Inventors Eye
Inventors Eye Jun Jul 2011: The USPTO's bimonthly publication for the independent inventor community0

The USPTO's bimonthly publication for the independent inventor community


A Message from the Associate Commissioner

Welcome, everyone, to the latest edition of Inventors Eye. By now, this bimonthly publication has established itself as an important part of the USPTO’s ongoing outreach to independent and small entity inventors. However, we are always looking for ways to improve those efforts and this publication. So I would like to invite readers to suggest story ideas and submit questions we can address in future issues. Also, if you are an inventor and would like to be considered for the “Spark of Genius” feature, send us details about your invention and experience. Please note that we will only consider writing about patented inventions and products. Send all story ideas, questions and suggestions to

In the coming months, you will be hearing more about the USPTO’s expanded efforts to promote American innovation and entrepreneurship.  We want to build on our successes and increase outreach to small businesses, entrepreneurs, university-affiliated inventors, women and minority inventors. In the process, we will be putting our “show” on the road. Towards this end, I am pleased to announce that we will be holding two regional independent inventor conferences later this year. They will be held in Pasadena, Calif., this August and Miami in mid-November. For the last several years, we’ve held national conferences on our campus in Alexandria, Va. By holding two regional conferences, more people throughout the country will have the opportunity to attend.  Details for the conferences are still being finalized.  They will be announced soon on and our next issue of Inventors Eye. So, be watching for that and I hope many of you will be able to make one of the conferences.

We also will be working more closely with other agencies of the federal government who support innovation and entrepreneurship. The recently completed “Startup America” events featured in this issue, which we participated in with the Small Business Administration, is one example. We have joined colleagues at the Department of Commerce at the Maker Faire event in San Francisco, and will be joining them again at Maker Faire events in Detroit and New York.

The personal contact and interaction that occurs at events like the regional independent inventor conferences, Startup America and Maker Faire is very valuable, but we also want to do an even better job of exploiting the internet and social media.  We will be tweeting and increasing our Facebook presence. Inventors now have an opportunity to communicate directly with experts at the USPTO every month for an hour via the already established online chats. Beginning in July, the USPTO will be a presenter on the internet radio show, “Got Invention Radio.”  The radio show provides information to inventors by inviting experts in their respective fields and successful inventors to share their experience and answer questions. The USPTO will be on the July 14 show at 8 p.m. EDT.  This provides another opportunity for inventors and entrepreneurs to interact with USPTO experts.  These bimonthly question and answer sessions will be heavily promoted on

All of us on the innovation development team are very excited about the new scope and breadth of our outreach efforts.  None of this would be possible, of course, without the full support we enjoy from the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, David Kappos. He is enthusiastically joined, in that regard, by Commissioner for Patents Robert Stoll.

But, as I indicated earlier, we need your support and ideas as well. So while you are enjoying this issue please be thinking of ways we can better serve you and send them to

Have a great summer everyone!

Richard Maulsby, Associate Commissioner for Innovation Development