A visit this week from a new regional patent official and the recent opening of a Patent and Trademark Resource Center at the Smithtown Library are encouraging local inventors that they will get more support in their endeavors.
Sue A. Purvis, the new Greater New York region innovation and outreach coordinator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, spoke to more than 100 inventors Monday night at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola. It was her first foray to Long Island since taking office in October.
The visit was seen by local inventors as a sign of greater outreach to the Island from the Patent Office. It comes on top of the opening earlier this month of the patent center at the Smithtown Library in an effort to better serve the intellectual property needs of local inventors.
"I think it's very hopeful that we will have more of an outreach from the USPTO to this area," said Michelle Allen, a Westbury entrepreneur with a hair-care product invention who attended the meeting.
Long Island has an active community of inventors. The Suffolk County Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club has attracted more than 2,000 attendees to its meetings over the years since it was founded in 2007, and the Nassau chapter, started in 2012, has attracted about 1,000 attendees, said Brian Fried, an inventor and president of both the Nassau and Suffolk clubs.
At the Monday meeting Purvis explained her role, which is to help students, researchers, businesses and regional constituents get access to government commercialization resources.
"What I've been doing the past four months . . . is a lot of outreach to the community," Purvis said, speaking before the Nassau County inventors club.
Purvis said she hopes to make more trips to the Island and have "more interaction" here.
The new Smithtown center will offer free electronic services and resources to support the intellectual property needs of patrons. Librarians there provide assistance on using the agency's patent and trademark databases, and public seminars on intellectual property for novice and experienced inventors and entrepreneurs.The Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club will be taking a field trip to the new PTRC on March 19, according to Fried, who said he will also invite Purvis to speak before the Suffolk chapter.
"Long Island is all about innovation, and the Patent Office is aware of Long Island opportunities," said Fried.