29 June 2006

US Patent and Trademark Office Inventors' Resources Site

A resource that other patent offices around the world would do well to emulate is the "Inventor Resources" page on the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) website. That is a web page designed specifically for independent inventors.

The welcome page explains that "the innovation and dedication of independent inventors have played a critical role in the USA's evolution into the most technologically advanced, economically vibrant power on earth". It continues that ever since it was founded in 1802, the USPTO has been dedicated to assisting independent inventors in utilizing America’s intellectual property system. A new comprehensive Inventor Assistance Program has been launched to expand the scope of services provided to independent inventors to make sure that they receive appropriate attention.

Information on patents includes:

There is also similar information on trade marks:

Though US law is different in some respects a lot of the information on both patents (which includes what we would call registered designs) would apply here too.

The site also contains plenty of good brochures some of which apply here. The excellent little card entitled "Scam Prevention" definitely does. Another really good feature that others could copy is a chat room for advice and many of the transcripts are published. An example of the latest one follows here. There is a lot of other good stuff such as whether to hire a patent attorney, funding and special inventors' events. Good stuff nephew Sam.

28 June 2006

"The Innovators' Toolkit", Lancaster University 3 Aug 2006

I am honoured to have been invited to speak at “The Innovators Toolkit” a workshop to be held at Info Lab 21 at the University of Lancaster on 3 August, 2006 between 09.15 and 12.30.

“The Innovators Toolkit” is targeted at SMEs and organisations that assist them. The workshop gives a compact but tailored overview of the ways that innovation is best protected and managed in order to rank amongst the tangible assets of a company and to illustrate just how much more an enterprise can do itself to minimize the costs associated with the protection of intellectual property.
Topics include obtaining a patent, registration of designs and unregistered design rights, copyright, managing innovation and enforcement.

The main speaker is Dr. Ron Jones who has spent that past 25 years as an inventor/entrepreneur in his own SME and has successfully licensed technology to global corporations and seen these inventions reach a high level of commercial success. In addition to his entrepreneurship Ron holds a Master of Laws from the Edinburgh Law School in Innovation Technology and Law. I shall be talking about enforcement and ADR.

The course is organized by "ip.com" which has recently opened up in the UK and further information can be obtained from Ron at rjones@ip.com. There will be a charge of £30 to attend the workshop.