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PTDLP Spring 2011 - Notes from Alexandria, Virginia
Since 1871, the United States Patent Office (now the Patent and Trademark Office) has partnered with libraries (including a predecessor to NYPL) in different parts of the United States, creating depositories of patents and trademarks so local inventors and businesspeople can conveniently search these documents in anticipation of their own filings or registrations. For the last several years there have been around 80 to 85 Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries (PTDLs) throughout the country. Soon there will be none.... Why?
Well, not because the Patent and Trademark Office is shutting down. And the libraries will still be there. And, there will still be an ongoing relationship between most of these libraries and the USPTO, and an office within the USPTO working with and assisting those libraries. But times have changed, and there are virtually no physical materials for the USPTO to deposit with libraries. So, what will happen is the name of this cooperative program will change, and the word depository will no longer be part of it. While the new name is not yet chosen, the goal will be to rename the program to better reflect the real relationship today between USPTO and the libraries, and to better focus on, and highlight, the services and outreach of both parties to the inventor and business communities.
This is just some of the news from the recent (April 11 - 15) Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program conference and meeting of the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Association at the USPTO's headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
In upcoming posts, I plan to present more news from the conference, including topics such as:
- Alien Property Custodian Records - new digitization projects from the USPTO and the Copyright Office.
- Developments in Patent Classification - cooperative efforts with other countries' patent offices.
- Inventor outreach by the Patent Office, and new instructional videos for trademark filings.
- The Copyright Office comments on the Google Books settlement and other copyright issues.
So - stay tuned for upcoming entries on these topics and more...