Foley & Lardner LLP is proud to assist pro bono inventors through the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s (FCBA) regional pro bono program.
Inventor and entrepreneur Mary Burrell of Richmond, Va., applied for assistance through the FCBA, and Foley’s Washington, D.C. office recently helped her secure her first patent.
Burrell is the owner of Joseph’s Designs in Richmond, which offers custom window treatments, interior design services, fabrics and home decor.
Burrell, who has been sewing since she was a child, started her business more than seven years ago after designing custom window treatments for friends. Wanting to help students personalize their dorm rooms, she developed a lightweight window valance that can be held in place by adhesive strips, with no damage to dorm room walls.
She also designed the valance to be portable, affordable, and attractive. Seeking to protect the design, she turned to the FCBA and was matched with Foley.
Kiri Lee Sharon, senior counsel in the firm’s Mechanical and Electromechanical Technologies and Electronics Practices, assisted Burrell with the patent process, including preparing and filing a design application for the window valance.
Burrell said she was thrilled when the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office granted the design patent in July 2019.
“Mary was eager to learn about design patents and the patent process in general,” Sharon said. “She was a delight to work with, and we wish her every success.”
Through the FCBA, Foley has offered dozens of independent inventors and small businesses access to professional legal assistance with their inventions on a pro bono basis.