For the third year in a row, Ballard Spahr has been named Firm of the Year by Georgia PATENTS for its 2017 contributions to the program, which helps solo inventors, nonprofits, and small businesses find lawyers and patent agents to assist in filing patents on a pro bono basis.

Charley F. Brown, an intellectual property attorney and partner in the firm's Atlanta office, accepted the award on the firm's behalf. He is part of a team of 10 Ballard Spahr lawyers who worked with the program in 2017. Nine of the 10 received U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Pro Bono Certificates of Recognition for contributing more than 50 hours of patent pro bono services. The team filed for more patents on behalf of pro bono clients than any other participating firm.

In 2011, Congress enacted comprehensive patent reform, which directed the USPTO to work with intellectual property law associations across the country in order to establish pro bono programs for financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses. To help inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses keep up with large corporations, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts established Georgia PATENTS.

Ballard Spahr has a longstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services. In 2017, the firm contributed more than 43,000 hours of pro bono legal services to a range of recipients, including nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, and arts groups. The American Bar Association announced this week that Ballard Spahr will receive the ABA's prestigious Pro Bono Publico Award this summer in recognition of 30 years of outstanding service and commitment to pro bono clients.

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