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March 21, 2002
#02-22

Contact:
Brigid Quinn
703-305-8341
brigid.quinn@uspto.gov

Press Release, 02-22

Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chair Applauds Patent and Trademark "Field Offices"

Washington - Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, at a reception this evening at the U.S. Botanical Gardens, addressed librarians from 46 states and Puerto Rico attending the Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) 25th annual Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) training seminar.

"The libraries serve as USPTO 'field offices' throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, helping to protect the technology that keeps America competitive in the global marketplace," said Congressman Coble. "In North Carolina, my home state, we have a wonderful patent and trademark library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and I want to thank my good friend, Jim Rogan, the director of USPTO, for the specialized services it offers to help support the exciting new technologies coming out of the research triangle and other parts of the state."

USPTO's 87 PDTLs are a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries authorized to disseminate patent and trademark information and to support inventors, intellectual property attorneys and agents, business people, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, historians and the general public who aren't able to come to USPTO's offices in Arlington, VA. Services at the libraries are free, and include assistance in accessing and using patent and trademark documents; training on USPTO databases; obtaining access to the USPTO Web site; and hosting public seminars.

The patent and trademark depository library program began in 1871 when federal law first provided for the distribution of printed patents to libraries for use by the public. A list of current libraries can be found on USPTO's Web site at www.uspto.gov.

USPTO administers patent and trademark laws protecting intellectual property and rewarding individual effort. Intellectual property is a potent force in the competitive free enterprise system. By protecting intellectual endeavors and encouraging technological progress, USPTO seeks to preserve the United States' technological edge, which is a key to our current and future competitiveness. USPTO also disseminates patent and trademark information that promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.

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 187,824 patents and registered 102,314 trademarks.

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