Pro Bono Resources
We believe that all consumers and businesses benefit when trademark rights are protected in a meaningful and consistent manner.
To this end, our Pro Bono Clearinghouse is the focal point of this initiative.
Pro Bono Clearinghouse
The Clearinghouse matches eligible clients facing trademark issues with member attorneys who volunteer to provide services free of charge. A global initiative, it is the only program of its kind dedicated primarily to trademarks.
The Clearinghouse serves low-income individuals, small- to medium-enterprises, and not-for-profit, and nonprofit or charitable organizations with low operating budgets that might not otherwise have affordable access to legal assistance.
In turn, by helping those in need, our participating members have a unique opportunity to stretch their skills and fulfill a commitment to serve the public interest in their field of expertise.
We’re now accepting applications from anywhere it the world. Originally a pilot program serving the United States and then Latin America, we’ve expanded globally based on the program’s success and the need for this pro bono service.
For Potential Clients
To be eligible to participate in the program, you or your organization must have a valid trademark issue and you must have financial need, which must be shown by providing tax information or the past 12 months of bank statements (which is kept confidential). The specifics of financial need vary based on the business category, and by country.
To begin the process, please fill out the application below. If you have questions about financial eligibility before applying, contact us.
For Member Attorney Volunteers
We encourage attorneys who are members to join our pool of Pro Bono Clearinghouse volunteers.
How to Volunteer: Attorneys, you must: (i) be licensed (in good standing) to practice in your jurisdiction; (ii) carry malpractice insurance, and (iii) be a current member of INTA. To learn more, contact us.
Pro Bono Toolkit
Register by May 21, 2021
We're here to help on a range of IP and trademark related issues. Qualified applicants worldwide can consult with volunteer trademark attorneys at no charge.
Register by June 7, 2021
We encourage our member trademark attorneys to participate. It’s a gratifying way to do something good and to satisfy some pro bono hours!
A Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities in 84 Jurisdictions
Prepared by Latham and Watkins for the Pro Bono Institute. Dated March 2016.
Lawyers Alliance of New York
Network dedicated to expanding the availability of pro bono business legal services for nonprofits
Referrals to local legal aid and public interest law offices
Pro Bono Spotlight
Greenberg Traurig | Atlanta, Georgia, USA
A self-proclaimed “logician with a law degree,” Joel Feldman (Greenberg Traurig, Atlanta, Georgia, USA) has been with the law firm. for more than 14 years. He serves as Vice Chair of the firm’s Global Trademark and Brand Management Group, and mentors many of the firm’s rising trademark law superstars.
Mr. Feldman continues to be active in professional trade organizations like INT and is currently serving his first term on the Pro Bono Subcommittee of the newly established Brands for A Better Society Committee.
It’s only fitting that he sits on this Subcommittee. Paying it forward through pro bono legal work and community service are extremely important to him.
Mr. Feldman is a University of Florida alumni—a die-hard fan of the university’s Florida Gators football team. A fellow University of Florida alumni, 2010 Olympic Gold Medal bobsledder Steve Mesler reached out to Mr. Feldman shortly after the Olympic games to discuss branding for a new nonprofit endeavor to provide Olympic and Paralympic athlete mentors and content to underprivileged classrooms. Mr. Feldman jumped at the opportunity and has dedicated hundreds of hours to serving as the U.S. pro bono counsel for the project, called “Classroom Champions.”
Of the volunteerism, Mr. Mesler remarked, “When I founded the organization in 2010, Joel jumped at the opportunity to help out, which at the time was surprising given that he was a 30-year-old attorney at one of the world’s biggest law firms trying to grow his practice, start a family, and build a business. But what I’ve come to know and admire about Joel is how incredibly giving he is of his time, network, and expertise.”
The Olympian noted that Mr. Feldman. found the time to make sure he was on every call, prioritized pro bono work with the organization’s trademarks, and helped grow different areas of the nonprofit.
“His want to give and help others is truly impressive, and something you don’t come across on a daily basis,” Mr. Mesler said.
In addition to his pro bono legal work, Mr. Feldman is also active in giving back to the community in other ways. He is on the American-Jewish Committee Atlanta Board of Councilors, a supporter of his synagogue, Ahavath Achim, and a facilitator for Leadership Buckhead and LEAD Atlanta.
Mr. Feldman has also been recognized for his professional success by the Fulton County Daily Report, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Super Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, and Lexology’s Client Choice. In fact, he is one of only 12 intellectual property attorneys in Georgia ever to receive the Client Choice award since its inception over a decade ago. In 2020 World Trademark Review recognized him as one of three “gold tier” trademark attorneys in Georgia.
When he has time off from his busy schedule, Mr. Feldman loves to spend time with his wife and two sons, including serving as the assistant coach of their Little League. His other hobbies include watching the Atlanta Braves baseball games, playing tennis, participating in escape rooms and karaoke, doing puzzles, reading fiction, collecting sports cards, and attending concerts.
When asked what he is most proud of about himself or his life, he cited the mentorship of his sons and younger colleagues at work, noting: “My mentors really shaped my personal and professional experiences, and I think it’s important to continue the cycle.”
Written by Susan (Weller Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., Washington D.C., USA)
Parker Advocaten | Amsterdam, Netherlands
When Micheline Don is not practicing what she describes as “a mix of soft IP,” she is chairperson of Reprieve Netherland, the Dutch branch of Reprieve USA, which she founded with other Dutch-based former volunteers to provide U.S. firms working on death penalty cases with temporary volunteer Dutch interns. Motivated by her own life-changing experience taking a sabbatical and working six months as a paralegal at a capital defence firm in Texas, Ms. Don is now keen to raise awareness among Dutch people as to the human rights issues associated with capital punishment while providing U.S. firms that are fighting for clients on death row with much-needed legal assistance.
While a very different experience than her IP practice, Ms. Don credits her time in Texas as changing her outlook both in her work and in life. Always keen to pursue social justice issues in her youth and envisioning herself as a defender of people’s rights, the experience provided her with a renewed resolve to seek opportunities to effect positive change. It is this same commitment to act against injustices―small or great―that motivated Ms. Don to join INTA’s Pro Bono Committee (now under the umbrella of the Brands for A Better Society Committee). To her, pro bono IP work has an important role: “Many people/small companies are focused on getting their businesses up and running. They put in a lot of effort and (serious) personal investment, but oftentimes are not aware of the role of IP―that it can strengthen their position, but also that it can pose a threat to their business if they infringe someone else’s IP. It is therefore important to create awareness and offer assistance to those who need it but may not be aware that they do, or may not (yet) have the means to seek legal counsel.”
Ms. Don has been a regular INTA Annual Meeting attendee throughout her 20 year career, taking her six month sabbatical at the six year mark. She currently advises, litigates, and does transactional work in IP, and IP-related aspects of IT and commercial contracts and is a partner at Parker Advocaten.
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