News from the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program (PTRCP) March 2017

News from the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program (PTRCP)

It is hard to envision a more exhilarating time to be involved in intellectual property.  Interest in Design Patents and Trade Dress has increased markedly in recent years, as anyone who searches the Web for “increasing importance of design patents” or “increasing importance of trade dress” can quickly verify.  Assisting your PTRC customers to locate relevant intellectual property information has never been as challenging or as important as it is today.  New technologies and novel approaches to marketing are moving intellectual property in directions that are simply electrifying.  Even as wrist watches are racing to expand functionality, wearable technology experts are predicting that the next big thing in their sector will be, not smart watches, but smart clothes.

I cannot imagine a better time to be involved in intellectual property or in training the trainers who will directly assist the public.  The PTRCP staff plans our Annual Training Seminar, our site visits, and our Summer Webinar Series to deliver high-quality training that addresses your most important training needs in an effective and engaging manner.  Nothing is of greater value in that effort than your participation and your feedback.

Seminar 39 promises to be an exciting week with a broad range of speakers from USPTO.  We genuinely appreciate the efforts you make to join us.  For the PTRCP staff nothing compares to Seminar.  We also look forward to the opportunity to visit you at your institutions, meet your administrators and colleagues, participate in your public programs, and conduct staff training. Since last March, we have conducted site visits at the PTRCs in St. Louis, Cleveland, Denver, Las Cruces, and Morgantown.  We are always thrilled to hear about the many wonderful things you are doing.  Many PTRCs find opportunities to partner with USPTO in new and exciting ways.  To take just one example, Fort Lauderdale is participating in a Virtual Assistance Pilot Program conducted by USPTO’s Office of Innovation Development.  Our Fifth Annual Report will give you a good idea of the broad array of events the PTRCs host.

This year our news also includes some staff changes here at PTRCP.  Since last March, three members of the PTRCP family have retired:  Michael Hydorn, Alyson Dill, and Tom Turner.  We have also seen two new colleagues join the PTRCP family as librarians—Spruce Fraser and Tiffany Mair—and I was hired as the PTRCP manager.  The transition has been very exciting!  Of course as we take stock of the things that have changed, we should also consider the things that have stayed the same.  The Program’s commitments to excellence in customer service and high-quality training have not waivered.  Moreover, the substantial body of training materials the Program has amassed will continue to provide a solid foundation for designing engaging and relevant intellectual property training.

We sincerely appreciate your hard work and dedication to the PTRC Program.  Your efforts in bringing intellectual property information to your communities is outstanding. As you promote entrepreneurial growth, you make a real difference in people’s lives. All of us in the Program Office look forward to working with you and hearing about your programs and projects.

Robert Berry, Manager
Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) Program
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Department of Commerce
MDE 2B27
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, Virginia 22313

March 2017