An Introduction to Patents and Trademarks - Free Workshop

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is collaborating with the District of Columbia Public Library to offer an Intellectual Property Workshop Series.

Who should attend? Independent inventors, small businesses, students, and individuals who are interested in learning more about intellectual property and specifically how to prepare both a patent application and a trademark application.

The next workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at the Martin Luther King Library located at 901 G. Street, NW Washington, DC 20001. The workshop will be held in Reading Room 220 from 6:30-8:00pm. Workshop Flyer

These workshops are free and open to the public, however seating is limited, so don't forget to RSVP to

Questions? Call 202-727-1161

Patents and Trademarks: The Basics

Learn About

  • Patent Examination Process
  • Provisional Applications
  • Copyright Protection
  • Trademark Application Process


Speaker Bios

Ms. Valencia Martin Wallace
Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Valencia Martin Wallace is a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and The George Washington University, where she earned a Juris Doctorate. She has also received a certificate from the Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Public Administration. Valencia is also a member of the Pauline Newman IP American Inn of Court.

Valencia began her career as an engineer with the Martin Marietta Corporation. She later joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1992 as a patent examiner reviewing applications in solid state technologies. In 1999, Valencia went on to become a Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE) where she was responsible for supervising the examination of applications related to electronic gaming devices and electronic educational devices in Technology Center (TC) 3700. She then transferred to TC 2100 to serve as an SPE in the networking technologies. Valencia has also served on details at the Office of Human Resources (OHR) as the Deputy Director and Acting Director of OHR and the Office of Patent Training as a Class Manager. She was promoted to the position of Technology Center Director in 2008. She also serves as the Executive Lead over the Patents Ombudsman Program. In 2011, Valencia was promoted to the position of Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations, overseeing operations in TCs 2100 and 2400

Elizabeth DoughertyMs. Elizabeth Dougherty
Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition
Office of Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Elizabeth Dougherty is the Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition in the Office of Innovation Development at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity, she develops, implements and supervises programs that support the independent inventor community, small businesses, entrepreneurs and the intellectual property interests of colleges and universities. Elizabeth has spearheaded a number of special projects with federal, state and local governments and private organizations to promote and support invention and innovation in the United States. She oversees a portfolio of ongoing and future initiatives designed to assist independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and underserved communities. Elizabeth received a bachelor's degree in physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a juris doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1996. She is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the Pauline Newman Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, and the Prince George's County Historical Society. Elizabeth enjoys history, living in an 1854 home on the Maryland Historic Register and is the owner of over seventy-five patent models. In addition, she collects other books, documents, and artifacts of USPTO history.

Karla PerkinsMs. Karla Perkins
Senior Staff Attorney, Office of Trademark Quality Review and Training
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Karla Perkins joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 1997 and served as an examining attorney for almost nine years. She currently works as a senior staff attorney with the Office of Quality Review and Training where her responsibilities include reviewing the work of examining attorneys to verify compliance with the USPTO's quality standards, training new examining attorneys, and developing training modules. Before joining the USPTO, Karla worked in a public interest law firm focused on the needs of small business entities. Karla is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and earned her LLM in Intellectual Property Law from John Marshall Law School.


Ms. Susan Anthony
Attorney, Global Intellectual Property Academy
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Susan Anthony is an attorney in the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA), in the Office of Policy and External Affairs (OPEA), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Alexandria, Virginia. Susan handles policy matters relating to copyright, trademark, and domain name issues within the U.S. and internationally and has a broad range of experience and expertise in almost all facets of intellectual property protection and enforcement. Prior to joining the USPTO, Susan worked in the corporate and private law firm sectors. Susan is a graduate of The George Washington University National Law Center in Washington, DC, and a long-time resident of Arlington, Virginia.


Previous Workshop Highlights

The first workshop was held on Tuesday, May 21 at the MLK, Jr. Memorial Library in Reading Room 220. Thirty individuals attended the inaugural workshop, which included a brief introduction to the USPTO and high-level overview of patent and trademark laws, rules and available USPTO resources. Presenters for the introductory workshop were John Calvert, Senior Advisor for Innovation Development and Craig Morris, Managing Attorney for Trademark Outreach. Below are photos from the May 21st workshop. Questions ranged from "how much does a patent cost?" to "should you conduct a trademark search before filing an application?" Want to learn more check out inventor resources on the Office of Innovation Development's Inventors Resources Page. For trademark specific information visit Trademark Information Network (TMIN). Be sure to check out the videos!

Photo of the audience and instructor at a previous workshop at the libraryPhoto of instructor Craig Morris on a lecturePhoto of workshop attendeesPhoto of workshop attendees and lecturer from the back of the roomPhoto of a lecture from the back of the roomPhoto of instructor Craig Morris giving a lecturePhoto of audience at a library lecture