Pro Bono Clearinghouse
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 matches eligible clients facing trademark issues with member attorneys who volunteer to provide services free of charge. This Clearinghouse Program is the only one currently in existence dedicated primarily to trademarks.
The program serves low-income individuals, small- to medium-enterprises, and nonprofit or charitable organizations with low operating budgets that might not have 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.
After a successful pilot program, we are now accepting applications throughout the United States and six countries in Latin America—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico.
For Potential Clients
To confirm your eligibility, please fill out an intake form:
For Member Attorney Volunteers
We encourage attorneys who are members to join our pool of Pro Bono Clearinghouse volunteers. To learn more, contact us.
Pro Bono Toolkit
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
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.
INTA Volunteer Service Award
The INTA Volunteer Service Award for Pro Bono Legal Services Award is awarded in both individual member and organization categories.
We confer two Service Awards:
The INTA Volunteer Service Award for Pro Bono Legal Services by an Individual
Awarded to one or more individuals who have shown a significant commitment to providing trademark and related intellectual property pro bono legal services in support of (a) persons of limited means or other disadvantaged persons; (b) charitable, religious, civic, community and educational organizations that address the needs of persons of limited means or disadvantaged persons; or (c) government or judicial organizations.
The INTA Volunteer Service Award for Pro Bono Legal Services by a Member Organization
Awarded to one or more member organizations that have demonstrated a significant development or expansion of programs for providing trademark and related Intellectual Property pro bono services during the previous year.