2015-2016 President's Report

PTRCA President’s Report 2015-2016
Karen Kitchens, Cheyenne, Wyoming

I would like to thank the PTRC Program Office for organizing the 38th Annual Training. I know we are all looking forward to another excellent and informative training session. The PTRC Program Office continued training opportunities throughout the year, which PTRC representatives greatly appreciated. The summer webinar series offered by the PTRC Program Office included a wide range of topics. Thank you for this series, which included

  • “Patent Ombudsman”—Dale Shaw, presenter
  • “Patent Models and TM Search Tips”—Rob Berry
  • “U.S. Patent-Related Publications”—Tom Turner
  • “Dissecting Utility Patents”—Neil Massong

2015 saw some changes in the PTRCA Officers. Martin Wallace, who was elected Vice-President/President Elect at the 2015 meeting resigned this position, in lieu of the fact that he no works in the capacity of a PTRC Representative. Martin is now Maker Literacies & Engineering Librarian at University of Texas Arlington. Congratulations Martin! Fortunately, Martin continued his PTRCA membership and role as PTRCA Bylaws Committee Chair. Thanks to Martin for his tireless work as chair of this committee. Martin was instrumental in spearheading all amendments and changes to the PTRCA bylaws, which we will be voting on at our business meeting Thursday afternoon.

David Zwicky, Assistant Professor Physical Sciences, Engineering, Technology from Purdue University, has thankfully stepped in as the PTRCA Vice President for the remainder of the year. Thanks go to David for chairing the membership/mentoring committee. This committee worked diligently to match up a new PTRC representative with a veteran PTRC representative. This connection is made before our annual USPTO training seminar so that new members can have someone to ask their questions to before they pack their luggage and arrive in Alexandria, VA. If you meet a new PTRC representative, please welcome them and make them feel at home. David also organized our Round Table discussions for Thursday afternoon.

Thanks to Ran Raider, Publication Committee Chair, for drafting the PTRCA Documents Retention Policy which will be voted upon as an amendment to the PTRCA Bylaws.

Throughout the year, several of our PTRCA members promoted our association as an affiliate of ALA, at various conferences. John Schlipp (Northern Kentucky University Librarian) and Linda Kocis (IP Librarian, Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamiltion County) presented at RUSA BRASS preconference in June 2015 at the ALA Annual Conference. Their presentation was titled Patent Proficiency and Trademark Transcendence: Database Searching and Practical Instruction at Patent & Trademark Resource Centers.

Martin Wallace presented at ALA MidWinter in January 2016. Martin’s presentation included searching for patents using the Cooperative Patent Classification system and the USPTO's Seven Step Preliminary Prior-art Search Method. Also covered are basic facts about patents including what patents are, what rights they protect and for how long. Jim Miller also attended ALA MidWinter, and represented the PTRCA at the ALA Affiliates Luncheon with Martin.

Lisha Li, Subject Librarian for Civil & Environmental Engineering (Georgia Tech Library), attended the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference in June 2015. Lisha was kind enough to promote our association at the Engineering Libraries Division of ASEE of the PTRCA.

The Bylaws Committee is currently working on various proposed bylaws amendments. Details will be in the Bylaws Committee Report.

I look forward to meeting everyone at our annual PTRCA Monday Meet and Greet on March 21, 2016 in the USPTO Atrium. It will be a time to meet USPTO officers and directors, so I encourage all members to attend. It is a chance to introduce yourselves and your PTRC. We will have a chance on Monday to hear opening remarks, plus have questions and answers from USPTO staff on new programs, updates, and policy.

On Tuesday evening, we will enjoy the group dinner out with USPTO and PTRCA members. I look forward to meeting more members.

On Wedsday evening, back in the Marriot Hotel lobby, from 7 to 10 p.m. there will be a PTRCA musical sing-along! Please come to these social events to relax and meet your fellow PTRC reps and USPTO staff. It is always a pot luck event, après dinner.

The annual PTRCA business meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. – Noon in the Madison Auditorium. I encourage all to attend, as we have critical business, including changes to the bylaws to discuss and vote upon.

In other news, longtime PTRCA member Hal Mendelssohn retired in July, 2015. Hal served with distinction as the PTRC Program Representative at the University of Central Florida (UCF) from 2006 until his retirement. The Executive Committee approved a resolution honoring Hal’s long and dedicated service to the organization. The committee also approved the transfer of Hal’s PTRCA membership to the new Orlando Rep, Missy Murphy. Welcome Missy!

My term as President is nearly done and I wish to thank the Executive Committee and all committee chairs and members who have served, which includes: Past President Spruce Fraser, Martin Wallace, Dave Zwicky, Jim Miller, John Schlipp, Leena Lalwani , Jan Comfort, Ran Raider, Dave Morrison, Suzanne Reinmann, Lisha Li, Andrew Maines and Irene Yelovich. Thank you all for your commitment and hard work!

I hope that many members continue to volunteer their time to serve on our Executive Committee, or on a committee. It is a rewarding and worthwhile experience. If you would like to join or renew your PTRCA membership, please don’t hesitate to ask me or any Executive Committee member for information. You can also stop by the PTRCA table during registration and throughout the week for more information.

It has been a pleasure to serve as President of the PTRCA for 2015–2016. Thank you!

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