Established in 1993, the Orono, Maine PTRC is located at the Raymond H. Fogler Library’s Science & Engineering Center at the University of Maine. I have been the PTRC representative since August 2006, assisting patrons from both the University and from around the state.
2012-2013 has been pretty much business as usual at the Orono PTRC, with one notable exception. In September I arranged a visit by Craig Morris, Managing Attorney for Trademarks Outreach at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Morris gave a presentation titled “Trademark Basics: What Every Business Should Know Sooner, Not Later” highlighting the differences between trademarks, copyrights, and patents, as well as domain names and business name registrations. He also explained the importance of selecting a strong mark: one that is both federally registrable and legally protectable. Because attendance was small, Mr. Morris was able to answer specific questions for each attendee, something he wouldn’t normally be able to do with larger audiences. I was also able to give a brief presentation on searching word marks, design codes and International Trademark Classes for Goods and Services.
I continue to collaborate with the University’s Innovation Engineering program as I have for the last six years, both teaching and assisting student-entrepreneurs with prior art searchign. I have also seen an increase in referrals from a number of statewide organizations. I think our statistics will show this to be among one of the busiest years ever for the Orono PTRC.
By Seminar conclusion, this will have been my final year to serve as PTRC secretary, at least for the foreseeable future. Increased life-demands (a toddler, a second job, a second master’s program) have made it difficult to devote the time and attention necessary to serve this roll. I have been secretary for three years, and it’s time to give someone else the opportunity to serve PTRC in this capacity. I will, however, continue to participate on the publications committee as the new website coordinator, as Esther Crawford is moving away from this role.
Martin Wallace, Librarian
Science & Engineering Center
Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469