Delaware Public Media

Delaware Law School offers new program for state inventors

Nov 23, 2015

Widener University Delaware Law School launched a new, free public service Monday that will give legal advice to potential inventors.

Delaware Law School dean Rod Smolla says the process of obtaining a patent is a hard one, even for some of our nation’s most famous innovators.


"As a law school Dean, and someone knowing we’d be here today, I was also fascinated by the fact that the Wright Brothers also found the patent process draining, demoralizing, time-consuming," he said at the program's launch Monday afternoon.


Smolla added that his institution doesn’t want what can be a difficult process to discourage “entrepreneurs, and the adventurers and the discoverers here in this state.”


US Senator Chris Coons delivered the keynote address. He said he was thrilled to play a small role in quote, “protecting...the tinkerers.”

 He referred to, "Those inventors who aren’t part of the great industrial enterprise of the companies that have long dominated the country. But who are also those who invent on their own dime, on their own time, with their own resources and their own ideas."  

A new website provides information for prospective inventors, as well as attorneys, agents and law students who want to volunteer with the program.


Successful applicants must meet three conditions to be eligible for the free legal advice.


Their income must be less than three times the federal poverty level, they must have knowledge of the patent system and a truly inventive idea.