The Oklahoma State University Library has been a Patent and Trademark Depository Library since 1956. We are housed in the main University Library and are part of the Government Documents Department, a regional depository for federal government documents. I am acting as interim head for government documents, so this has been taking a bit of time this past year!
Our PTRC plays a support role to other IP departments on campus in addition to working with independent inventors. I work with the New Product Development/Inventor’s Assistance Center, also the Technology Development Center (tech transfer office). I train their graduate assistants annually and encourage them to have clients requiring in-depth research assistance contact us. I provide a bimonthly seminar on trademarks for the Food and Agricultural Products Center. I team teach senior design classes in engineering with our engineering librarian. An exciting presentation this year was for about 20 students in our Student Startup Central, an incubator on our campus for students starting their own businesses. I am serving on the University’s Intellectual Property Screening Committee, under the University’s Technology Development Center, meeting periodically to review applications submitted by OSU faculty as potential research for commercialization.
I am working with independent inventors primarily by phone and email, saving them the hour drive to Stillwater from Tulsa or Oklahoma City. We begin with a keyword search to locate a relevant patent and then search by classifications on the USTPO website. Our website includes most of our service information and links to information for inventors at USPTO: http://www.library.okstate.edu/patents/
I continue to emphasize to researchers and students the importance of searching patents in addition to journal literature as a supplement to traditional research. The LibGuide I have developed “Patents Online: Basics for Researchers,” includes an overview of patents in addition to searching by topic and fields, http://info.library.okstate.edu/patentsonline
I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute articles to this Journal in additional to updates from our PTRCs. Many thanks to Martin Wallace for managing the PTRCA website.