Patents and Trademarks : For Community Inventors/Entrepreneurs
Legal and Business Advice
Search the list of patent attorneys and agents licensed to practice patent law before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The UW Law School Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic provides free legal services for some Wisconsin entrepreneurs and small business owners. This clinic is a partnership with the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery and WARF. Read about eligibility and apply here.
The Inventor Assistance Program at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law (St. Paul, MN) provides free legal representation to low-income inventors seeking to patent their inventions with the USPTO. A joint project with the USPTO with the support of LegalCORPS, this option is open to inventors in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. For similar assistance to inventors in other states, check out the USPTO Patent Pro Bono Program.
The USPTO Pro Se Assistance Program provides free assistance to inventors who choose to file provisional and non-provisional patent applications 'pro se' (without the help of a licensed patent agent or attorney). This program does not provide legal assistance, but can help with questions on application procedures and forms.
If you have an invention with a strong social mission or that is associated with a non-profit, you may be eligible for funding opportunities explained on the Candid Learning Knowledge base.
The International Trademark Association Pro Bono Clearinghouse offers free legal assistance on trademark matters to eligible clients, including "low-income individuals, small- to medium-enterprises, and not-for-profit, and nonprofit or charitable organizations with low operating budgets that might not otherwise have affordable access to legal assistance".
Patent & Trademark Books on Campus
Basic Patent Training for Independent Inventors - a USPTO online tutorial
UW Madison Small Business Development Center Start Up programs - seminars, one-on-one business counseling. Watch - example of SBDC service
WWBIC - resources, business assistance, and financial education for business owners and entrepreneurs, with a focus on women, people of color, veterans, and low-income individuals
Wisconsin Innovation Service Center- at UW-Whitewater, new product assessment and market feasibility
Small Business Association, Wisconsin District Office - small business planning help, resources, online training
Center for Technology Commercialization - statewide network of entrepreneurial resources: business assistance, training, financing opportunities, and a network of over 100 organizations
Doyenne - Madison-based non-profit featuring programming, coaching, and funding for women entrepreneurs
SCORE Madison - free mentoring and education for startups and new entrepreneurs