WASHINGTON - Earlier today President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum (PM) directing all Federal agencies with research facilities to improve the transfer of research from their labs to the marketplace. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), is piloting a program to provide Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awardees with comprehensive intellectual property support through the agency's small business programs and resources.
"For many small, innovative companies, the ability to grow, hire new employees, and compete effectively in the global marketplace hinges upon securing patent and trademark protection," said David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "Patents have become increasingly vital to securing the financing and investment needed to build and scale businesses."
Since the launch of the Small Business Innovation Research Pilot Program pilot program in October 2011, USPTO has provided educational services through its Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA) which will begin offering monthly webinars covering a broad array of IP topics. USPTO has also provided its new IP Awareness Assessment tool to its first group of 20 awardees. The IP Awareness Assessment tool was developed in collaboration with The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to help inventors and companies assess their IP strategies. The USPTO will continue to work with SBIR grant-recipients to refine the program and provide additional services.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research, Development and Commercialization through a competitive awards-based program that enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. Since 1982, there have been 91,526 Phase I awards and 35,920 Phase II awards to 19,756 SBIR awardees that have produced 80,370 issued patents, 1,517 M&A deals completed and 2,028 Venture Capital funded firms.
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