Pro Bono Services

Pro Bono Service

The Center for Intellectual Property Research, in partnership with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, operates two pro bono IP legal services aimed to help solo inventors, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and some small businesses in need. By providing access to pro bono IP, we are proud to contribute to the growth and vitality of the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Intellectual Property Clinic


The IP Clinic provides a range of IP counseling services to clients judged to be in need of pro bono services. Indiana University Maurer School of Law IP students carry out the work during the fall and spring academic semesters under the supervision of the Clinic Director Professor Norman Hedges and adjunct professors. The clinic is certified for both patents and trademarks under the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinic Certification Program.

The Clinic implemented a Referral Partner Model for new client intake in August 2017. Referral Partners are organizations located throughout Indiana who specialize in small business development, peer-to-peer training, and entrepreneurship, such as the ISBDC and SCORE Mentors. Potential Clinic clients may still contact the Clinic without business mentoring, but they will be redirected to a Referral Partner organization. Referral Partners will send their clients in need of pro bono IP assistance to the Clinic. By ensuring that clients receive both IP legal advice from the Clinic and business mentoring from our Referral Partners, Hoosiers now have opportunities to be even more successful.

How to Apply:

Currently, the Clinic has sufficient projects. As such, it is unlikely the Clinic will be able to accept new clients at this time; however, if you meet our eligibility criteria and are willing to wait for assistance, the Clinic may add you to its potential client backlog. Please note that some IP rights are very time sensitive, particularly patents and to a lesser extent trademarks. Thus, delaying your project may result in the loss of IP rights.


  • Current Indiana residency
  • Income status less than USPTO micro-entity threshold
  • Received or are receiving business mentoring/coaching from a Clinic Referral Partner

To apply, contact



PatentConnect works to match Indiana and Kentucky inventors in need of pro bono patent services with volunteering patent attorneys.

The Center for Intellectual Property Research launched PatentConnect in September 2015 after having been appointed a “patent hub” by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Center administers the program by screening inquiries from potential pro bono clients and matching them to volunteering lawyers who set the scope of representation.

Prospective Inventors:

Prospective Volunteers:

  • Fill out the online Attorney Registration Form.
  • Wait to receive a Match Request. If you are unable to accept a match, you will have the opportunity to decline.

The CIPR would like to thank the following organizations for their sponsorship of PatentConnect:

  • Taft Stettinius & Hollister
  • Faegre Drinker

For questions about PatentConnect, please email