The Florida Regional Independent Inventors Conference wrapped up over the weekend of April 27-28 at the Embassy Suites, located on campus at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The conference, cosponsored by Invent Now and the National Academy of Inventors, once again provided innovators and small business owners with a wealth of information and opportunities to meet one-on-one with intellectual property experts from the USPTO and private industry. Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea delivered the keynote address on Friday afternoon. In addition to Rea, plenary speakers included Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy Drew Hirshfeld; Chairman and Founder of TVGoods, Inc. and Chariman of As Seen On TV, Inc. Kevin Harrington; Executive Director of the United Inventors Association of America Mark Reyland; CEO of Innovative Product Technologies Pam Riddle Bird; 2010 Collegiate Inventors Competition winner Mark Jensen; and many more.
Afternoon breakout sessions provided conference-goers with general information on the patent and trademark process, including tutorials on patent and trademark searching, claim drafting, patent prosecution, and the impact of the America Invents Act on independent inventors and small business owners. In addition, there were special sessions that included a discussion of local resources available to Florida inventors and an overview on how inventors can protect their intellectual property in the global market.
As always, the USPTO enjoyed the opportunity to meet with its stakeholders in person and provide assistance to the innovators and future innovators that shape our economy and way of life.