stems from a mandate in the America Invents Act to establish regional pro bono centers for inventors and entrepreneurs.

The project’s steering committee includes Fenwick & West, California Lawyers for the Arts and Intel Corp. "It's rare to have someone with a patent attorney kind of background to be able to provide pro bono services in their sweet spot," said Meyer.

Fenwick, along with other steering committee members, have been working on structural issues, such as options for volunteer lawyers who are unable to make a multiyear commitment to see the patent application through to issuance and building in enough flexibility so that volunteers can meet their firm's pro bono guidelines and thresholds, he said.

"Patents traditionally have been a 'game of kings' type thing. It's great to see efforts being made so smaller inventors can take advantage of the system," Meyer said.