BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTOR ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (IAP):
The Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) is the first global program of its kind. It matches developing country inventors and small businesses with limited financial means with patent attorneys, who provide pro bono legal assistance to secure patent protection (free legal advice on how to file a patent to protect their inventions).
The Inventors Assistance Program aims to help solve the problem experienced by patent filers on unaffordable professional fees relative to filing international patents by putting eligible inventors and small businesses in touch with an expert in their country who is willing to help them free of charge.
The program is a joint initiative of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Economic Forum, with support and input from some of the world's leading businesses and law firms. WIPO and The Forum have developed IAP aimed at making the IP system more accessible by matching financially under-resourced inventors of promising new technologies and ideas with qualified IP counsel, to assist in securing patent protection for their innovations. IAP is designed to assist both individuals and small entities who lack the financial resources to navigate the patent system on their own.
The IAP is composed of countries, sponsors, and pro bono patent attorneys. These three groups all constitute IAP members. All members must accept in writing the guiding principles of the program.
The IAP is currently active on a pilot basis in three countries and was launched in the Philippines on March 1, 2016:
HOW TO APPLY:
Fill out the application form.
To qualify for support, you must satisfy the following criteria:
- Basic knowledge of the patent system: You must be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the patent system. You can do this in one of two ways:
- Income level: Your income must be below the threshold determined by the country in question. Refer to the IAP Philippine Criteria.
- Eligible invention: You must have an invention that qualifies for IAP. Decisions on the eligibility of inventions are taken by the local IAP screening board of the country in question. Refer to the IAP Philippine Criteria.
- Residence: You must be a resident in the country in which you make the request and that country must be a participant in the IAP.
Once the local Selection Board/Screening Committee has selected a local inventor who meets all of the required criteria, the IAP focal point in the Philippines will contact the WIPO Case Manager. WIPO will do the match-making between the selected inventors and an available pro bono patent attorney.
PRO BONO ATTORNEYS:
The first step is to check whether your country of residence is currently participating in the IAP.
If it is, then simply complete the online application form and WIPO will get back to you.
Please note that only attorneys who are licensed to practice by the industrial property office of the country concerned and who accept in writing the guiding principles of the IAP are eligible to apply.
For further inquiries, call (02) 238-6300 local 5301 or email .