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Blog Posts by Subject: Business

Patent Classification: Changes A'Comin'

One premise of the U.S. patent system, and of most of the other large established patent systems in the world, is you can only patent something once. Too late, then, for the wheel; but for the better, improved wheel a patenting opportunity awaits. Of course, how do you find out if someone beat you to it? Or, in the language of patent experts, how do you find the prior art?

If you investigate the USPTO online patent database, it is apparent 

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Helping New Yorkers "Ace" Personal Finance

Here's a shocker! According to Pamela Yellen, CEO of Bank on Yourself, whom Michel Martin interviewed recently on NPR's Tell Me More, 41% of adults give themselves a C grade or lower in their knowledge of personal finance. To help New Yorkers ace this subject NYPL runs Financial Literacy Central (FLC) at its business library,

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World Trade Week NYC and International Trade Research Materials in SIBL

In addition to my "day job" as material selector for the neighborhood libraries, I've been a member of the Steering Committe of World Trade Week NYC for the past six years.  Ever since the tenure of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President of the United States has officially declared the third full week of every May to be World Trade Week.  

In the beginning it was known as "National Foreign 

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The Farriers' Wish: Historical Trade Journals at SIBL

This May is a month of celebration here at NYPL. A 100 year birthday for the Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, and here at SIBL, we mark 15 years of operation. As appropriate for 100 years, NYPL will focus on many of its incredible research collections in the new exhibition Celebrating 100 Years, which 

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PTDLP Spring 2011 - Notes from Alexandria, Virginia

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Spring 2011Since 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 

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Award-winning Startup: SkyStem LLC. Can You Guess its Business Service?

Hearing the capstone presentations of 20 aspiring business owners in a FastTrac New Ventures program last week inspired me to talk to Shagun Malhotra, who recently told Crain's New York Business what she learned at FastTrac en route to taking second place in SIBL's 2010 New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition.

Shagun, here's your 

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The Final Factors: Your IP Protection Choices

So you have your menu—and now need to choose which form of IP protection to use for your bottle or other idea. Of course if you have all the time and money in the world, maybe you can do it all. But since the question really is about business, it's important to consider what works for you before starting the final processes to protect your IP.

You're a business-person, and to sleep easier know you must choose wisely. What will it cost? How long will it take to get? How long will it 

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Award-Winning Combo: Engineering Know-How Plus Entrepreneurial Drive

Inspiring America's youth to study engineering is an Obama administration priority. Many professionals—from trade associations to campus-based groups—focus specifically on getting more women into the engineering pipeline. Participants in Dow's recent virtual conference undercored the importance of exposing young women to ways 

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Trailblazers: High-Achieving Women 'Play it Forward'

Women’s History Month brings inspiring events and March 2011 has proven no exception. Earlier this month, the New York County Lawyers Association and the Financial Women’s Association co-sponsored a Trailblazers Celebration to spotlight women who have been among the first in private or government practice to achieve senior level executive positions.

The four panelists were all attorneys, three in the 

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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took place 100 years ago today, was a tragic incident in New York City's history but also a turning point in the early labor movement.

One hundred and forty-six workers died, mostly young women from immigrant families. The fire was deadly because of the height of the building, the amount of fabric and flammable material inside, the lack of proper fire escapes, and exits that were locked to prevent workers from taking breaks. Many fell or jumped to their deaths. The tragedy brought greater awareness to sweatshop conditions, which led to 

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Precarity: A Reader's Guide

It is striking the United States has not developed a discourse of precarity. Today, the gap between rich and poor stands at its widest in history, and the unemployment rate hangs around at 8.9%; this statistic does not include the long-term unemployed, the underemployed (those working in part-time positions), and those simply not seeking work at all. There is no discourse or vocabulary for precarity, yet 

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Message from a Bottle - Choosing Your IP Protection Redux

While for certain kinds of things the choice of which form of IP protection to seek is obvious, it's not too hard to think of examples where there could be more than one possibility. To illustrate this point, I would like to use for an example nothing less than a humble bottle.  

So, 

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Paisley Demby, B-plan Competition Guru, on Why Savvy Start-ups Use Business Advisors

Can’t think of a more apt way to wrap my trio of Black History Month postings (1, 2) on entrepreneurship than a chat with Paisley Demby. A familiar figure in the New York City  small business community—formerly at both the Queens Economic Development Corporation and CAMBA—Paisley has helped to launch the two 

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Next Stop: Onederland

Who stole my days?   With February simply too short a month in my book, please indulge me as I continue into March observing Black History Month with a few short profiles. First up is Michelle Newson,  2nd place winner in the 2009 Harlem Business Alliance Competition and a recent alumna of the Workshop in Business Opportunities.

Michelle, tell me more about your firm Onederland Events.

Onederland Events is a special events company that creates 

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That Was the Week that Was: Social Media Take-Aways and Tips

As a global event partner for Social Media Week (February 7 - 11), NYPL hosted four events that afforded me, a seasoned librarian but novice blogger, a handy immersion in social messaging—and in my own backyard, too. 

At the lively opening reception in the Stephen A Schwartzman Building's vast Celeste Bartos Forum, I raised the average age of the revelers. Circulating through the celebratory crowd, I met few folks who had, shall we say, ‘achieved my maturity.’ Mixing with millenials on this scale was ... Read More ›

Choose Your IP Too: Trade Secrets and Patents

Continuing from our January 31st entry, and again using Richard Stim's Patent, Copyright and Trademark as our springboard, here is some brief information about the remaining two types of intellectual property; trade secrets and its "polar opposite", patents.

Trade Secrets: According to Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack of July 1735, 

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SIBL 'Regular': Danielle Lanyard

Danielle Lanyard has channeled her passion for resource-sharing across the small business community into a powerful presentation, Launch Your Start Up on Your Lunch Hour, which she offers, pro bono, at SIBL each month. I caught up with her after last Friday’s session which one attendee aptly described as “Fabulous! Pure gold!”   

Danielle, you must be chuffed when you get a full house in 

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Enabling Social Change with Social Media: An Interview with Toby Daniels, Founder of Social Media Week

Toby Daniels. Photo: CrowdcentricToby Daniels is a proud, self-proclaimed enabler.

The founder of Social Media Week (which is happening in nine cities, with an opening reception at NYPL, its global event partner) has worked tirelessly for years to bring social media tools into the hands of individuals, businesses, and non profits.

“These tools are essentially available for free,” he said of social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and so on. “The tools and technology are not a boundary to entry. 

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SIBL: At NYPL's Business Library, the Joint is Jumping

StartUP! orientationThe New York Public Library’s business library, SIBL, has been a hive of activity from day one. We opened in 1996 to queues snaking around the block. A recorded announcement asked the 2,000 daily visitors not to “run, push, or shove” as they poured into our entrance at 34th and Madison. 

A decade later, average daily attendance figures decreased, hovering at 1,300. Understandable. We had trained 60,000 people to search library e-resources 

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Patent, Copyright & Trademark: Choose Your IP

It's impossible to expect every researcher coming to SIBL to know the differences between the four main types of Intellectual Property (IP) protection. We have found that Patent, Copyright and Trademark, by attorney Richard Stim, is an excellent resource for learning about and comparing these laws.

When readers come to SIBL, the New York Public Library's representative to the Patent and Trademark 

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