USPTO to Host 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference

By Gene Quinn
October 27, 2010

USPTO Director David Kappos speaks at Inventors Conference Luncheon, November 2009

The United States Patent and Trademark Office and co-sponsor the National Inventors Hall of Fame will host the 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference. The Independent Inventors Conference provides an opportunity to learn about patents, trademarks and gather tips from experienced inventors and industry experts. The conference will be held November 4-5, 2010 in Alexandria, VA, at the USPTO campus. A pre-conference workshop will be held on November 3, 2010 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., and is included with registration for anyone interested in learning patent basics and how they protect inventions. This workshop is for beginners and is a good foundation for the conference if you are new to the area of inventing or patent law.  Breakout sessions that will be held over the two day conference include discussion of patents, patent searching, claim drafting, trademarks, trademark searching, obviousness and tips for seasoned inventors.

Like other years, the agenda is filled with great educational programs, such as commercializing intellectual property through licensing, claim drafting for beginners, advanced claim drafting, why file a provisional patent application, licensing vs. direct marketing, considerations for foreign filing, how to work with a patent practitioner and many other great sessions. There will be lunch presentations each day as well.  On Thursday, November 4, 2010, the lunch speaker will be Arthur Fry, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee, Co-inventor of the Post It Notes. On Friday, November 5, 2010, the lunch speaker will be David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

After the sessions are concluded for the day on Thursday, there will be time for inventors in attendance to have one-on-one time with experts attending and presenting at the conference. Be sure and sign up for a slot at the registration table. Following the one-on-one expert consultations there will be a networking reception, from 5:45pm to 7:00pm, which is sponsored by the Intellectual Property Owners Association. This networking reception was extremely well attended last year, and provides additional opportunities for attendees to interact with USPTO specialists and subject matter specialists. After the networking reception the events for the day are over, but many in attendance last year broke off into groups for dinner and drinks, continuing to chat, catch-up and talk business well into the evening. It was a wonderful time to catch up with friends and business associates who we all to frequently only interact with via e-mail and telephone.

New for this year is a special workshop from the USPTO in conjunction with Department of Commerce/NIST. The workshop will be Friday evening from 4:30-7:00. Attendees must have at least a provisional application pending or a pending or issued non-provisional application to attend. The purpose of this unique workshop is: (1) to help inventors hone their marketing message; and (2) to show inventors how to get their inventions published to the USA National Innovation Marketplace. The result will be a market research report complete with annual sales forecast, probability of success, a fair market royalty matrix and more.

I am pleased to be on the program this year at the Conference, working with Mindy Bickel, who is a Special Programs Advisor at the USPTO, and John Calvert, who is the Administrator of the Inventors Assistance Program at the USPTO. I will be presenting the claim drafting for beginners breakout session (with Mindy Bickel) and presenting the advanced claim drafting breakout session (with John Calvert). My session schedule is as follows:

  • Claim Drafting for Beginners, Thursday, November 4, 2010, 2:40pm to 3:50pm
  • Advanced Claim Drafting, Thursday, November 4, 2010, 4:00pm to 5:10pm
  • Claim Drafting for Beginners, Friday, November 5, 2010, 11:20am to 12:40pm
  • Advanced Claim Drafting, Friday, November 5, 2010, 2:05pm to 3:25pm
  • Claim Drafting for Beginners, Friday, November 5, 2010, 3:25pm to 4:25pm

I will also be attending the Networking Reception on Thursday evening, and I am happy to chat with inventors throughout the day.  I plan on being in attendance throughout the conference.  Renee Quinn will also be in attendance at the conference, covering the events for IPWatchdog.com.  So if you see her be sure and say hello.  She will be particularly interested in hearing from inventors about their experiences and their inventions.  Our hope is to not only provide continuing reports about the conference but to also profile some of the inventors in attendance and their inventions.

The line-up of speakers put together by the USPTO for this event is extremely impressive.  In addition to those already mentioned, over the two days inventors, attorneys and industry insiders will hear from the following individuals:

  • Bob Stoll, Commissioner for Patents, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Louis Foreman, Inventor, Founder and Chief Executive of Enventys
  • Ken Bloemer, Executive Director of Department of Commerce’s National Innovation Marketplace
  • Michael Lee, Vice President of the Licensing Executive Society (USA/Canada)
  • Warren Tuttle, President of the United Inventors Association and External Product Development of gourmet food & kitchen equipment
  • John Palafoutas, President, National Inventors Hall of Fame®
  • Michael Neas, Supervisory PCT Legal Examiner, Office of Patent Cooperation Treaty, USPTO
  • Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship for Kauffman Foundation
  • John May, Angel Inventor Association and New Vantage Group
  • Glen Katopish, President of INCA (Inventors Network of the Capital Area) and owner of Planet Patent
  • Bambi Walters, President of Virginia Inventors Forum, Inc., and Registered Patent Agent
  • Anthony Knight, Director, Office of Petitions, USPTO
  • Elizabeth Dougherty, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Patent Legal Administration, USPTO
  • Richard Maulsby, Office of Public Affairs, USPTO
  • Michael Diep, Successful Inventor of the EmeryCat® Board
  • Robert Spear, Supervisory Design Patent Examiner, USPTO
  • Jessie Roberts, Sr. Staff Attorney, Legal Policy Office, USPTO
  • Cheryl Black, Attorney At Law
  • Matt Anderson, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO
  • Andrew Koenig, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO
  • George A. Peters Jr., successful inventor of “The Mitt” and “What Now”
  • Terry Melius, Quality Assurance Specialist, USPTO
  • Darnell Jayne, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO
  • Karla Perkins, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO
  • Yvonne Eyler, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO
  • William Vaughn, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO
  • Montia Givens-Pressey, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO

To register for the 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference, please visit: www.invent.org/iic. More information about the event is available at the USPTO Inventors Conference web page.  If you have any questions, please contact the Inventors Assistance Program at 571-272-8850.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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