Patenting an invention is a complex and daunting endeavor for inventors and entrepreneurs. The cost, time, and research involved in taking an idea from concept to patent often prevent innovators from unlocking their novel idea’s full potential.
Patent & Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC), usually housed in local public libraries, offer inventors vital resources in the patent process. PTRC library staff are information experts who are trained in using search tools to access patent information and help innovators protect their intellectual property.
A PTRC is an essential local resource that has a world-wide impact for small businesses, universities, and independent inventors and entrepreneurs. An active PTRC brings a wealth of valuable patent research information and services, including legal guidance on idea viability, to a myriad of local users.
PTRCs are perfect candidates for the powerful tools available in the IP.com solutions suite to deliver these essential services to inventors. These tools guide inventors and entrepreneurs through the full innovation lifecycle and take the guesswork out of this challenging process.
An Increased Need for Best-in-Class Resources
Kate Meddaugh, manager of the Carlson Center for Intellectual Property in the Central Library of Rochester, NY, refers to IP.com as the PTRC’s “one-stop-shop.” With 18+ years of experience with USPTO search training, Meddaugh relies on IP.com in her work helping inventors and entrepreneurs access patent and trademark information. Using these tools helps her provide valuable assistance with various patent, trademark, and copyright questions.
Over the last two years, the PTRC has seen a sharp increase in the use of its services due to the ease of remote access. The pandemic created a surprising and unexpected opportunity for the PTRC. Without a reference desk and with minimal staffing, it was challenging to deliver in-person services. With the IP.com solutions suite, the PTRC quickly adjusted to bring much-needed services to their customers.
The Right Tools
The Carlson Center helps inventors take ideas to market or obtain patents. The success of the PTRC in serving the inventor community hinges on the IP.com suite of innovative workflow solutions. The services that Meddaugh and the PTRC provide to individual inventors, students, and entrepreneurs support them in conducting self-directed and preliminary research.
Part of the IP.com solution suite, the InnovationQ Plus search and analytics platform, combines a machine learning search engine with patents and technical content in an advanced patent search solution. IQ Ideas Plus 2.0 is a modular, scalable, cloud-based solution that uniquely focuses on the areas in the innovation lifecycle that traditional alternatives in the market fail to address.
The tools provided by the USPTO do not allow users to locate company information and landscapes, making it hard to introduce new ideas. IQ Ideas helps to broaden concepts and solve problems for inventors. IP.com is the only company that offers solutions to the PTRC that help an inventor take an idea from start to finish. On average, the IP.com tools that the PTRC uses save an individual upwards of $5,000 and weeks of time—critical savings in the rush to patent an invention or idea.
Meddaugh used IP.com’s tools to give clear direction, throughout the innovation lifecycle, to an inventor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) who had an idea for an ADHD-related invention. She has also used IP.com’s tools to advise an inventor that his invention wasn’t novel enough for a patent to be granted. This saved the inventor many hours of work and thousands of dollars in fees.
In addition to RIT, the PTRC regularly works with NextCorps Finger Lakes Community College, and the Syracuse University Innovation Law Center. With five PTRCs serving New York State, the Rochester center is the flagship location. The Rochester PTRC is proud to be the benchmark for the best practices enabled by the best-in-class tools from IP.com.
Bridges and Stepping Stones to Success
PTRCs provide invaluable services at every step of the patent process, from writing abstracts and finding relevant results of a patent search, to exploring novelty, showing inventors which companies hold patents, and identifying emerging trends. The PTRC helps inventors obtain provisional, licensable patents and generates a landscape of businesses playing in the space that matches an idea or patent.
“The PTRC is the bridge and provides the stepping block to legal information for people looking to file their patents,” explains Meddaugh.
The Rochester PTRC partners with a law firm to provide inventors with the legal advice and guidance they need to visualize the viability of their ideas in a highly competitive landscape. This partnership also generates business for legal firms and IP teams that they normally would not receive.
The Rochester PTRC serves the community as a trusted advisor and gatekeeper, providing local inventors and entrepreneurs with assistance in every step of the patent process, including vital legal advice on licensing and monetization. In partnership with IP.com, the PTRC delivers best-in-class, scalable services that drive innovation.
To learn more about the full suite of solutions that IP.com offers, visit www.ip.com today.