Rochester, NY

Carlson Public Library

Hi all.  My name is Kate Meddaugh and I am the manager of the Carlson PTRC. We’re located in a large public library in downtown Rochester, in the Business Insight Center. We’ve been a PTRC since 1999. The biggest news here is that last July we formed a new division in our library called the Business Insight Center. Our focus is entirely on helping businesses and entrepreneurs start or grow their business and protect their assets. We don’t do any ready reference work anymore and are leaving traditional librarian work behind. We are by appointments only, about 90% of the time. Of course, we help walk in customers too, but we focus on spending time individually with the inventor. Another big accomplishment for the Center is that I finally have office hours on the campus of the largest technological school in the area, RIT. You may remember I have office hours once a month at Venture Creations, the incubator for graduates or their family and friends, but I wanted to get to the students while they were fresh! So, every other week, I spend time with the students who are working on a project for their class which includes hypothetically starting and running a business and protecting the IP. Some of these students want to take their ideas from hypothetical to fruition, and that’s where I come in.

Our PVAC service is still used frequently, and I have a customer using it as we speak! It is truly helpful to have as a resource and support. I only wish the Trademark side of the USPTO would have something similar. I think it gives customers a level of comfort to know the service is available, and, it seems to bolster the significance of our services to the community. I don’t work together with local inventor groups and organizations, but that is on my to do list for the near future. The Rochester Inventors Group does still meet monthly and we are present while they are here, but there’s little interaction or needs that stem from their meetings.
Over the year, I’ve attended a SBIR Road Tour in Albany where I made some connections, and the Tech Conference here in town. My boss is amazing at allowing me the time to go to these conferences to network. We spoke at a Women in Business Bootcamp at The Entrepreneurs Network, as well as a Lunch and Learn Series at NextCorps. We were invited to our local SCORE chapter annual holiday luncheon, and represented at a Women Leaders conference.
We had a huge 2-day celebration in May last year. We celebrated our 20th anniversary as a PTRC. Neil and Spruce came to Rochester to help us celebrate and conduct classes here. It was a pleasure having them, and I think the 2 days’ long celebration was a great success. We also had an IP attorney speak about IP and Social Media, we had a professor talk on the Facets of Successful Entrepreneurship, a successful entrepreneur who used the Carlson Center to secure trademarks spoke, and the keynote speaker was Susan Tull, IP attorney at Finnegan, who spoke on the Patenting of Medicine.
I hope all of you are well, and I will miss seeing smiling faces this spring. I am looking forward to next years’ PTRC meeting and hope you all have a successful and positive year!