WASHINGTON - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that its nationwide network of Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs) will become known as Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) on October 1, 2011. The name change signifies a major shift in focus from the "paper depository" concept to an expansion of access to electronic information and specialized training to meet the information needs of 21st Century patent and trademark customers.
Currently, PTRC designated libraries can be found in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This network of more than 80 public, academic, state and special libraries assists a variety of customers including inventors, intellectual property attorneys/agents, business people, researchers, entrepreneurs, students and historians.
"PTRCs serve as the face of the USPTO in local communities and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that ensures that potential filers have the local resources necessary to draw on for support as they begin their quest for commercial success with their intellectual property," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos.
In addition to offering free electronic services and resources designed to support the intellectual property needs of local and state patrons, PTRC's employ USPTO-trained librarians to provide customer assistance on the use of the agency's patent and trademark databases and public seminars on intellectual property topics for novice and experienced users.
The modern PTRC network has its foundations in the 1800's when Congress provided printed copies of patents to libraries for use by the public. The USPTO established training support and membership standards for these diverse libraries in 1977.
For a list of current PTRC libraries and their locations, see: www.uspto.gov/ptrc.
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