Dallas, TX

Dallas Public Library

Dallas Public Library

We continued to offer the bi-monthly One-to-One Question and Answer Workshops. Patent Librarian Steve Gaither coordinated the sessions with Patent Attorney and former Patent Examiner Bob Wise. Inventors participated in individual 20-minute sessions with Bob. This program always receives high ratings from attendees and inevitably has a waiting list for the next class.

The unit hosted Brainstorming for Inventors and Entrepreneurs, taught by Oklahoma-based Patent Agent Robert Frantz. Forty-five people attended the 3 ½ hour workshop. At least 7 of those indicated that this was their first visit to the library. Evaluations included comments like, “I’m glad to see a new spin [on]…how to get those creative juices flowing…” and “very helpful and thought provoking.”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) partnered with the Library to provide meeting space in October for a focus group of local businesses. The forum gave this group of business representatives an opportunity to let the USPTO know the kinds of services they most value.

Here’s a sampling of patent-related interactions we had with our library patrons this last year. A customer contacted staff while he was at Victory Plaza waiting to compete for a spot on an upcoming episode of the TV show Shark Tank. He needed to get some of his patent numbers, which staff quickly supplied. Other Shark Tank inventors stopped by later to ask about provisional patent applications. Steve Gaither helped a customer looking for information on a car hop food service tray dating to the mid 1900’s. After receiving copies of the patents and additional information, the customer shared, “…We plan on [doing a demonstration at] a major car show this weekend…and I’m going to use the information to explain my new toy.”