Notes on Becoming a Patent and Trademark Resource Center
The term "Patent and Trademark Resource Center" (PTRC) refers to a library which has made commitments to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to provide public accessibility to products and services, offer patent and trademark training, provide reference assistance and outreach to the public, and collect metrics to demonstrate use of the resources.
Recognition as a PTRC is authorized under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 2 (a) (2) (which provides the USPTO shall be responsible for the disseminating to the public-information with respect to patent and trademarks) and 35 U.S.C. § 12 (which provides for the dissemination of agency information to libraries for an annual statutory fee, currently set at $50).
To be designated a Patent and Trademark Resource Center, a library must fulfill the following requirements:
- Assist the public in the efficient use of patent and trademark information resources.
- Provide free access to patent and trademark resources provided by the USPTO.
- Provide metrics on the use of patent and trademark services provided by the member library as stipulated by the USPTO.
- Provide metrics on outreach efforts conducted by the member library as stipulated by the USPTO.
- Send representatives to attend the USPTO-hosted PTRC training seminars generally held on an annual basis.
Recognition as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office reflects support and commitment from the USPTO. The library will receive training and assistance necessary to acquire understanding of the basic provisions of patent and trademark protections as well as the search tools needed to access patent grants and trademark registrations. Additionally, established PTRCs receive on-going assistance to execute their program responsibilities.
Further, the USPTO holds an annual training seminar for representatives from all of the PTRCs. These meetings provide the opportunity for information exchange among the library representatives and the USPTO staff. The seminars serve as a useful tool to formulate and establish activities and events that contribute to more effective utilization of PTRC products and services. The seminars also serve to re-affirm the USPTO mission to disseminate patent and trademark information to the public. As a result, all PTRCs are expected to be represented at each annual training seminar.
Questions or requests for further information about Patent and Trademark Resource Centers should be directed to: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450. For telephone inquiries, please contact the office at 571-272-5750.