Thirty Five Years!

Spring is fast approaching here in the Washington D.C. area and with spring comes the Annual Patent and Trademark Resource Center Training Seminar. This year we will be celebrating the 35th training seminar.

I can remember the big bash we threw to celebrate our 25th year –dinner at the newly renovated United States Botanic Garden with music by the “Old Time Players,” Jim Miller and David Morrison. The festivities featured a plant patent that was originally issued during the first conference held April 18-20, 1977. Samples of the plant, a nectarine, were included in the table decorations. The evening was a very special occasion so everyone dressed up and we had great speeches from staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), members of the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Association, and invited dignitaries including U.S. Congressman Howard Coble.

The speeches addressed the beginnings of the program and the great accomplishments that had been made over the years under the leadership of Carole Shores and Martha Sneed. Amanda (Mande) Putnam, the program manager at that time, then spoke about the future. But while Mande and everyone else expected the future to be bright, no one envisioned the comprehensive changes that would take place in the program over the next 11 years.

The changes the PTRC Program went through were many and varied – some small, some not so small. The office moved from Crystal City, Virginia to the USPTO new headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Mande Putnam went on to greater responsibilities within the USPTO. The program moved forward in its rebranding efforts and emerged as the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program (PTRCP) – no longer to be known as the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program (PTDLP). The old model of depository paper copies fell by the wayside and the new model of electronic delivery became the standard. Training formats expanded to include CBTs, video conferencing and webinars. But even with all these changes the commitment to training remained a constant. The need to serve PTRC customers with correct and up to date information is the key foundation of the program. Today our program has been revitalized, our priorities have been clarified and we are more than ever focused on our customers’ needs and training.

Thanks to each of you the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program is well positioned to continue advancing our mission with ever-growing levels of success. I would like to extend my personal thank you to our hard-working representatives and their supporting institutions. Your energy and commitment are what have made this program a continuing success. I look forward to the future knowing that it will be one shared with a highly dynamic group of individuals.

Christine Kitchens, Manager
Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program

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