Maria V. Hernandez
Washington - As part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Office of Independent Inventor Programs, the PTO has launched a website devoted to independent inventors. The Office of Independent Inventor Programs Resources website will offer educational and outreach programs for independent inventors, covering all aspects of the patent and trademark process, including how to file an application and what's patentable. The link for the Office of Independent Resources website is http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/index.htm.
The Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently opened this new office aimed at meeting the special needs of independent inventors. "America's independent inventors are a valuable intellectual and economic resource," said Q. Todd Dickinson, acting commissioner of patents and trademarks. "It is independent inventors, who discovered the pacemaker, and brought us the elevator, and the liquid crystal display. I want the PTO to do all it can to nurture this boundless creativity by simplifying their access to our patent system," added Dickinson.
The Office of Independent Inventor Programs, which is headed by Donald Kelly, director of Technology Group 3700, works to establish new mechanisms to better disseminate information about the patent process and foster regular communication between the PTO and independent inventors.
The office works to educate independent inventors about invention marketing firms and the scams that may affect these inventors and offer information on avoiding these problems. The USPTO will also maintain a stronger presence at independent inventor conferences by exhibiting and participating in seminars. In FY 1998, America's independent inventors filed 15 percent of the 256,666 applications received by the agency.
The PTO is the Commerce Department's user fee-funded bureau that administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks; advises the secretary of commerce, the president of the United States, and the administration on patent, trademark and copyright protection; and advises the secretary of commerce, the president of the United States, and the administration on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property. Nearly 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790. Last year USPTO issued 155,000 patents and registered 106,279 trademarks.