Patent & Trademark Resource Center Now Open

Thursday, September 13th marked the grand opening of a new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Resource Center (PTRC) at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL. The center, one of two in the state of Illinois and 82 in the United States, makes available a wealth of information related to patents and trademarks freely to the public.

Charles Malone, coordinator of the new PTRC, remarked, “We can show area residents how to access the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s wealth of web-based material.  Additionally, through a portal on our computers at the PTRC, inventors will now also have access to PubWest, a comprehensive internal database from USPTO.  PubWest is part of the same internal database that USPTO’s patent examiners use.  It allows the user to do more powerful searches of U.S. patents, as well as search international patents.”  Malone, along with other staff at the center, will be available to assist first-time users in learning how to use the PubWest system.

Ryan Lilly, manager of the Entrepreneurship Center of west central Illinois in Galesburg, spoke on a panel of regional resource providers as part of the event. “Short of making a trip to the USPTO Public Search Facility in Alexandria, Virginia, this program provides west central Illinois entrepreneurs and inventors an opportunity to conduct a good initial search of existing trademarks and patents prior to enlisting the services of a qualified intellectual property attorney. This is a valuable resource I hope our region will take full advantage of.”

For more information on the Patent & Trademark Office Resource Center at Western Illinois University, contact Charles Malone at (309) 298-2719 or email c-malone@wiu.edu. If you are an entrepreneur in Knox, Warren, Mercer or Henderson counties in need of assistance, contact the Entrepreneurship Center at (309) 371-0473 or email ryan.lilly@ebinetwork.org.

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