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July 28, 2006
#06-52

Contact:
Brigid Quinn
(571) 272-8400 or brigid.quinn@uspto.gov

Press Release, 06-52

Patent and Trademark Experts Advise Midwest Inventors and Entrepreneurs on Protecting Their Intellectual Property

Chicago, Ill. — The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Northwestern University School of Law and the National Inventor's Hall of Fame joined forces today to host the Midwest region's premier conference for aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs. The "Chicago Regional Independent Inventors Conference" taking place today and tomorrow has brought together leading intellectual property experts as well as some of the nation's most inspiring inventors.

"Since the beginning of time, people have been developing better ways to do things, and for over 200 years the American patent and trademark systems have been there to protect and encourage innovation," noted Commissioner for Patents John Doll. "Last year, the USPTO received nearly 410,000 patent applications and more than 323,500 applications for trademarks. The demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs," Doll continued.

During the two-day seminar, experts from various fields are providing over 200 entrepreneurs, inventors and business-owners with useful tips to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights in the United States and around the world. Topics for sessions include patent application preparation, patent searching, licensing, commercializing your idea and resources, grants and funding. Special guest speakers provided valuable insights for conference attendees including Greg Hart, recent winner of the History Channel's Modern Marvels contest; Dr. Forrest Bird, inventor of the Baby Bird respirator that has saved millions of infants' lives over the years; and Louis Foreman, CEO of Enventys, a product design and manufacturing firm and producer of "Everyday Edisons" which will premiere on public television this fall.

The USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame will sponsor another Independent Inventors Conference this fall in Alexandria, Va.

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