Patent Pro Bono Program

The arts have greatly influenced technology and innovation. Through our Patent Pro Bono program, we assist in the placement of low-income artists, arts-related organizations, and other independent inventors with the pro bono legal assistance of a patent attorney.


The main goal is to provide application drafting services for those who have not yet filed for a patent. Additionally, those who have filed for provisional applications, or have filed a non-provisional application but have not yet received an office action may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.

If you are seeking assistance for your patent application, or have questions about this program, contact the Art Law Line at 212-319-2787, ext.1, or

How the program works

If you are an inventor:

Step 1: Fill out an intake form or call the Art Law Line at 212-319-2787, x1, to find out if you qualify.

Step 2: VLA will send you a questionnaire to see if you qualify to participate in the program. If you qualify, we will advise you of the fee to be placed on our Case List, and schedule a consultation with a staff attorney to conduct an initial screening. During the consultation, you will learn the process and receive preliminary advice on how to protect your invention before filing your patent application.

Step 3: Case List placement – matters seeking pro bono representation are circulated to a network of volunteer attorneys. Our placement rates are high, but we cannot guarantee placement.

Step 4: A volunteer patent attorney will contact you should they decide to take on your case.

If you are an attorney:

To volunteer for a case from the Patent Case List, we require that attorneys attend an hour long orientation. At the orientation you will learn important information about our programs, volunteer requirements and administrative procedures. For more on the new attorney orientation, click here.

To be added to the Patent Case List email list, please email

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