2014-2015 President's Report

PTRCA President’s Report 2014-2015
Spruce Fraser, St Louis, MO

It has been an awesome journey for the PTDLA/PTRCA to have had members know and work with Martha Sneed, whom after 40 years retires this year from the USPTO as Director of the Public Search Services Division under Ted Parr’s Public Information Services Group. Under her direction through these years Martha has helped form our current PTRC program. Her dedication and knowledge have meant so much to all of us, especially the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Representatives.

For those who knew Martha for much of those 40 years, I know that words cannot express the thanks for all her kindness and leadership. Martha’s warmth glowed to whomever she talked to. Although I have only known her for just four years, I could observe how comfortable everyone was around her. She will be missed not only by the USPTO staff, but by the many PTRC members, both current and retired. Martha was an incredible leader and a great source of information. Our PTRC members all wish her the best in her retirement and hope to see her return to future USPTO training seminars. All the best!

It is my honor to congratulate Chris Kitchens on her promotion on behalf of the PTRCA. We all still hope to see her at our annual USPTO training seminars. It has been wonderful to have had her as the USPTO PTRCP Manager and wish Chris all the best as the new Director of the Public Search Services Division under Ted Parr’s Public Information Services Group.

We were proud to now have a tablecloth for our meetings that has the updated logo of PTRCA. Since 2011, the PTDLs were officially changed to PTRCs we had to go ahead and order a new tablecloth. It is available for meetings, so that memberships can see our organization name. Thank-you to Walt Johnson for this great event!

2014 marked a year where most PTRCs have now gotten PubEast installed and working. Classes taught by PTRCs this past year included how to access PubEast, plus how to use the new Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

PTRC’s continued watching webinars to expand their patent and trademark knowledge. USPTO staff did an excellent job creating them! Thank-you!

I look forward to meeting everyone at our annual PTRCA Monday Meet and Greet in the USPTO Atrium. It will be a time to meet USPTO officers and directors, so I encourage all members to attend. It is a chance to introduce yourselves and your PTRC. We will have a chance on Monday to hear opening remarks, plus have questions and answers from USPTO staff on new programs, updates, and policy. Tuesday and Wednesday we will be learning more about the CPC classification system, as well as patent and trademark workshops. We will have a guest speaker talk about copyrights on Thursday.

On Tuesday evening, back in the Marriot Hotel lobby, from 7 to 10 p.m. there will be a PTRCA musical sing-along, thanks to Jim Miller (Maryland), Dave Morrison (Salt Lake), and Tom Melvin (Newark). Please come to these social events to relax and meet your fellow PTRC reps and USPTO staff. It is always a pot luck event, après dinner. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so wear green to celebrate! A new Patent Gazetteer song book will be used!

On Wednesday evening, we will enjoy the group dinner out with USPTO and PTRCA members. I look forward to meeting more members.

On Thursday, March 19, our PTRCA guest speaker this year will talk about copyrights. We moved the annual PTRCA business meeting to before lunch this year so that more could attend if you have to catch an afternoon flight home.

Thanks go to Karen Kitchens for chairing the membership/mentoring committee. This committee worked diligently to match up a new PTRC representative with a veteran PTRC representative. This connection is made before our annual USPTO training seminar so that new members can have someone to ask their questions to before they pack their luggage and arrive in Alexandria, VA. If you meet a new PTRC representative, please welcome them and make them feel at home.

Thanks to Ran Raider, Past PTRCA President, who drafted a proposal for remembering and honoring Esther Crawford with the new Esther Crawford Award. It will become an award to be given to those who exemplify this association’s welfare and service to our community. A great way to remember Esther’s enormous contributions to the PTRCA. Much thanks to Ran for his ongoing support and feedback. It was appreciated.

My term as President is nearly done and I wish to thank the Executive Council and committee members who have served, which includes: Past President Ran Raider (Ohio), Karen Kitchens (Wyoming), Jim Miller (College Park), Suzanne Reinman (Stillwater), Leena Lalwani (Ann Arbor), and Michael Strickland (AR).

I hope that many members continue to volunteer their time to serve on our Executive Council, or on a committee. It is a rewarding experience and worthwhile one too. I strongly encourage you to join or renew your PTRCA membership. If you have any question about the PTRCA, please do not hesitate to ask myself or any other Executive Council member. We will have a table during registration and throughout the week for you to pay your 2015-2016 PTRCA membership dues.

It has been a pleasure to serve as President of the PTRCA for 2014-2015. Thank-you.

Spruce Fraser, President
Patent and Trademark Resource Center Association
Saint Louis, MO

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