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Patent and Trademark Resource Center: Legal Assistance

Resources for Legal Assistance


The Orono PTRC holds a wide collection of patent and trademark law self-help books, as well as the entire up-to-date Patent Office Rules and Practice. Staff cannot recommend works, but we can assist with the use of our catalog and other finding aids in order to help you to identify works that may help you answer questions of a legal nature.

Inventor's Website

The USPTO assists independent inventors, small businesses, minorities, university affiliated inventors, and other underserved communities through the Office of Innovation Development's Inventor's Website. 

Pro Se Assistance Program

Pro Se means "for oneself". If you plan to file a patent application without the assistance of a patent agent or attorney, check out this program. They can provide guides and resources for some of the most common issues that applicants encounter.

Pro Bono Program

Inventors and small businesses that meet certain financial thresholds and other criteria may be eligible for free legal assistance in preparing and filing a patent application.



Unauthorized Practice of Law

While Orono PTRC staff are happy to provide assistance with your search, we cannot offer legal opinion or interpretation of the law. We cannot file applications or determine if a patent or trademark will be approved by the USPTO. We are not likely to be familiar with mechanical, electrical, chemical or other technologies relating to your search. Additionally, we are not trained or licensed legal professionals. This means that we are not able to advise you regarding any legal matters, including whether or not your invention is patentable, nor can we provide legal assistance for you. If your questions require legal opinion or an interpretation of the law, we recommend contacting a patent agent or attorney. A database of registered patent attorneys is available on the USPTO Web site.

Advice for Inventors

5729 Fogler Library · University of Maine · Orono, ME 04469-5729 ; (207) 581-1673

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