Fall's featured article

Invention-Con 2017: A Smashing Success

Office of Innovation Development Staff

Invention-Con 2017, the USPTO's conference for inventors, makers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and IP professionals, was held at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 11-12. Over 200 attendees came from across the United States, some as far away as California.

Attendees heard first-hand how other inventors and entrepreneurs successfully maneuvered through the application process and eventually took their products to market. There was also plenty of time to network during breaks and after the daily events.

Each day was packed with breakout sessions, keynote addresses, and panel discussions designed to teach inventors, makers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners more about the process of obtaining patents and trademarks. Breakout sessions covered topics including patent and trademark basics, services and features of the Pro Se Assistance Program, international patent and trademark protection, and the trademark examination process. During these sessions, attendees received the latest, most pertinent information from USPTO subject matter experts. Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld delivered the keynote address, highlighting the USPTO’s mission to support programs and services that foster the protection of intellectual property, which spurs job creation and economic growth.

USPTO employees moderated expert panel discussions on resources and tips, resources beyond the USPTO, and free legal services. Many attendees said they were especially inspired by the panels’ young inventors and entrepreneurs. A special session on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings addressed a variety of inventor questions about PTAB proceedings.

 “I learned so much. It was worth the trip,” commented one attendee. 

“The kid inventors were so inspiring. I wish I had brought my son,” said another.

If you missed this year’s conference, don’t worry; you can view the program agenda and several of the presentations at the convention webpage

Look for more details about Invention-Con 2018 in the coming months. You won't want to miss it.

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Questions or Article Suggestions?

The USPTO gives you useful information and non-legal advice in the areas of patents and trademarks. The patent and trademark statutes and regulations should be consulted before attempting to apply for a patent or register a trademark. These laws and the application process can be complicated. If you have intellectual property that could be patented or registered as a trademark, the use of an attorney or agent who is qualified to represent you in the USPTO is advised.