Patent Hub News

Fall 2018


Hub Facts

The Chicago-Kent Patent Hub is one of 21 patent hubs around the United States that were created under the America Invents Act to provide assistance to low income inventors. The Chicago-Kent Patent Hub currently has 57 attorneys from 21 law firms providing assistance to inventors. Through June 30, 2018, those attorneys have contributed 4,160 hours to helping inventors.


Three More Patents Issued!

We now have eight patents issued, with three having come within the last quarter. Four more are expected over the next few months.

Gregory Mayworm's patent drawing

Methods and Systems for Predicting and Evaluating Coffee Characteristics
Methods and apparatuses for predicting characteristics of coffee using only a portable communications device having data processing capabilities and an embedded camera. 

Patent No.: 9,940,004
Inventor: Gregory Mayworm
Attorney: Erin Fox, Quarles & Brady


Albert Williams' patent drawing

Portable Tennis Playing Apparatus 
A portable tennis playing apparatus allows players to play the game of tennis in various indoor environments. The portable tennis playing apparatus can be assembled and disassembled easily, and provides the opportunity for the players to not only enjoy the game of tennis but also to improve and hone their skills.

Patent No.: 9,950,235
Inventor: Albert Williams
Attorney: Kyle Yee (Patent Agent), Faegre Baker Daniels


Joseph Prosnitz's patent drawing

Cycle-Type Exercise Equipment Conversion Apparatus and Methods of Converting Thereof
This apparatus for converting a cycle-type exercise machine into another type of exercise machine includes a stationary frame structure that attaches to a frame of the cycle-type exercise machine, a pair of swing arms pivotally coupled with the stationary frame structure, and a pair of coupler bars pivotally coupled with the pair of swing arms on one end and rotationally attached to a crank bar of the cycle-type exercise machine on an opposite end.

Patent No.: 10,039,953
Inventor: Joseph Prosnitz
Attorney: Brian Rupp, Drinker Biddle & Reath


Patent Hub Recognition

James Wilson, Acting Regional Director of the USPTO Regional Office
James Wilson, Acting Regional Director of the USPTO Regional Office

Spring Patent Hub Awards Ceremony

On Thursday, April 5, James Wilson, Acting Regional Director of the USPTO Regional Office, presented awards to volunteers and law firms contributing significant numbers of volunteer hours.

Read more about the awardees.

Q2 Volunteer Recognition

For more recent work, we would like to recognize attorneys who have contributed more than 25 hours during the second quarter of 2018:

Firm Attorney Hours
DLA Piper Tim Lohse and Blake Johnson 36.3  
Foley Joe Janas 28.9
  Aeraj Hauqe 30.4
  Paul Holly 50.4
Incubate IP Randy Micheletti 33.3
Nixon Peabody Peter Prommer 44.6
Vitale, Vickrey, Niro & Gasey LLP Oliver Yang 34


Attorneys contributed 521 total hours during the second quarter.


We're Growing!

We welcome the following law firms to the Chicago-Kent Patent Hub network:

  • Bishop Diehl & Lee
  • Ladas & Perry
  • Fiener IP & Business Law
  • Incubate IP


USPTO Report and Updates

Chart of Patent Hub applications and placements, through 2017We recently submitted our report to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the second quarter of 2018.

We reported receiving 44 applications during that quarter; we interviewed 30 inventors and placed 16 of those applicants with attorneys.


The Hub — By the Numbers Through June 2018

Applicants: 511
Interviews Conducted: 333
Applicants Placed with Attorney/Agent: 107
Provisional Applications Filed: 22
Non-Provisional Patent Applications Filed: 58
Design Patent Applications Filed: 8
Utility Patents Granted: 7
Design Patents Granted:  1


Opportunities to Help

There are many ways you can become more involved with the Chicago-Kent Patent Hub:

  1. Sit in on an interview. We have found it very helpful to have patent attorneys present when we interview our inventors. It has been valuable for the inventor, for the attorney present and for the Hub.
  2. Speak at a Patent Basics session.  The sessions will always be on the third Tuesday of the month, usually from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the law school. The speaker does a short presentation and then responds to questions from inventors.
  3. Teach a group of students how to do a patent search. We are still hoping to be able to offer a session on searches for students who have taken the first patent law course and who are interested in volunteering to work with the Patent Hub. We need attorneys willing to spend about an hour showing students how to do basic searches.
  4. Take a law student. Working with attorneys on drafting patent applications is a very valuable experience for our students. It might take a little extra time, but if you have the time to give, please consider being on our list of attorneys willing to take student workers. We try very hard to make sure it’s a good experience for both students and attorneys. Also, attorneys are now taking students to help with responses to Office Actions. This might be less time-intensive for supervising attorneys.
  5. Help with prior art searches. If you are unable to take the time needed to help an inventor with an application, you can help us with prior art searches. We do not disclose the names of the attorneys or the law firms of those doing searches.

Please contact Mary Anne Smith at if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities.


Certification of Pro Bono Representation

The USPTO now has a Certification of Pro Bono Representation (form code AIA/440), which can be filed for all inventions, both new and those already filed. There is a direct link to a PDF of the short, very simple form under “Miscellaneous Forms” on the page listing forms to be filed with an application.

The sense of the Patent Hub's Advisory Board is that it can only be to the attorney’s advantage to complete the form.


Patent Basics

Patent Basics: October 16, 2018In September, 2017, we began a program to present information about the patent system to inventors and students and to provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions about their inventions or about how the patent system works. The program has continued every month, on the third Tuesday, usually from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

One of our volunteer attorneys gives a short presentation about the patent system and then responds to questions. Attorneys who have given presentations recently include:

  • Oliver Yang, Vitale, Vickrey, Niro & Gasey LLP
  • Ben Rotman, Rosenbaum IP PC
  • Marci Rolnick Wolf, Lawyers for the Creative Arts
  • Richard Stockton, Banner & Witcoff
  • Brad Taub, Nixon Peabody
  • Genna Hibbs, Hibbs Law
  • Randy Micheletti, Incubate IP

Please contact Mary Anne Smith at if you are interested in presenting at a future Patent Basics session.


STEPP Program at Chicago-Kent

The USPTO will offer training at Chicago-Kent this fall to members of the public as part of the Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) program. The STEPP program provides external stakeholders with opportunities to better their understanding of the examiner’s role in the examination process. These courses are led by USPTO trainers and are based on material developed for training USPTO patent examiners and other employees. 

Registration is now open for the next Agent/Attorney 3-Day course, scheduled for November 6-8, 2018, at Chicago-Kent. This course is limited to those who have passed the patent bar for the purpose of representing applicants before the USPTO.  Priority will be given to those having recently passed the patent bar. Training focuses on how patent examiners examine patent applications according to the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). Training builds on itself from days 1 to 3 through the utilization of a sample application. 

CLE accreditation is being applied for in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. STEPP courses are free to attend; however, all attendees are responsible for travel, lodging, and meals.

If you are interested in attending this course, please sign up online.


AIPF Conference in Chicago

The Association of Intellectual Property Firms held its annual meeting in Chicago in late September. Our Patent Hub participated in the program Integrating Pro Bono Work into Your Law Practice.


Make a Gift

Chicago-Kent’s Patent Hub is the only place patent attorneys can volunteer in their area of expertise to help low-income inventors and small businesses get their ideas patented.

We receive limited funding from the USPTO and rely on additional support to review, screen and match cases to volunteer attorneys. Consider making a personal donation to support the Patent Hub or encourage your law firm to be a sponsor. We recognize your law firm’s support by including your firm’s logo on the Patent Hub website, in the quarterly newsletter, and in Patent Hub materials, as well as by recognizing your firm at the Patent Hub volunteer and donor reception. Champion and Partner supporters’ logos are also included in the Chicago-Kent IP newsletter, which is emailed to nearly 2,000 IP lawyers across the country, including approximately 230 in-house counsel.

To learn more, please contact Dana Pownall, director of development, at (312) 906-5234 or, or make a gift online.