Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chat with USPTO Officials

On Tuesday, April 15th, from 2 to 3 p.m. (EST) senior officials from the United States Patent and Tradmark Office (USPTO) are offering independent inventors a chance to ask them questions via live chat. Instructions for signing up for the chat will be posted on the home page of the USPTO web site http://www.uspto.gov/ at 10 AM that morning. Inventors can begin logging on for the chat at 1:30 p.m.

Transcripts and frequently-asked questions from previous chats are also available on the Independent Inventors page.

According to the USPTO, "the independent inventor online chat is part of the USPTO's continuing efforts to promote and protect America's independent inventors. . . including educating inventor-entrepreneurs about the risks of working with invention development companies."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Complaints Against Invention Promotion Companies

A dilemma new inventors seeking help from invention promotion companies often face is how to chose a reliable and honest company. Help is available from the USPTO's complaint section. In order to comply with the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999, the USPTO publishes both complaints and responses from invention promotion firms. The site also contains a link to the Federal Trade Commission's consumer alert entitled "Spotting Sweet-Sounding Promises of Fraudulent Invention Promotion Firms."

USPTO China Roadshow

According to the USPTO, China ranked number one among countries that had counterfeit goods seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2007. The USPTO will address this problem in a free two-day seminar for businesses on April 2-3 in Houston, Texas from 8:30 a.m.-5:30p.m. at the Houston Hobby Airport Marriott Hotel, 9100 Gulf Freeway. Called the USPTO China Road Show, the seminar offers presentations on "protecting and enforcing patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyright in China as well as real-life experiences and practical tips from companies on the frontline of protecting their IP assets from theft from China. " The seminar is free and open to all, but registration is required.