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April 21, 1999
#99-12

Contact:
Brigid Quinn/Maria Victoria Hernandez
703-305-8341

Press Release, 99-12

Secretary Daley Announces Free Internet Access to One of Government's Largest Databases

U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daley today unveiled a new Internet database containing text and images of more than 2 million patents and over 1 million registered and pending trademarks. This fully searchable database, which is among the federal government's largest, is available at www.uspto.gov, the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). PTO's website had 45 million visits last month.

"Advancements in science and technology form the backbone of the American economy. Patents are a crucial early step in stimulating the economy. PTO's new database, which is updated weekly with the latest in patented technology, will spur American creativity and invention, helping this nation remain in the forefront of researching, developing and marketing new products," said Secretary Daley.

The patent database contains the text and images of all patents dating back to 1976. The trademark data represents all pending and registered trademarks, and dates back to 1870. The more than 20 million pages in the database comprise two terabytes of modern-day science and technology, and more than 100 years of marketing creativity.

Todd Dickinson acting assistant secretary of commerce and acting commissioner of patents and trademarks, demonstrated the search capabilities of the database. Patents issued to Dr. Bert Vogelstein, a cancer researcher at Johns Hopkins University, and to Alice Klein, Vincent Stanford and Norman Brickman, inventors of speech recognition software used in IBM's Aptiva computer line, were used in the demonstration.

The PTO is the Commerce Departments 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 106,000 trademarks.

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