A Message from the USPTO Patent Pro Bono Program

Greetings from the Patent Pro Bono Program!

Patent practitioners are uniquely positioned to help financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses file and prosecute patent applications.   Here is the Pro Bono Flyer that describes the Patent Pro Bono Program in more detail.

Matches are made by local patent pro bono programs.  The local programs screen applicants using criteria that include: (1) household income; (2) knowledge of the patent system, and (3) possession of an actual invention (not merely an idea).

Here in Florida, you can volunteer through the Florida Institute’s FloBono® Program.  Please see www.uspto.gov/probonopatents or http://www.florida-institute.com/FloBono for more information.

As an update to our previous message last year, we are happy to announce a certificate to recognize practitioners who provide at least 50 hours of patent pro bono service to their local pro bono program during calendar year 2017.  The personalized certificates will be signed by Commissioner of Patents Andrew Hirshfeld and William Covey, Director for the Office of Enrollment and Discipline.  In addition, the names of the practitioners will be posted on the USPTO website.  We hope that your membership will take advantage of this opportunity.

Looking for Speakers for  Your Patent Bar Group?

We also welcome the opportunity to speak to your members about the Program at one of your meetings.  Our presentation can include 1 hour of ethics CLE credit when demand is sufficient.  Also, a USPTO representative will be in the Fort Lauderdale/Boca Raton area on March 15 and would be available to briefly discuss the Patent Pro Bono Program upon request.   Please email [email protected] if interested.

Please feel free to contact the Chief Operating Officer of the Florida Institute, Jane Teague, at [email protected].  Also, feel free to contact us with any questions.  Together we can make the Patent Pro Bono Program a lasting success!


Thank you,

The USPTO Patent Pro Bono Team

Grant Corboy
Staff Attorney – Patent Pro Bono Program Administrator
Office of Enrollment and Discipline
Madison West RM 7D20
United States Patent & Trademark Office
(571) 270-3102
[email protected]






8th Annual IP Symposium – Two Weeks from Today!

With a great group of speakers presenting on topics that are relevant to your practice, you won’t want to miss the 8th Annual IP Symposium on March 30-31 at the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale!

Getting 12.5 CLE hours is just icing on the IP cake!

To reserve one of the limited number of rooms, call the Sonesta directly at (954) 315-1460 and use the code 0329FLABAR

A Special Thank You to Our Symposium Sponsors, Keegan & Donato Consulting LLC, Cozen O’Connor and Cherry Bekaert LLP

See you there!

You Are Now Connecting to Work Remotely: Is Your Cybersecurity Up to the Task?

Thanks to our own Second Vice Chair Terry Sanks for sharing an article that he co-authored for the INTA blog titled You Are Now Connecting to Work Remotely: Is Your Cybersecurity Up to the Task?

As lawyers, we are high value targets for cyber-criminals due to the wealth of confidential information in our files.  The article addresses the security issues inherent in our (and our clients’) ever-increasing use of mobile devices.

A link can be found here.



Hotel Reservation Deadline is March 8th for IP Symposium – Don’t Miss Out

The Eighth Annual Intellectual Property Symposium will be held on March 30-31, 2017 at the Sonesta Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.  The planning efforts are being led Jacqueline Tadros, IP Symposium Chair.

The bar has secured $210 /night rate for the Sonesta.  Here is a link to the property.  https://www.sonesta.com/us/florida/fort-lauderdale/sonesta-fort-lauderdale-beach

In order to get the group rate, reservations must be made by March 8.  To reserve one of the limited number of rooms, call the Sonesta directly at (954) 315-1460 with the code 0329FLABAR

About the Symposium:

The event will kick off with a Panel Discussion on Preparing for the IP Board Certification Exam (note:  this is not a review course, but instead a discussion regarding the certification process and the exam) tentatively set for 2:00-4:00 p.m. on March 30, followed by IP Committee Meeting tentatively set to commence at 4:10 p.m.  Cocktail Hour and Dinner will follow on the 30th, followed by a full day of CLE and speakers on Friday, March 31.  

Watch for the flyer coming soon from the Florida Bar, including an official schedule.

See you there!

Oral Argument in Flo & Eddy case scheduled for 4/6/2017

9 a.m., Thursday, April 6, 2017, for those interested.

Oral arguments can be viewed online via www.flcourts.org.

Thanks to Rob McNeely and our friends at EASL for sharing this news.


The Eleventh Circuit certified the following questions for the Florida Supreme Court:


1. Whether Florida recognizes common law copyright in sound recordings and, if so, whether that copyright includes the exclusive right of reproduction and/or the exclusive right of public performance?
2. To the extent that Florida recognizes common law copyright in sound recordings, whether the sale and distribution of phonorecords to the public or the public performance thereof constitutes a “publication” for the purpose of divesting the common law copyright protections in sound recordings embedded in the phonorecord and, if so whether the divestment terminates either or both of the exclusive right of public performance and the exclusive right of reproduction?
3. To the extent that Florida recognizes a common law copyright including a right of exclusive reproduction in sound recordings, whether Sirius’s back-up or buffer copies infringe Flo & Eddie’s common law copyright exclusive right of reproduction?
4. To the extent that Florida does not recognize a common law copyright in sound recordings, or to the extent that such a copyright was terminated by publication, whether Flo & Eddie nevertheless has a cause of action for common law unfair competition / misappropriation, common law conversion, or statutory civil theft under FLA. STAT. § 772.11 and FLA. STAT. § 812.014?