This past year I continued to learn about patents and trademarks since becoming the PTRC representative in 2009. UMass Amherst has been part of the PTRC program since 1984 and throughout that time a number of different people have been involved with the program. At this point in time I am the only person involved with patent and trademarks but am part of a larger team that deals with government information in general.
I am located in the Science & Engineering Library which was recently renovated to include more public computers and new group study rooms. The majority of the print materials have gone to the depository which I am learning is a real problem for learning about how to research older patents.
In 2005 UMass Amherst started an Innovation Challenge competition to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to develop technological innovations and bring that intellectual property to the private sector. It my pleasure to help some of the Innovation Challenge teams research their ideas for prior art and to see them successfully compete in the various stages of competition.
Overall, I still think of myself as a novice in this arena and am grateful to all my PTRC colleagues for their experience and expertise.