USPTO Honored by Computerworld and Smithsonian for Internet Patent Database

Press Release

Brigid Quinn
Maria V. Hernandez

The U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was named one of five finalists in the Government and Non-Profit Organizations category of the 2000 Computerworld Smithsonian Awards for the agency's Patent Full-Text and Image Database.

The prestigious Computerworld Smithsonian program recognized USPTO's Patent Full-Text and Image Database as the first-ever public interest access to more than two terabytes of full-resolution images of more than two million recent patents. Program judges also credited the database with spurring innovation and helping avoid efforts that duplicate already-patented inventions.

"We are pleased that the USPTO's Patent and Full-Text and Image Database was recognized as one of the best," said Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Dickinson continues, "Advancements in science and technology form the backbone of the American economy. Patents are a crucial early step in stimulating the economy. USPTO's database, which is updated weekly with the latest in patented technology, will stimulate American creativity and invention, helping this nation remain in the forefront of researching, developing and marketing new products."

The Computerworld Smithsonian Program, founded in 1988, recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated vision and leadership as they strive to use information technology to benefit society. A panel of distinguished judges, (three in each of the categories) chosen on the basis of high standing in their field, personal leadership, and experience, selected 51 finalists in 10 categories from a total of 444 laureates, whose work was nominated for an award. This year 71 nominations were submitted in the Government and Non-Profit Organizations category.

USPTO, a user fee-funded agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce, administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office advises the Secretary of Commerce and other Federal departments and agencies on intellectual property policy matters. Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790. Last year USPTO issued 161,000 patents and registered 104,000 trademarks.

- # # # -