Awards and Rankings

USPTO Recognizes Ballard Spahr and Firm's Patent Practitioners for Pro Bono Efforts

May 26, 2022

Ballard Spahr and more than a dozen of the firm’s patent attorneys and agents are recipients of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate for 2021, the USPTO has announced.

The certificate recognizes practitioners and firms that “volunteered significant time and effort to help financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses protect their ideas, positioning them to more fully realize their ideas and dreams,” the USPTO said in a recent news release. A record number of participants donated services in 2021, the agency said, and assisted with more than 250 pro bono patent applications filed last year.

The USPTO’s Patent Pro Bono Program was established under the 2011 America Invents Act to foster access to America’s innovation ecosystem. The program created a nationwide network of independently operated regional agencies that match volunteer practitioners with inventors. Ballard Spahr intellectual property attorneys partner with Atlanta-based nonprofit Georgia PATENTS, an affiliate of Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, to connect with inventors and innovators within the state and represent them in applying for patents.

Ballard Spahr is among 23 corporations and law firms that contributed significant hours to one or more participating regional programs in 2021. The individual practitioners recognized by the USPTO for contributing 50 or more hours annually for up to five consecutive years include Ballard Spahr’s Michele A. Kliem, Ph.D., Sandra A. Sciascia-Zirger, Ph.D., Charley F. Brown, D. Brian Shortell, Ph.D., Jonas Jarvholm, Ph.D., and Sommer S. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Along with them, recipients of the 2021 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate include Ballard Spahr’s Joseph P. Anderson III, John A. Chionchio, PE, Thomas A. Donohue, Jonathan P. Hummel, Benjamin D. Kirk, Brian C. Meadows, and Clinton R. South, Ph.D.

For media inquiries, please contact Will Ashenmacher at 612.371.5792.

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