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Posts by Kenneth Johnson

Plant Patents - A First Look at New Color Images at SIBL

Clematis plant named 'UNAI 005'Despite the shift from the Patent and Trademark Depository Library designation to our new Patent and Trademark Resource Center status, one vestige of over 140 years of being a patent depository remains. Color images for Plant Patents are only available in print, and are still being received here at SIBL in paper format. This seems like a good opportunity to take a look at some of the most recent ones we've received here, and so we've done a bunch of QAD color image 

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Business Books from "The Economist," April 7, 2012

No matter how hard you try to prioritize your reading, magazines can really pile up rather quickly. So... I've just finally gotten to the April 7th issue of The Economist, and discovered its quarterly business book selection for April.

For those interested in the articles, you can find them through some of our electronic resources (I recommend EBSCO's Business Source Premier,

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Haiti's Patent Law of 1826 - Solution and Wrap-Up

Last June, I made note of one of SIBL's patent pamphlets cataloged long ago as the Haitian Patent Law for 1826. I had my doubts about it, and wondered if anyone could help. Now, to wrap things up I thought I'd share some of what I learned here... and give an answer to the question "what is it?"

The document's title is Loi sur les patentes. Patente is not French for what in everyday speech we call a patent. As I should have known from seeing it elsewhere, 

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New Business Best-Sellers: April 2012

I don't want to neglect highlighting some of the newer business best-sellers from the New York Times (Sunday, April 1, 2012, page 7). I've also included a selection from Nielsen BookScan as published in the April 7-8, 2012 Wall Street Journal (page C10). Happy Reading!

Each title is noted with its ranking. Click on any of the titles below and place a hold to request the item. Remember to update your contact information (phone number or e-mail address), so you are notified when the book arrives for you at your 

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Freedom of Information Day 2012 at SIBL — Wrap-Up

Thursday, March 15 was Freedom of Information Day here at SIBL. I would like to offer a big round of thanks (I'd add a round of applause, but don't have the audio file) to our speaker this year, Robert Weissman, president of the advocacy organization Public Citizen. His informative and inspiring presentation was very much appreciated!

With Weissman's permission, I have attached a copy of his PowerPoint slides (with some changes made to pages containing 

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I've Got a Secret: The Bureaucrat's Delight

I've Got a Secret. From a simpler time, it's a TV show title — one that, along with To Tell the Truth, becomes a whole lot darker in meaning in many a modern context. The simple, innocent deceptions that amused TV audiences in days of yore have given way to glaring problems in the public forum where stealth can disarm legitimate opposition and carry off the prize.

One reason we observe Freedom of Information (FOI) Day (observed at SIBL on March 15, 2012) is to give ourselves a 

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Sunshine Week at NYPL: March 11-17, 2012

As previously posted, on March 15, SIBL will celebrate Freedom of Information Day (FOI Day) with speaker Robert Weissman from the organization Public Citizen. FOI Day has been the main focus of our annual efforts to highlight the public's right to know. But it need not be NYPL's only activity, and so I offer a suggestion: let's use this as an opportunity to move from one day to an entire week — Sunshine Week at NYPL!

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New York Times Business Best Sellers — February 2012

This Sunday's paper listed the New York Times business best sellers. Rankings reflect sales for January 2012. Below are several of the titles culled from that list, sorted by genre, with links to our catalog.

The New York Times rank for each title is found after the author's name, and paperback titles are indentified as such. In addition, the list has been annotated and supplemented by identifying and listing books from Nielsen BookScan's top 10 hardcover business titles as published in the Saturday, February 4 edition of the Wall Street 

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Business Books from "The Economist," January 14, 2012

The January 14 issue of The Economist has reviewed (and maybe recommended...) five new books on a few different business topics. I'm using this as an opportunity to post a list of these titles with links to the Library's collections.

For those interested in the articles, you can find them through some of our electronic resources (I recommend EBSCO's Business Source Premier,

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Freedom of Information Day 2012 at SIBL — March 15!

I am pleased to announce our upcoming Freedom of Information Day celebration at the Science, Industry and Business Library. It will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Healy Hall (on the lower level), and will feature as guest presenter Robert Weissman, president of the public advocacy organization Public Citizen. This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

A regular annual event here at SIBL, Freedom of Information Day was recognized by a

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Article and Artifact — Digitization's Dilemma: A True Story

Every librarian understands that the increased reliance on digital resources is a Faustian bargain.

While the stakes may not seem as high as in the legend, the risks are plain, clear, and much discussed in library and publishing literature. For any organization that wishes to preserve or archive its resources, digitization can be both a blessing and a curse. Easier access versus preservation concerns may not be possible to reconcile completely.

On a day-to-day level, the limitations of some digital resources are painfully evident. Particularly on a 

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Brightest Star at SIBL? Morningstar!

Working at SIBL has distorted my vision; I seem to have this sixth sense: I see advertising for financial services. Brokerage accounts, mutual funds, ETFs, bank accounts (online and otherwise) - everywhere. Do normal people see these?

Of course, working at SIBL also means I encounter people researching investments and other financial services topics, and have been able to steer them to, and help them with, the excellent investment related resources we have. One of these, for which I offer an executive summary below, is

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Alien Patents Found at SIBL!

They weren't found in Area 51; or Area 57 or Hangar 18 or anywhere close to Roswell for that matter. For those of you who want to believe — I'm sorry, you'll have to wait a bit longer. The bibliographic record for this find shows the US Alien Property Custodian as author, and these patents, or patent applications in the cases ascertained so far, are documents from the Second World War.

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$30,000+! Free Money at SIBL! Plan For It Now!

Do I have your attention? OK! Yes — the money is real. It's time for SIBL's New York StartUP! 2012 Business Plan Competition! If you've been thinking about starting a business in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island, this money could help make your dreams a reality.

But don't think there will be a free lunch. You're gonna have to work for it. Although there will be a short break for the Thanksgiving Holiday, there are still a few more 

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Intellectual Property Day at SIBL, November 2011 — Wrap-Up

The Hat - Patents and TrademarksThe talent pool in patents and trademarks at SIBL is deep — which means we're almost always ready to answer IP questions on the spot when they come up. But I've been lucky and have had the opportunity to wear the patent and trademark hat — yes, there is one, it won first place in a contest a few years ago! And among the privileges this brings is the opportunity to invite U.S. Patent and Trademark Office representatives to come to SIBL every couple of years for public and staff 

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Hey Dude! Where's My Company? Stocks from Nonexistent Businesses

An ancient stock certificate found in a drawer after someone dies; selling shares that grandma gave us a long time ago; investment paperwork lost in a move. The stories all seem different, but in each case the question is the same — what has happened to a company since these shares of stock were purchased?

Where can we find the sad stories of the death of companies? Perhaps a company has gone into bankruptcy, succumbed to a hostile takeover, been sold to the highest bidder, changed its ticker symbol, its 

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Trademark — Legal Care for Your Business and Product Name

November 8 is fast approaching, and with it the Intellectual Property day at SIBL, featuring representatives from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This seems like a good opportunity to recommend one of the Library's best sources for information about trademarks, Stephen Elias and Richard Stim's Nolo book Trademark — Legal Care for Your Business and Product Name.

Highly 

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Making Research Less Taxing — A New Resource at SIBL

In polite conversation, it is unusual for people to talk about taxes. In other situations, they may be mentioned or discussed. And as we know, they are frequently a topic for political rants and news.

The majority of people only have to deal with taxes about once a year, when the filing and payment (or refund) season for income tax comes around. Folks who choose to do their tax filing themselves may visit the Library to borrow or consult resources like The Ernst & Young Tax Guide or

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A New Patent Law

Those who take an interest in patents will have heard by now; the U.S. has a new patent law, the "Leahy-Smith America Invents Act." It's too early to tell whether the changes that will take place as a result will be revolutionary or not; and for that I await the views of the experts. But it is worthwhile taking note of these recent patent law amendments in anticipation of the visit to SIBL by the USPTO on November 

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Intellectual Property Day at SIBL

We're just starting to get the word out — November 8, 2011 will be a day to explore Intellectual Property protection when the Science, Industry and Business Library hosts a visit from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Our friends from the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program will be here to to present a day-long seminar covering IP protection topics, as well as offer pointers on searching for patents and trademarks on the USPTO databases. Overall this 

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