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February 01, 2000
#00-08

CONTACT:
Brigid Quinn
Maria Victoria Hernandez
703-305-8341

Press Release, 00-08

USPTO To Publish Complaints Concerning Invention Promotion Firms

Exercising authority provided by the Inventors? Rights Act of 1999 , the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has adopted interim rules of practice to implement the procedures of accepting complaints about invention promoters and making those complaints publicly available. USPTO is providing the public with an opportunity to comment on these new policies before they are made permanent.

Written comments must be received on or before February 22, 2000. For further information, the full federal register notice can be found at www.access.gpo.gov.

"America's independent inventors are a valuable intellectual and economic resource, and nurturing their ingenuity and creativity is one of my priorities," notes Q. Todd Dickinson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks." Providing a public forum for complaints against invention promotion firms will help independent inventors avoid falling prey to the unscrupulous ones."

In April of this year, the USPTO 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 USPTO and independent inventors. OIIP has a web site 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 is patentable. The link for the Office of Independent Resources website is www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/.

The USPTO is the Commerce Department?s 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. Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790. Last year, the USPTO issued 161,000 patents and registered 104,000 trademarks.

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