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September 10, 1999
#99-28

Contact:
Kim Byars
Maria V. Hernandez
703-305-8341

Press Release, 99-28

PTO to Hold Fourth Annual Independent Inventors Conference

Celebrating America's heroes

The Commerce Department's Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will hold a two-day conference on September 24 and 25, 1999, in Houston, on the topics of specific interest to America's independent inventor. The conference will be held at the Radisson Hotel Astrodome Convention Center, 8686 Kirby Drive, Houston. Acting Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Q. Todd Dickinson will be the keynote speaker on Saturday, September 25th at 9 a.m. The Independent Inventors Conference is the fourth in a series of conferences sponsored by the PTO. Previous conferences were held in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco.

"America's independent inventors are a valuable intellectual and economic resource," notes Q. Todd Dickinson. "It is independent inventors, who discovered the pacemaker, and brought us the elevator, and the liquid crystal display. I want the PTO to do all it can to nurture this boundless creativity by simplifying their access to our patent system," added Dickinson.

In April of this year, the PTO opened a new office aimed at meeting the special needs of independent inventors. The Office of Independent Inventor Programs (OIIP) establishes new mechanisms to better disseminate information about the patent and trademark processes and fosters regular communication between the PTO and independent inventors. OIIP has a website that offers educational and outreach programs for independent inventors, covering all aspects of the patent and trademark process, including how to file an application and what's patentable. The link for the website is http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/index.html.

Donald Kelly, head of OIIP, along with other PTO officials will address new initiatives in patent automation; how trademarks can help a business; ways to obtain funding; web services; invention marketing scams; invention evaluations; and how to bring a product from workbench to market.

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