Established in 1993, the Orono, Maine PTDL is located at the Raymond H. Fogler Library’s Science & Engineering Center at the University of Maine. I have been the PTDL representative since August 2006, as well as the subject liaison for the engineering, computer science and mathematics academic units at UMaine.
In September 2009 the Orono PTDL hosted a day-long patent seminar titled “The Patent Mindset”, aimed at patent attorneys, inventors and engineering faculty. Our keynote speaker was Doug Hall of Eureka! Ranch fame, currently on sabbatical at the University of Maine to teach his trademarked Innovation Engineering program to Maine entrepreneurs. Another noteworthy guest was Victoria Barnes from Questel who gave a demonstration of their QPat search platform. Other speakers highlighted various programs in Maine that assist inventors and entrepreneurs take their inventions from idea to marketplace. And of course, I provided an overview of services offered at the PTDL.
The Orono PTDL has been granted a free, unrestricted license to QPat as part of Questel’s university outreach efforts. While geared primarily towards corporate entities, QPat is an easy-to-use patent and industrial design database covering more than 80 patent offices, and is full-text searchable (native English and machine-translated non-English documents) that can be used by anyone at any level of expertise.In December 2009 I gave a two-hour overview of search tools available at the Orono PTDL to University of Maine engineering faculty. Again, most this session highlighted QPat, but I managed to squeeze in a little about the tools provided by the USPTO and did a product comparison with QPat, esp@cenet, and Google Patents.
As mentioned in last year’s PTDLA Newsletter, patent searching and patent information have been officially introduced into the curriculum as part of UMaine’s Innovation Engineering minor offered at UMaine. I have continued to work with faculty designing curriculum that incorporated the use of patent information in a variety of ways. In fall 2009 I had the pleasure of working with Doug Hall in a very direct way, assisting him with some unique patent analytics applications that I do not think could have been accomplished without the use of CASSIS.
Martin Wallace, Librarian
Science & Engineering Center
Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469