Contact (media inquiries only):
Maria V. Hernandez
The Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been named by the Library of Congress as the Federal Information Center of the Year. In addition, Darcy Bates, a STIC employee, was selected as Federal Library Technician of the Year.
USPTO's STIC was chosen from over 1,200 federal information facilities eligible to receive the award by the Federal Library and Information Center Committee of the Library of Congress, a national organization of federal libraries. Applicants were evaluated on their mission effectiveness, creativity and innovation in services and customer orientation. The Library Technician Award recognizes the winner's service excellence, technical competency, flexibility in adapting work methods and ability to deal with change. The Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, will present the awards in a ceremony in late March.
The Scientific and Technical Information Center serves USPTO's 3,000 patent examiners from six specialized facilities located in the agency's technology centers. STIC has the most comprehensive collection of foreign patents in the United States, as well as a host of domestic and foreign non-patent literature. STIC staff also offers translation services. Last year, STIC staff performed over 22,000 prior art searches for patent examiners and provided examiners with the full text of more than 50,000 articles, foreign patents and books. STIC also provides desktop access to a range of electronic information resources, including 6,000 electronic journals and nearly 5,000 electronic books.
USPTO, a user fee-funded agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce, administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office advises the Secretary of Commerce and other federal departments and agencies on intellectual property policy matters. Over six million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790 and more than 2.3 million trademarks have been registered since the first in 1870. Last year USPTO issued 182,223 patents and registered 127,794 trademarks.