Worried about the daunting prospect of filing a patent? There’s help via a new program from the United States Patent and Trademark Office offering patent process help.

The USPTO’s Office of Innovation Development launched a Patent Virtual Assistance Pilot Program in partnership with select Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) throughout the United States. The pilot program offers one-on-one virtual assistance in a WebEx video conference with a USPTO representative, using a PTRC’s privately located, secure computer. You can get answers to questions, present a draft of your patent application for a cursory review, or other options. (USPTO employees cannot give legal advice or make patentability determinations before an application is filed.)

The first partnership is with the PTRC at the Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As the pilot program continues, the USPTO will seek to expand it to other PTRC locations throughout the country. More information: 866-767-3848 or innovationdevelopment@uspto.gov.