February's featured article
USPTO and National Women's Business Council Events to Pay Tribute to Women's Innovation and Entrepreneurship
To celebrate Women's History Month in March, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Women's Business Council (NWBC) will pay tribute to women whose whose ingenuity and inventions have improved our lives.
The first event, "Women Entrepreneurs: Celebrating the Past, Inventing the Future," will be held March 1 in the USPTO's Madison building auditorium in Alexandria, Va., and is open to the public. It will highlight the passage of the America Invents Act and one provision specifically that allows the USPTO to begin tracking the gender of patent applicants.
NWBC recently commissioned a comprehensive study on women who applied for and received patents or trademarks over the last 35 years. The results will be released at the March 1 event, but preliminary findings already indicate that the number of women obtaining patents has accelerated in recent years. The largest spike came in 2010, when 22,984 patents were granted to women, a 35-percent jump over the previous year.
Through its research, NWBC is examining the link between women business owners and intellectual property (IP). NWBC is a nonpartisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the president, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. Additional information and registration details can be found at www.nwbc.gov.
The second annual Women's Entrepreneur Symposium will be held in Shreveport, La., March 25-26. U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, chair of the Senate's Small Business Committee, will serve as the keynote speaker and co-host. The event will focus on women entrepreneurs, the importance of IP protection for their innovations, and how to leverage economic opportunities for women-owned businesses. The symposium will also offer networking opportunities with experts in the IP field as well as government and industry representatives who will help attendees gain insight into all facets of the business cycle. Agenda topics include IP in the global marketplace, strategies to leverage IP assets, accessing financial resources, driving business growth by leveraging business relationships, and federal contracting.
The USPTO, Invent Now® and the National Society of Inventors are planning a Tampa Regional Inventors Conference to be held April 27-28 at the University of South Florida's Embassy Suites hotel, with a pre-conference on the evening of April 26. The conference will include breakout sessions by USPTO experts about patents, patent searching, claim drafting, trademarks, trademark searching, obviousness and tips for seasoned inventors.
More information for the Women's Entrepreneur Symposium and the Tampa Regional Inventors Conference will be available soon at www.uspto.gov.
Finally, the USPTO is expanding its nationwide call for nominees for the 2012 National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI). The congressionally authorized medal, the country's highest award for technological achievement, is awarded annually by the president of the United States to individuals, teams of up to four individuals, companies or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to America's economic, environmental and social well-being. By highlighting the national importance of technological innovation, the medal is also meant to inspire future generations of Americans to prepare for and pursue technical careers to keep the United States at the forefront of global technology and economic leadership. Past laureates have been awarded the medal for a wide variety of achievements, and the USPTO seeks to build on this diversity in 2012.
The USPTO administers the medal program on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. Detailed information about the requirements for submitting a nomination, including a nomination form, can be downloaded at the USPTO's National Medal of Technology and Innovation information pages. All completed nominations must be submitted to the USPTO by 5 p.m. ET, March 31.