Maria V. Hernandez
In order to support business in the northeast, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently designated a fourth Partnership Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) at the Boston Public Library. The Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program (PTDLP) administers a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries designated as PTDLs authorized to disseminate patent and trademark information and to support the diverse intellectual property needs of the public.
Partnership PTDLs offer access to USPTO specialized services and products on a fee-for-service basis, in addition to the traditional PTDL services, such as assistance in accessing and using patent and trademark documents; training on PTO databases; access to the PTO website; and public seminars, which are offered at no cost. Customers of Partnership PTDLs include individual inventors, patent attorneys and agents, businessmen, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, historians, and the general public.
Partnership for-fee services include examiner interviews utilizing video conference equipment located at the Partnership PTDL; practitioner/public user lectures on specific patent and trademark topics conducted by PTO experts; access to patent and trademark databases otherwise offered only at PTO's Arlington, Virginia campus; and streamlined ordering of foreign and U.S. patent documents and trademark documents. The Partnership PTDLs are also used to pilot new PTO products and services, and serve as direct links between their regions and the PTO. The other three Partnership PTDLs are located in Detroit, Houston, and Sunnyvale, CA.
"The enhanced services available through the Partnership PTDL program will be of great value to the sizable intellectual property community and the business community at large in the Boston area," says Q. Todd Dickinson, acting commissioner of patents and trademarks. "Boston, as well as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have consistently ranked in top 10 lists with the most patent recipients," adds Dickinson.
As the first public library in the United States, Boston Public Library has been an innovator since its founding in 1848, leading the entire public library movement. The Boston Public Library has served as a PTDL since 1871.
The PTO is the Commerce Department's user fee-funded bureau that administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks; advises the Secretary of Commerce, the President of the United States, and the Administration on patent, trademark and copyright protection; and advises the Secretary of Commerce, the President of the United States, and the Administration on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property. Nearly 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790. Last year PTO issued 155,000 patents and registered 106,279 trademarks.