IN THE COMMUNITY
Living proof that dreams are busy 24/7.
We believe in access to justice.
What do fort-building, snow boogers and community gardens have in common? They all related to ways in which our firm gives back to the community. It’s an important part of who we are as a team and we all find ways to participate. Our lawyers commit time and financial resources to organizations such as the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program, Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, Volunteer Lawyers Network and the Hennepin County Bar Foundation.
We are passionate about technology! Our lawyers are active in trade organizations such as Medical Alley, Minnesota High Tech Association, United Inventors Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery.
Patent Pro Bono
Members of our team were instrumental in launching the first-ever patent law pro bono program and an initiative to spread the program across the country.
In 2010, Patterson Thuente IP hosted then Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), David Kappos, as our keynote speaker for the Annual Patterson Thuente IP Lecture at William Mitchell College of Law. In passing, Director Kappos said he wished there was a way to provide pro bono legal services to independent inventors, but thought it impossible because earlier attempts had failed. “You’ve come to the right place,” said Jim Patterson, knowing that Minnesota was quite possibly the pro bono legal services capital of the world.
Over the next several months, Jim gathered a team of professionals from the Twin Cities legal community and, with support from the USPTO, the team concepted, raised funds and launched a first-of-its-kind program to provide free legal counsel to independent inventors wishing to patent their inventions.
It’s now called the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program (IAP). On October 25, 2013, an official charter was signed in the chambers of Chief Judge Randall R. Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, forming the AIA Pro Bono Advisory Council. Three of our attorneys sit on the council, which supports and guides existing and newly formed programs on a long-term basis.
Through the LegalCORPS IAP, our attorneys have helped a number of inventors obtain patent protection on their inventions, including Halo Ramp Company, Cat Toy Theater, The Snow Booger Remover and the Smooth City Throttle Lock.
- Upper Midwest Jazzed Up About Pro Bono Expansion, IPWatchdog.com, April 2015
- LegalCORPS Provides Pricey Patent Help for Free, Minnesota Business Magazine, April 2015
- Philosophy of Invention, Inventors Eye, March 2015
- Inventive Approach: Minnesota Lawyers Offer Assistance Program for Inventors, Minnesota Business Magazine, February 2014
- Pro Bono Pilot Program MN Helps Independent Inventors Gain Patent Counsel, Inventors Eye, August 2011
- Innovative Help for Innovators, Minnesota Business Magazine, June 2011
- Pro Bono: What they are saying, USPTO website
Resources: Learn more about the LegalCORPS IAP USPTO Patent Pro Bono Information Patent Law Pro Bono: A Best Practices Handbook, (with Privratsky, Mark R.) (2013) Cybaris®: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 1. INCLUDES VIDEO
Roots for the Home Team
Our team helped a local entrepreneur take her idea straight to the big leagues. Susan Moores is responsible for the creation of Roots for the Home Team, a local nonprofit that brings the bounty produced at Twin Cities youth gardens to hungry Minnesota Twins fans at Target Field.
According to Susan: “Roots for the Home Team began as an idea that something cool could happen if we partnered with youth garden programs, purchased the foods they grew, tapped into their bright brains to create delicious salad recipes, then had the youth sell their salad creations to a major league audience. It’s been a home run. Incredible things have sprouted from this venture.” Susan contacted our firm in 2010, needing assistance with the various agreements that were necessary to put the Twin’s stadium program in place. Our team also helped her with trademark registrations and referred her to a trusted business law firm to handle setting up a 501(c)(3). “They were so supportive at a time when I had a lot of doors closing on this idea,” recalls Susan. “They were always very encouraging — that fist pump when you needed it. It was reassuring to know that they had my back, and still do.”
For Susan, the dream has always been to have a program like Roots at every ballpark in America. Since it’s inception, Roots has expanded to include the University of Minnesota Gophers Football games and has projects with Minneapolis Public Schools, The Wedge Co-op, Kowalski’s Markets and Izzy’s Ice Cream. The program also expanded this year with the addition of Appetite for Change a community-led organization in North Minneapolis whose core effort is to encourage urban agriculture.
Fort-building At The Works
The Works is an engineering museum for kids and their families. With exhibits focusing on electricity, simple mechanics, sensors and more, the museum provides an engaging and inspiring experience for the next generation of engineers (and possible patent attorneys). Our attorneys have also had some fun at The Works. The firm has sponsored its annual fall fundraiser called Build it Bash, which involves a fort-building competition. While our team has yet to take home a win, our attorneys enjoyed the challenge and the opportunity to put some of their engineering training to work. Learn more about The Works at www.theworks.org.
2013 Patterson Thuente Build it Bash Team
2012 Build it Bash – Fire Breathing Dragon