Who We Are
In 2014, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (“GLA”) established a separate program, PATENTS, to offer assistance to Georgia and South Carolina inventors. In 2018, GLA assumed responsibility for the Tennessee pro bono patents program, LAVPA; thus, Tennessee PATENTS was born. PATENTS stands for Pro bono Assistance & Training for Entrepreneurs and New, Talented, Solo inventors. The program seeks to help solo inventors, non-profits, and small businesses find patent agents and attorneys to help file patents on a pro bono basis.
Why We Exist
In 2011, Congress passed comprehensive patent reform, known as the America Invents Act (“AIA”). The AIA changed the United States from a “first to invent” system to a “first inventor to file” system, a system that undoubtably favors large corporations and experienced inventors. To help offset any harm to solo inventors and small businesses, Congress directed the United States Patent & Trademark Office to help establish pro bono patent programs across the country. Tennessee PATENTS works with the USPTO to reach Tennessee inventors.
Why Georgia Lawyers for the Arts
For more than 40 years, GLA has been working to provide free legal assistance to artists and arts organizations throughout Georgia who would otherwise be unable to afford the help they need. As an organization already attuned to the needs of those seeking to protect intellectual property, GLA saw the USPTO’s Inventor Assistance Program as a logical extension of our mission. GLA worked alongside the USPTO to create and fund Georgia PATENTS and now Tennessee PATENTS. We now seek to help all those who practice what the Constitution referred to as “the useful arts and sciences.”
Who We Serve
Tennessee PATENTS is open to Tennessee solo inventors, inventors working for a Tennessee non-profit (except educational institutions or research facilities), and some Tennessee-based small businesses. Specific qualifications are listed on the inventor information page. Placement with a Patent Agent or Attorney will be at the sole discretion of the program administrator.