Ballard Spahr has been named Firm of the Year by Georgia PATENTS, a program that helps solo inventors, nonprofits, and small businesses find lawyers and patent agents to help file patents on a pro bono basis.

Charley F. Brown, an intellectual property attorney and partner in the firm’s Atlanta office, accepted the award on the firm’s behalf. He is part of a team of nine Ballard Spahr lawyers who worked with the program in 2015. The team filed for more patents on behalf of pro bono clients than any other of the program’s participating firms.

In 2011, Congress enacted comprehensive patent reform, which changed the United States from a “first to invent” patent system to a “first inventor to file” system. To help inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses keep up with large corporations, GLA established Georgia PATENTS.

Ballard Spahr has a long-standing commitment to providing pro bono legal services. In 2015, the firm contributed more than 40,000 hours of pro bono legal services to a range of recipients including nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, and arts groups.

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