Four Alston & Bird attorneys and the firm itself have been recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for their leadership in assisting financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses.
Partner Chris Lightner, associates Tyler McKendrick and Ricky Parker, and patent agent Jima Francia of the firm’s Intellectual Property – Mechanical Patents Team were awarded the USPTO’s 2020 “Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate.” This is the fourth year that Lightner has been recognized with the award, the third year for McKendrick, and the second year for Parker.
In addition to the individual attorney and agent honors, the USPTO recognized Alston & Bird’s patent pro bono leadership with its 2020 “Law Firm Achievement Certificate,” the third consecutive year the firm has earned this honor.
“I want to thank all of the recipients for their commitment to helping under-resourced inventors and small businesses in what was an especially challenging year for so many,” said Drew Hirshfeld, performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “The work of these practitioners helped contribute to the 273 pro bono patent applications we received in 2020. Because of their service, the innovation economy is stronger.”
In 2020, more than 100 volunteer patent practitioners and 28 law firms were recognized with the award for reporting 50 or more hours of patent pro bono service to a regional patent pro bono program. The regional patent pro bono programs for Alston & Bird are Georgia PATENTS and the North Carolina Bar Foundation.