Processing

Please wait...

Inventors

Fold out
Who can apply for support through the IAP?
Who can apply for support through the IAP?
Inventors (individual or as a part of small or medium business entity) who live in an IAP participating country and meet the local eligibility criteria (check here) can apply for support through the IAP.
Fold out
Are there any specific criteria for applying for support through the IAP?
Are there any specific criteria for applying for support through the IAP?
To qualify for the IAP, you (an individual or entity) must:
  1. live in an IAP participating country (check here);
  2. demonstrate basic knowledge of the patent system (by successfully completing the IAP online course or having a patent application);*
  3. meet the financial criteria to qualify as "under-resourced" and have an invention that qualifies for the IAP, according to the standards in the participating country (check here specific national eligibility criteria). The National Screening Board determines eligibility in each participating country.
*some participating countries require potential beneficiaries to take the IAP online course, even if you have a pending patent application.
Fold out
Is the IAP free? Does the IAP provide direct financial assistance?
Is the IAP free? Does the IAP provide direct financial assistance?

While services provided directly by our volunteers through the IAP is free of charge, no direct financial assistance is offered. The IAP provides support of a patent specialist in your country and in selected jurisdictions. These include professional services associated with apply for a patent (see services offered for further details).

The official costs associated with a patent application (e.g. those costs paid to the patent office) and any out-of-pocket costs necessary to complete your application (e.g. translation of documents) remain your responsibility. Your volunteer patent specialist should describe these costs to you. If you're not sure, ask your patent specialist.

Fold out
How do I apply to the IAP as an inventor?
How do I apply to the IAP as an inventor?
Apply to the IAP using the online application form on the IAP Online Platform. You will need to create a WIPO Account if you do not already have one.
The application form will automatically show your contact details from your WIPO Account. If these have changed, you can update your account using the pencil icon.
Make sure to describe your invention well, including how it provides an improvement over other similar solutions.
You will also be asked to confirm your financial eligibility for the program. Your country’s focal point may ask you for additional documents to establish your eligibility.
When finished, press the "Submit application" button at the bottom of the screen.
If the process is finished successfully, you will receive an electronic notification with your IAP Case ID. You can use this number to follow up with your application.
Fold out
What happens after I apply to the IAP?
What happens after I apply to the IAP?

After being submitted through the IAP Online Platform, you may be asked to provide further details regarding your invention or eligibility by your countrys focal point. Your application will not be considered for support until these details are provided.

Once complete, your application will be reviewed by the National Screening Board. The National Screening Board considers your eligibility and the volunteers available in your country. Then you will be matched with a qualified patent specialist who will assist you in securing patent protection for your innovations. At any stage, you might be requested to provide additional information. A notification with the details of the patent specialist, as well as notifications requesting additional information will be sent to your email, relevant communication will also be available on the IAP Online Platform.

For more details see How it Works for Inventors.

Fold out
What services are offered to inventors selected for support in the IAP?
What services are offered to inventors selected for support in the IAP?

Through the IAP, volunteer patent specialists provide pro bono services related to the obtaining of patent protection, including:

  • drafting and filing patent applications;
  • managing patent applications, including filing divisional applications, amendments, conversions, withdrawal, and requests for substantive examination and publication;
  • other correspondence with the patent office;
  • prosecution before the patent office.

The precise scope of services will be defined on a case-by-case basis, through agreement between the applicant and the attorney. Litigation and commercialization services are outside of the scope of the IAP.

Fold out
Can the IAP help protect other types of intellectual property rights besides patents?
Can the IAP help protect other types of intellectual property rights besides patents?
No, the pro bono assistance provided under the IAP is limited to patent and utility models matters only.

Volunteers

Fold out
Who can volunteer for the IAP?
Who can volunteer for the IAP?

The IAP supports under-resourced inventors and small businesses in participating countries. Patent specialists qualified to practice before their local patent office can offer their services to the IAP. This includes patent attorneys and agents in participating countries and selected jurisdictions. In some countries, in addition to patent attorneys and agents, the IAP accepts other types of volunteers including patent drafters.

Please note that volunteers must accept the IAP Guiding Principles to participate

Fold out
What if I'm from a country that is not currently supported by the IAP?
What if I'm from a country that is not currently supported by the IAP?

If you are a patent attorney or agent from a country not currently supported by the IAP, we still encourage you to apply as a volunteer. We are continually working to add new countries. Supported countries currently include IAP participating countries, countries party to the European Patent Convention and the United States of America. If the country where you practice joins the IAP, we will let you know. We encourage you to reach out to your local patent authorities to consider joining the program.

Fold out
What services do volunteers offer to the IAP?
What services do volunteers offer to the IAP?

Volunteer patent specialists provide pro bono services related to the obtaining of patent protection to inventors who would not be able to bear the costs of such services on their own and therefore are selected for support in the IAP. The services can include:

  • drafting and filing patent applications;
  • managing patent applications, including filing divisional applications, amendments, conversions, withdrawal, and requests for substantive examination and publication;
  • other correspondence with the patent office;
  • prosecution before the patent office.

The precise scope of services will be defined on a case-by-case basis, through agreement with the inventor. The level and quality of services must not be different from that provided to paying clients.

Fold out
How do I apply as a volunteer to the IAP?
How do I apply as a volunteer to the IAP?
Volunteers should complete the online application form on the IAP Online Platform. You will need to create a WIPO Account if you do not already have one.
The application form will automatically show your contact details from your WIPO Account. If these have changed, you can update your account using the pencil icon.
Make sure you have provided all required details/data, including details about your qualifications, technical skills, level of experience, services you are able to provide.

Finally, please note you will be requested to accept the IAPs Guiding Principles to become a volunteer.

Upon reviewing your application, we will get back to you about your acceptance into the Program.

Attorneys or agents who can practice in more than one jurisdiction may offer their services in multiple countries.

Fold out
How are cases assigned to volunteers?
How are cases assigned to volunteers?

Applications selected by the National Screening Board, are matched with a volunteer. Matches are based on the technical field of the invention, a common language between the beneficiary and the volunteer, and when possible, physical location.

Once assigned, the volunteer has an opportunity to review the case to confirm availability and ensure there are no conflicts of interest. Once confirmed, the inventor will be notified and requested to contact the patent specialist and schedule an initial meeting.

Fold out
How should I confirm my availability and accept the case?
How should I confirm my availability and accept the case?
When you are assigned a case, you will receive a notification asking you to accept or reject the case in the IAP Online Platform.

You will be able to review some details concerning the applicant and the invention to perform conflict check and to confirm your availability.

When you accept a case, the inventor will be automatically notified and will receive an email with your contact details to set up an initial meeting. From there, a client relationship forms. We recommend you enter into an agreement that explains the services you will provide and describes obligations of confidentiality. For a sample form, click here.

Fold out
What if I'm not available or have a conflict for an assigned case?
What if I'm not available or have a conflict for an assigned case?

If you are not available when a case is assigned, or if you identify a conflict of interest, the case will be reassigned to another volunteer. Please be sure to reject the assignment on the IAP case screen as shown here.

When you log in, you will see all your assigned cases. Select the case you want to reject, click on "Confirm assignment" and then on "Reject".

Indicate the reason for rejecting and press the "Reject" button.
Fold out
How do I update information for an assigned case?
How do I update information for an assigned case?
Volunteers can see the status of their assigned cases and update them on the IAP Online Platform. When you log in, you will see a dashboard with all your assigned cases. Click on the case you want to update.
On the IAP Case screen, you can select "Filings" from the top or scroll down to find the Filings section.
Hover your mouse over the filing you want to update and "Add milestone".
Please select the appropriate milestone and date. If the patent application number or patent number is available and not yet included in the record, please update the field as well. You may also provide any relevant comments. Finally, please indicate the amount of time you spent supporting the volunteer for the milestone you are updating. This helps us quantify the value provided to the volunteer.
Fold out
I have a service that I would like to offer IAP inventors. How can I tell you about it?
I have a service that I would like to offer IAP inventors. How can I tell you about it?
If you are volunteering as a patent attorney or agent to support the patent application process, please complete the online application form on the IAP Online Platform.
You may also update information in the tool later.

For all other potential collaborations, please write to us at via email iap@wipo.int.

Focal Points

Fold out
How do I view applications for the program?
How do I view applications for the program?
You have the access to the IAP dashboard for your country on the IAP Online Platform where you can see all application and the case status, including all pending actions, for your country. You can view this screen when you log in.
Fold out
How do I select or reject a case?
How do I select or reject a case?
You can select or a reject a case using the Screening Board functionality. You can also do this directly from the IAP case screen under "Eligibility". Watch this short video for more details.