InventorsEye | April 2010
Inventors Eye
April 20100

The USPTO's bimonthly publication for the independent inventor community

A message from the Under Secretary and Director

I have been greatly gratified by the tremendous response we have had to the first issue of Inventors Eye. I want to thank everyone for their interest and the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received. I am particularly pleased to note that our readers span the globe, from San Diego to Bangalore and that almost 800 new subscribers have signed up since we published the first issue. We look forward to providing you with more interesting stories and helpful information in the months ahead. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming and continue to spread the word to others who might be interested in InventorsEye.

One other note—as we were preparing to send out this issue, we announced a new Ombudsman Pilot Program. The program is another example of the agency's efforts to assist applicants. We will provide more information about the program in the June issue of Inventors Eye. In the meantime, please go to our website,, to learn more.

David J. Kappos

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USPTO director David Kappos presents Yvonne Brill, inventor of the hydrazine resistojet propulsion systems used in most geosynchronous communication satellites, with the Inventors Hall of Fame induction medal. NIHF chairman Edward Gray looks on.

National Inventors Hall of Fame Inducts 16 New Members

At a ceremony held March 31 at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., the 2010 class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame was formally inducted. David Kappos, director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, said, "The 2010 inductees have collectively amassed 387 patents. Their innovations have saved millions of lives, improved the quality of life for countless others and transformed the way just about everyone on the planet communicates, navigates and entertains themselves."

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Provisional Patent Applications: What You
Need to Know

A provisional patent application (PPA) is a patent application that can be used by a patent applicant to secure a filing date while avoiding the costs associated with the filing and prosecution of a non-provisional patent application.

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 Provisional Application for Patent, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office seal
Spark of Genius
Simon Says: Invent.

There aren't many people in the U.S. who have not had a personal experience with at least one of Ralph Baer's many inventions. The 88-year-old New Hampshire inventor and 2010 inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame is credited as being the originator of video game systems that now nurture a $15 billion a year industry.

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 A man sits behind a Simon Says game and other gaming inventions
 One red tulip stands out among a field of yellow tulips
Special Status?

The USPTO has a procedure to advance an application for examination.
 An old timey calendar
Where Inventors Meet

Inventors Network of the Capital Area meets April 26th at the USPTO's Alexandria campus.
 A graphic of a network of people

Organizations and resources for the independent inventor community.
in this issue
The National Inventors Hall of Fame
Sixteen new members inducted
By Jeff Look : Public Affairs
Provisional Patent Applications:
What You Need to Know

By John Calvert : Inventors Assistance Program
Spark of Genius
Simon Says: Invent.

By Jeff Look : Public Affairs
Special Status?
Where Independent Inventors Meet
Organizations for Inventors


past issues


What does the USPTO do
for independent inventors?