The American Library Association (ALA) recently selected the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website as one of the MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites of 2003. MARS is the ALA's Machine-Assisted Reference Section of the Reference and User Services Association, and represents the interests of those concerned with attaining the highest possible quality in planning, developing, managing, teaching or conducting all forms of computer-based reference information services in libraries.
The USPTO website (www.uspto.gov) is one of 29 websites recognized this year by MARS as an outstanding site for reference information. The websites were rated for quality, depth, and usefulness of content; availability; ease of use; currency of content; customer service; uniqueness of content; and appropriate use of the Web as a medium.
Millions of patent and trademark applicants, attorneys, researchers, educators, students and others visit USPTO's Web pages every month. Anyone with Internet access can file a patent or trademark application online. The site also offers electronic access to a wealth of information contained in over 6.6 million U.S. patents and more than two million U.S. trademarks. Certain patent applications and all trademark filings may also be viewed or searched at the website. In addition, the site has a comprehensive collection of patent and trademark information; laws, rules and regulations; information on careers at the USPTO; and special pages for inventor resources and kids.
More information on the MARS Best Free Reference Websites of 2003 is available from http://www.ala.org/rusa/mars.
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