Deborah Nevin, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County PTRC
By Barbara J. Hampton, J.D., M.L.S. (PTRCA Associate Member, Southbury, CT) and Jan Comfort, M.L.S., Engineering Librarian, Clemson University, and PTRCA Member (Clemson, SC)
Chuck Malone, Macomb, IL PTRC
Things are going quite well at Detroit Public Library.
The DPL has been a PTRC library since 1871. We have been proud to carry out the mission of this program and continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Our customers depend on us for guidance to get them started on their ideas and hopes for success.
Our Department has undergone many staff changes over the past year. One of our librarians, Genevieve Oldani-Caruso, was promoted to Manager of the Music, Arts and Literature Department and the Popular Library. Roger Morton is currently the Acting Assistant Manager and Documents Librarian. Another librarian, Peggy Hart, retired last year. We have welcomed two new librarians to our Department, Kalana Cooper and Arlene Reese. Our Department is complemented by seven support staff members.
For the last year we have been working closely with the Midwest Regional Office of the USPTO. They have presented several programs at both Main and at our Parkman Branch location. These have included workshops for K-12 students, and a presentation providing an introduction to intellectual property. In early March of this year, Main Library hosted a large USPTO-led program entitled “All About STEM”, directed at an audience of all ages. It consisted of various programming and exhibitors, including high school robotics teams, Boy Scouts representatives, law school-sponsored pro-bono programs and young inventor program directed to primary school students. Participants were provided with seminars covering Intellectual Property and STEM mentorship.
We have reached out to the local business community, and established a Small Business Development Centers to serve their needs. These centers are augmented services provided by our participation in the PTRC program. Businesses usually require a trademark, while inventors seek marketing information and assistance with IP.
We are actively involved in the local area inventor groups. These include the Inventors Association of Metro Detroit (IAMD), the Inventors Council of Mid-Michigan (ICMM). and the Michigan Inventors Coalition, (MIC). The MIC is an umbrella organization covering all of Michigan’s inventor groups. The annual Expo hosted by the MIC is anticipated to be the largest in scope and attendance.
Some of our inventors have made it successfully into the marketplace. Rick Mason of ICMM has invented and marketed the Fridge Guard, which is a simple device to indicate if your refrigerator or freezer has reached an unsafe temperature. His road to success was not easy, but it started with an idea and a patent search. Some of our customers are successfully selling natural cosmetics formulated with their own recipes. We assisted them in protecting their IP, by introducing and explaining the use of trade secrets and trademarks. This helped them to get their products out in the market faster, and they are currently selling well.
Our IP traffic has increased and is continuous, thanks to outreach efforts, including our business classes taught by members of SCORE and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). These classes are held at our Main and Parkman Branch locations.
Roger Morton will be attending the Annual Training Seminar this year, and is excited to learn all of the aspects of IP.