Patent Hub News - March 2018

Summer 2018


Three More Patents Issued!

In our last issue, we reported that our first two patents had been issued. We now have three more, with another expected within the next month.

Universal kickstand patent drawingRemovable boot cover patent drawingHandrail belt cleaner patent drawing


  1. Apparatus for use as a universal kickstand. A device for supporting a long-handled tool in an upright position includes a rod comprising an upper section and a lower section, a collar pivotally attached to the upper section of the rod, and a foot pivotally coupled to the lower section of the rod.
  2. Removable boot cover. The ornamental design for a removable boot cover that can change the appearance of boots to allow for display of sports team logos or other designs.
  3. Device for cleaning a moving handrail belt. A self-driven device for cleaning moving handrail belts often found in electric escalators and walkways consists of a roller, fluid container, and fluid transfer apparatus. The present design acts in a way that does not require external power or complex control.


Patent Hub Awards Ceremony

On Thursday, April 5, we will honor the attorneys and law firms that have contributed significant time to helping our inventors over the past year. The USPTO is giving certificates to attorneys and patent agents who have contributed 50 or more hours. A USPTO representative will be at the ceremony to present the certificates.

In addition, the Patent Hub will present awards to law firms whose attorneys have given more than 100 hours, and we will present special awards to two others who have given us significant assistance this year. An invitation will be out soon, and we hope to see you there!


Volunteer attorneys contributing more than 50 hours in 2017:

Justin D. DeAngelis, Quarles & Brady LLP, Chicago, IL

Erin J. Fox, Quarles & Brady LLP, Chicago, IL

Michael B. Harlin, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, Chicago, IL

Joaquin Hernandez, Duane Morris LLP, Boca Raton, FL

Joseph F. Janas, Foley & Lardner LLP, Chicago, IL

Timothy Lohse, DLA Piper LLP, East Palo Alto, CA

Kenneth Matuszewski, Rabicoff Law LLC, Chicago, IL

Emily Miao, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, Chicago, IL

Sudip Mitra, Vedder Price PC,  Chicago, IL 

Benjamin D. Rotman, Rosenbaum IP PC, Northbrook, IL

John Tolomei, IP Services Inc., Palatine, IL

Daniel J. Schwartz, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Chicago, IL

Roger F. Rosanski, Foley & Lardner LLP, Chicago, IL

Oliver Yang, Vitale, Vickrey, Niro & Gasey LLP, Chicago, IL

Law firms contributing more than 100 hours total in 2017:


Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Foley & Lardner LLP

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

Quarles & Brady LLP


Special awards:

Joseph Adamczyk, Patent Engineer, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP
160 Volunteer Hours

RoseAnn White, Legal Secretary, Quarles & Brady LLP
Preparation of USPTO Reports



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 fourth quarter of 2017.

We reported receiving 42 applications during that quarter; we interviewed 24 inventors and placed seven of those applicants with attorneys.


The Hub — By the Numbers Through 2017

Applicants: 426
Interviews Conducted: 275
Applicants Placed with Attorney/Agent: 78
Provisional Applications Filed: 16
Non-Provisional Patent Applications Filed: 44
Design Patent Applications Filed: 3
Chicago-Kent Students Assisting with Patents: 14


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: March 20, 2018Last September, 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. Our February program was devoted to copyright and trademark law, and we'll be back to the patent process for our next program with John Cravero of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff on March 20, with plans to have a speaker on design patents in April.

Attorneys who have given presentations include:

  • Ted Ciacchio, SpencePC
  • Oliver Yang, Vitale, Vickrey, Niro & Gasey LLP
  • Erin Fox, Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Ben Rotman, Rosenbaum IP PC
  • Marci Rolnick Wolf, Lawyers for the Creative Arts

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


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.


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.