The Penn State Law Intellectual Property Clinic provides pro bono (free) intellectual property (IP) counseling services to Pennsylvania individuals, startups, and small businesses with limited financial resources. IP includes patents, trademarks, copyright, and trade secrets.
The IP Clinic is located in the Happy Valley LaunchBox in State College, but services are provided throughout The Commonwealth. Law students from Penn State Law in University Park perform the services under the supervision of the clinic director. The director screens inquiries from potential clients who apply using the application attached to this webpage.
As a law student-driven legal clinic we must be very selective in the matters we accept. We can only handle a limited number of clients and the students are on a semester schedule. Accordingly, acceptance as a client of the IP Clinic is not guaranteed, and is ultimately based upon a variety of factors, including: availability of resources, educational value for our law students, absence of conflicts of interest, and financial need of the client. The IP Clinic maintains a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis.
The IP Clinic does not charge a fee for its legal services but any government fees are the responsibility of the client. Examples of government fees include a filing fee for a patent or trademark application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
While the clinic will assist clients on a range of IP matters, the IP Clinic focuses on transactional matters. This means that the IP Clinic will not handle contested matters or litigation. Examples of the services provided by the clinic are general IP counseling, patent searches and patentability advice and opinions, U.S. provisional and non-provisional patent application filings and prosecution, trademark and copyright matters, and IP agreement and licensing matters.
PLEASE NOTE: Completing and submitting an application or otherwise contacting the IP Clinic does not establish an attorney-client relationship between applicant and the IP Clinic. The IP Clinic will not begin doing applicant’s work until the applicant and IP Clinic both decide that the applicant will become an IP Clinic client and unless and until an engagement letter has been signed by both applicant and the IP Clinic. While the application for services is under review and until there is an engagement letter signed by both the applicant and the clinic, no attorney-client relationship exists (the applicant is not a client of the IP Clinic). The applicant, of course, has the right to continue to look for an attorney and decline legal services from the IP Clinic (if offered).