The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recently launched a global pro bono patent programme for developing counties called “The Inventor Assistance Programme” following a successful pilot scheme in Columbia, The Philippines and Morocco.  The programme aims to provide free patent advice from qualified IP lawyers to inventors and start ups (who meet strict criteria) in developing countries which they would not normally be able to afford.  The aim of the advice is to give these inventors the best chance of obtaining patents that are key to the commercialization of new products.  The legal advice is provided at all stages throughout the patent process (to include drafting of patent applications, filing of patent applications and subsequent follow up with IP offices).