Sheffield Inventors got off to a flying start yesterday with an excellent presentation by Miles Rees of the Patent Office on what the Patent Office does for SME and individual inventors. He mentioned the Patent Office's liaison with schools and universities including Think KIT, its collaboration with police, customs and other agencies to stamp out piracy and counterfeiting, the specialist teams to handle enquiries from unrepresented applicants and the Patent Office Opinions and Mediation Services which had just been launched. The only thing that Miles did not mention was the announcement attributed to him on the IP/it Update blog on 1 April.
Miles had a good audience. I counted well over 22 persons in the audience which included patent agents and technical assistants, solicitors, business advisors and academics as well as inventors. Chris Hemingway of Bailey Walsh LLP and Kate Reid of Pemberton Reid said a few words about their firms as well as our host, Patent Librarian Sue Sayles, Richard Campos, Alan Warren of Business Link South Yorkshire and several other service providers. After a very lively discussion I asked for volunteers for a steering committee to confer by telephone and meet shortly before each event to discuss future events and a structure for the group. Kate Reid, Olusola Onatanmi, Sue Sayles, Chris Hemingway and Richard Campos very kindly offered to join. Many thanks to all of them. Thanks also to the Patent Office, Sheffield Central Library and staff and, of course, Miles Rees for a very enjoyable evening.