Patent Pro Bono for Inventors

TALA has partnered with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to present the Patent Pro Bono program for inventors in Texas.


This unique program provides assistance filing a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to financially under-resourced independent inventors in Texas.

With the goal of advancing invention based economic development, the program matches patent attorneys and agents with inventors to assist in filing for patents with the USPTO.

The Patent Pro Bono program provides services to individual inventors who meet financial qualifications, have done a prior art search, filed a provisional application, and completed a training package developed by the USPTO.

Read more about the USPTO patent pro bono programs.


TALA’s Patent Pro Bono program currently serves solo inventors who

After becoming a member of TALA for a small fee of $75, there is no charge for the service and advice of the patent attorney or agent.  However, there are filing related fees payable to the USPTO that the client must cover.  These fees usually range from $45-$280.

Learn more about USPTO fees.


Before being accepted for the TALA Patent Pro Bono program, participants are required

  • to meet a financial criteria for qualification;
  • to complete the USPTO online course “Basic Patent Training for Independent Inventors and Small Businesses” and print out the certificate of completion;
  • to perform a prior art search; and
  • to have filed a provisional application with the USPTO with at least six months remaining until the nonprovisional is due.

Basic Patent Training for Independent Inventors and Small Businesses USPTO Online Course

Access the online course here.

About Prior Art
A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—

  • (1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention. AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(a)

Why are Prior Art references important?
Under the Patent Law, “[o]n taking up an application for examination . . . the examiner shall make a thorough study thereof and shall make a thorough investigation of the available prior art relating to the subject matter of the claimed invention.” Essentially, if your invention is disclosed anywhere in the prior art, it is not patentable.

How do I search for Prior Art?
A great place to start is to look through existing patents. You may do so on the USPTO’s website, the European Patent Office’s website, any one of several paid subscription services, or by using Google Patents. A well-done search should reveal similar inventions, including those inventions upon which your own invention likely relies. More importantly, the prior art search should help educate you, as the inventor, as to the current state of your particular field.

See the USPTO website for more information about how to conduct a patent search.

Ready to apply for the Patent Pro Bono program?

Please e-mail [email protected] if you satisfy the four requirements listed above.


TALA’s Patent Pro Bono program is generously supported through a partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.