Businesses with an annual turnover exceeding £100,000 or individuals with an annual income above £45,000 will not generally be eligible to receive support from IP Pro Bono.
Before making an application
Think about the documentation and other supporting information you will need to provide to enable IP Pro Bono to assess your eligibility and, if you are eligible for support, to assign an IP professional to your case.
As a minimum you will require:
Personal details including your name, street address and full contact details (email and telephone).
Personal financial information. If you are a sole trader or a company, you will need to provide a copy of your most recent accounts.
The names, addresses and contact details of all of the parties who have contacted you in relation to your case, or who you have contacted or might need to contact.
A summary of what has happened and what IP rights are owned by which people.
Copies of all documents and correspondence you have created or received in relation to your case. This should include written or email correspondence from any legal professional representing other parties and any documents received from the court. If correspondence has been received on paper you may make a scanned copy yourself or you should contact the person who has written to you and ask for the document in electronic form.
Send the completed application form and all supporting documents to IP Pro Bono using the 'Apply Now' button below. Unfortunately, IP Pro Bono can only consider applications received via this website, with electronic copies of all documents. It cannot consider paper documents.
A case officer will contact you. The case officer may have further questions. If the case officer is unable to offer you pro bono services, they may be able to suggest other providers. The case officer may also suggest conditions attached to an offer of help.
Generally the service will be looking to resolve your dispute as quickly and economically as possible. The service does not offer a legal representative to act from the beginning to the end of a dispute to be fought before the courts. The service will look to provide you with assistance to help you run your case or an aspect of your case.
The case officer is an intellectual property professional. The case officer will not be advising you on your problem. The case officer will be managing your application and attempting to find the right professional firm to help you. IP Pro Bono makes no guarantee that the case officer will be able to find a legal firm or IP professional prepared to accept your case, as each case will be assessed on its merits.
The case officer will also identify what you can expect from the professional representative you are referred to and how much of your dispute that professional representative or their firm will be able to help you with. Once the case officer has found you a professional representative to assist or informed you that IP Pro Bono cannot assist, their role will be finished. If you need further assistance at a later stage and the original professional representative can no longer assist, then you should make a new application for assistance.
The IP Pro Bono service helps those who help themselves. If you are a litigant in person and feel out of your depth, the service may be able to help you find advice or an advocate to help you through a particularly difficult stage.
Resources are obviously limited and this service is not designed to take work away from professional firms, who expect to be remunerated for the services they provide.
In the unlikely event you have any problem with any the services provided by your case officer, you can refer the matter to the IP Pro Bono Committee who will be able to inform you of the options open to you. If you have a complaint about the service that is provided to you by an assisting firm or IP professional, then you should use the complaints procedure in place at that firm in just the same way as any other client would.
There is no appeal against any refusal to assist if the case officer determines that you have adequate financial assets to take paid professional advice or that your proposal does not otherwise meet the criteria for assistance from IP Pro Bono.