INTA’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse
INTA has launched the Pro Bono Clearinghouse program to bolster the protection of intellectual property by matching eligible clients facing trademark issues with INTA member attorneys so that legal services can be provided free of charge. The clearinghouse is intended to serve low-income individuals, small to medium enterprises, and nonprofit or charitable organizations with low operating budgets (1) who might otherwise not know where to turn or (2) who do not have access to legal assistance in the area of trademarks. This clearinghouse is the only one currently in existence that is dedicated primarily to trademarks.
One of INTA’s core beliefs is that all consumers and businesses benefit when trademark rights are protected in a meaningful and consistent manner. The clearinghouse allows INTA and its members to fulfill a commitment to the public interest in their field of expertise. Members who volunteer to be matched with clients will have a unique opportunity to stretch their skills and aid clients in need through meaningful work that benefits the business and legal communities that are invested in trademark rights.
INTA’s ultimate goal is to service clients worldwide.
For Potential Clients:
Please click here to access an intake form
on which you will describe your trademark issue and provide information and documents relevant to your eligibility to be matched with an attorney for pro bono services. After you click on the above link, you will be asked to create an account with us, and then you will be taken to the intake form to make your application for pro bono assistance.
Based on the information in your application, we will send your matter to one of our member trademark attorneys to do a conflict check. While we endeavor to match all of our applicants in a timely manner, due to the volunteer nature of our member panel, we cannot provide urgent assistance and we cannot guarantee a referral. The Pro Bono Program administrator may monitor the progress of the case at a high level, but will have no day-to-day contact and no responsibility for the case.
How to Volunteer:
Attorneys that are current members of INTA are welcome and encouraged to join our pool of volunteers. Click here to access the next steps
Eligibility Criteria for Potential Clients
1. Financial need
Determinations with respect to financial need will be based on, among other things, an analysis of past and current income, the number of people in your household, and number of dependents, and whether the payment of standard legal fees for the particular matter would significantly deplete your economic resources or would otherwise be inappropriate. This will vary depending on the country for which you are applying.
2. The existence of a bona fide trademark issue with which they would like assistance of counsel
For Non-Profit Organizations:
- Non-profit organizations (e.g., 501(c)(3) organizations and/or those that serve the disadvantaged or enhance quality of life through important social, civic, arts, educational, or environmental programs or services;
- The existence of a bona fide trademark issue; and
- Evaluation of an organization’s operating budget and financial status.
Determinations with respect to financial need will be based on, among other things, an analysis of the past two years of revenue and expenses, projected revenue, the annual operating budget, the following year’s projected budget, the number of employees, and whether the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s resources.
A bona fide trademark issue is one involving any aspect of trademark law, including: trademark clearance, registration, disputes, licensing or sale, customs recordals, detainments, or seizures.
Please note that INTA can neither guarantee that it will be able to refer any case to an attorney nor that any representation will be successful.
Submitting a request for legal services does not
make you a client of INTA and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and INTA or any of its members, employees, directors, or officers. You may become a client of an INTA member attorney through the Pro Bono Clearinghouse only if
: (1) INTA approves your application for consideration; and (2) you execute an engagement letter with an attorney/firm setting forth terms of representation.