Frequently Asked Questions

WHO BENEFITS? WHAT IS AT STAKE?

Inventors and Creators benefit because advice on protectable intellectual property is indispensable for the right scope of profit from their inventions and creations.

Participating IP lawyers benefit from pro bono work by increasing their experience professionally, cross-culturally, globally and making contacts with persons who may in due course become paying clients, as their businesses grow.

Governments and the IP System benefit because better advice and representation leads to more legal use of IP assets in the economy as well as reducing the time that governments and IP offices spend dealing with cases and matters that suffer from poor understanding, communication or drafting of essential averments.

Users and consumers benefit as more IP from more countries will become legally available, and by increasing the understanding and use of the IP system, the initiative will lead to yet more innovation and creativity and benefit society as a whole.

WHO SHOULD APPLY TO FIND AN IP LAWYER?

Any holder of IP rights that is under-resourced and faces a potential dispute or controversy in a distant land.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF APPLYING TO FIND A LAWYER?

Any application will be reviewed by the IP Lawyers 4 All steering committee. Upon determining eligibility the applicant will be considered a beneficiary of the pro bono service. Thereafter and subject to availability of one or more lawyers in the target country (where the dispute appears to be centered based on the application), the applicant IP holder will be put in touch with the participating lawyer. From the moment the lawyer and the IP holder set up an initial meeting or teleconference call, IP Lawyers 4 All steps out of the way, and will only monitor the case subject to consent from the beneficiary.

No Attorney-Client Relationship Created by Use of this Website: Neither your receipt of information from this website, nor your use of this website to contact IP Lawyers 4 All, or one of its team members, creates an attorney-client relationship between you and IP Lawyers 4 All. IP Lawyers 4 All is not a law firm; it is a nonprofit initiative working with lawyers who pledge pro bono services voluntarily. You should not use this website to provide confidential information about a legal matter of yours to IP Lawyers 4 All.

DOES THE TERM “PRO BONO” MEAN THAT THERE ARE NO COSTS FOR ANY BENEFICIARY?

There are no costs associated with IP Lawyers 4 All service, namely, to seek to put in touch a beneficiary with participating lawyers best suited for the beneficiaries matter. However, any IP controversy, litigation or dispute settlement process may entail costs and disbursements which an applicant will have to meet, eg communication and documentation costs, costs associated with court proceedings or the registration of IP.

The only service available at no cost to the beneficiary are the services offered to him by the participating IP lawyer(s) identified once a client-attorney relationship has been established with the beneficiary. The attorney fees waived under the Pledge, only as between the beneficiary and his attorney, may however still be recoverable from any opposing side. In such event, these fees remain due and payable, eg by a defendant in terms of a court judgment or under a settlement agreement, and are thus owed to the attorney having offered pro bono services in the first place. Any other costs or obligations, eg to pay the legal costs of the opposing party or paying any court costs or fees as plaintiff or litigant may be incurred at cost for the beneficiary only.