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InterDigital Legal Making a Difference via the DE Patent Pro Bono Program

September 9, 2016 / Posted By: Kelly Capizzi

Beyond grateful. This is the phrase local inventor, Charles Paris, uttered when asked about his recent experience working with a few members from InterDigital’s legal team. Charles, along with partner Karen Parenti, needed assistance with a patent application for audio loud speakers, so they turned to the Delaware Patent Pro Bono Program, which introduced them to a small team comprised of individuals from InterDigital’s legal department.  

The Delaware Patent Pro Bono Program launched in November 2015 as part of the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) program that aims to provide free legal assistance to under-resourced inventors interested in securing patent protection for their inventions. The program is a collaborative effort of the Delaware Law School and registered patent attorneys of the Delaware bar, along with assistance from the USPTO.

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Pictured: Karen Parenti, Charles Paris and John Gillick with the audio speaker casing at InterDigital's Delaware office.

InterDigital’s John Gillick, Senior Patent Counsel, saw the opportunity to participate in the Delaware Patent Pro Bono Program and registered to be listed individually as one of the available patent attorneys.  John expressed his interest to get involved with a number of his colleagues, who proceeded to volunteer in supporting roles. In February, John came across Charles’ submission and after a brief interview agreed to help with writing the patent application.  

John made a visit to the inventors' home and spent hours thoroughly vetting the invention through challenging questions and prototyping. “We couldn’t have done a fraction of the thorough investigation on our own,” stated Charles. “John’s determination and focus helped us explore the idea to the fullest expression.” After thoroughly vetting the invention, John began the process of writing a patent application for the audio loud speaker casing.  At this time, he pulled in a few of his colleagues to help with execution of numerous drafts. Patrick Igoe, Director, Partner Development, reviewed the application to provide additional input and Kathy Higgins, Patents Administrator Prosecution, assisted with the paperwork required to file an application as well as the extensive filing of the application. Overall, the work resulted in truly a team effort among InterDigital and the inventors!  

This is just one of two projects that the InterDigital legal team has taken on from the Delaware Patent Pro Bono Program this year. The team looks forward to continuing in the program and providing support to under-resourced local inventors in their journeys to secure patent protection.  

Click here to learn more about the Patent Pro Bono Program.